Omaha Public Radio News
9:30 am
Thu June 10, 2010

Harkin: oil spill was 'accident waiting to happen'

Omaha, NE – Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and the spill that followed was no accident.

Harkin says those were the result of negligence on the part of BP, including a lack of inspections at oil rigs. He's critical of the oil company's plan to pay out $2.6 billion in dividends this quarter related to the spill.

"Every dime of that money should be put in an escrow account to cover damages in the Gulf," Harkin says. "Next Tuesday afternoon in my Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, I will chair a hearing to examine the effects of this disaster and cleanup effort on public health and what can be done to minimize the negative impacts."

Harkin's comments came Thursday during his weekly conference call with reporters.