WASHINGTON, D.C.—Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement today clarifying comments that he made at a recent Christian Science Monitor media breakfast on the BP oil spill cleanup efforts: “The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmental and financial catastrophe for families, small businesses, and communities along the Gulf Coast. As I said and as the transcript makes clear, this will require significant long-term attention from BP, the federal government, state and local authorities, volunteers, and the entire business community. While the depth and breadth of the consequences are unknown, clearly BP will have to assume its responsibilities over the long-term.
“Let me be clear: the recovery costs should not be on the backs of American taxpayers or the businesses that have been adversely affected by this tragedy.
“As I stated at the breakfast, we believe that abandoning the rule of law and retroactively changing the liability cap is not the best approach. Any changes to the cap need to be done very carefully and with full consideration of the broad economic consequences to companies far beyond those directly involved in the spill.
“Our nation needs a comprehensive energy policy to ensure America’s energy security. While addressing the near-term recovery needs of the Gulf Coast, we must be careful not to make decisions that threaten our long-term energy security.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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