BP has paid an estimated $1 billion to clean up the oil leak - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

BP has paid an estimated $1 billion to clean up the oil leak


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two Democratic senators are pressing BP to delay plans to pay shareholder dividends worth an expected $10 billion or more until the full costs for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are calculated.

Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Ron Wyden of Oregon called it "unfathomable" that BP would pay out a dividend to shareholders before the total cost of the cleanup is known. In a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward, the lawmakers said taking action to "move money off of the company's books" will make it more difficult for BP to pay the U.S. government, fishermen and others affected by the environmental disaster.

BP has paid an estimated $1 billion to clean up the oil leak and expects to spend billions more.

A BP spokesman declined to comment about the Senate letter. The company paid $10.4 billion in dividends last year.


GULF OF MEXICO (WKOW) -- BP says it can't guarantee success, but if all goes as planned, the spewing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could be contained as early as today.

The company is using robots to break a broken pipe so engineers can put a cap over the well's opening.  Even if it succeeds, the Coast Guard says more oil and gas will gush out while the capping is done, BP, however, disagrees.

Attorney General Eric Holder says federal authorities have opened criminal and civil investigations into the rig explosion and oil spill.

BP's stock plummeted Tuesday as the federal government announced criminal and civil investigations into the spill. Attorney General Eric Holder, who visited the Gulf on Tuesday, met with state and federal prosecutors, but would not say who might be targeted in the probes into the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Some of the prime targets could be BP, Transocean; Cameron, the company that manufactured a "blowout preventer"; or Halliburton, which performed drilling services like cementing.


JACKSON, Miss. (WKOW) -- Oil from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico is washing ashore in a third state.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour says a strand of oil was found on Petit Bois Island, a barrier island near the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Barbour is sending ships to clean up the oil.

This means that oil has hit Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

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