Gov. Barbour: Escrow Makes BP Less Able to Pay What They Owe

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, I have a little audio problems, I must confess. But let me ask you about tomorrow’s meeting with the president with the BP officials. What is it that you want to hear him ask and discuss tomorrow?

BARBOUR: Well, look, BP is responsible to pay for everything. If BP is the responsible party under the law, they’re to pay for everything. I do worry that this idea of making them make a huge escrow fund is going to make it less likely that they’ll pay for everything. They need their capital to drill wells. They need their capital to produce income so that they can pay that income to our citizens in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, and to pay for all the damages done. BP needs to pay, is supposed to pay, must pay every penny. But this escrow bothers me that it’s going to make them less able to pay us what they owe us. And that concerns me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, what would you say to the people of Britain, especially the pensioners, the people who are waiting for the dividend come this summer, that over $10 billion dividend that they want out of BP? Should BP hold that back or not? And what do you say to those people in Britain?

BARBOUR: Well, I say this. BP’s responsible to pay all the costs. They are the responsible party. They should pay all the costs. But at this stage, while the payments are not coming as fast as we’d like from BP or from the SBA or the federal government or anybody else, the fact is, they are saying that they have the ability to pay and that they will pay. So it bothers me to talk about causing an escrow to be made, which will — which makes it less likely that they’ll make the income that they need to pay us.

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