Obama hits out at BP over dividend

KENNER, Louisiana Fri Jun 4, 2010 4:11pm EDT

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KENNER, Louisiana (Reuters) - President Barack Obama castigated British-based energy giant BP on Friday for failing so far to scrap plans to pay a quarterly dividend to shareholders.

On his third trip to the Louisiana Gulf Coast since the oil spill began, Obama told reporters that BP should not be "nickel and diming" residents along the oil-stained Gulf of Mexico coast over damage claims while spending billions in shareholder dividends.

He was speaking after BP put off a decision on whether to suspend paying its next quarterly dividend as some U.S. lawmakers had demanded.

Obama said he understood that BP had legal obligations to shareholders, but it also had moral and legal obligations toward Gulf Coast residents, many of whom have seen their way of life threatened by the massive oil spill.

Obama, who has repeatedly vowed to hold the company accountable for the disaster and make sure that it foots the bill, called on BP to pay damage claims expeditiously.

He also said it was too early to say whether BP's latest attempt to cap its gushing deep sea oil well would be successful, but for now it appeared to be working.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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Comments (10)
otbricki wrote:
BP pays over 12% of the UK’s pensions. If they cut off dividends Mr. Obama will be introduced to some pretty nasty cross-Atlantic political feedback.

Jun 04, 2010 4:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
andresloco wrote:
Are you serious? pretty nasty cross Atlantic political feedback? Who cares? The gulf of Mexico spans more U.S. coastline than Great Britain and Irelands coastlines combined. BP ought to be boycotted in Britain. Americans are tiring fast of this disgrace of a corporation.

Jun 04, 2010 5:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bizbee wrote:
It seems to me a total waste of jet fuel to keep shuttling Obama to the gulf so he can hurl more criticism toward BP. I’m guessing that’s the best he can do since he’s obviously clueless about a real remedy. ANYBODY that thinks BP is risking the future of the company to “nickle and dime” the good folks of LA and trash the entire gulf coast eco system on purpose, is about as stupid as Obama. It sickens me to think I wasted my vote on this fool.

Jun 04, 2010 5:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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