Senate Dems urge BP to set up $20 billion account for oil spill

Senate Democrats urged BP to set up a $20 billion independent account to pay for the economic and environmental damages from the Gulf oil spill.

In a letter to BP chief executive Tony Hayward, Democrats said the establishment of such an account would be an "act of good faith" and responsibility.


"Although creating this account at this level in no way limits BP's liability, we believe it will do more to improve BP's public image than the costly public relations campaign your company has launched," the senators wrote in a letter dated June 10 and released by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office on Sunday. The lawmakers asked for a response by June 18.

David Axelrod, senior White House adviser, said Sunday that President Barack Obama wants the company to set up an independently administered escrow account to deal with compensation claims.

The letter is signed by 54 Senate Democrats.