While BP Stalled On Gulf Oil Spill Payments, CEO’s Pay Tripled Last Year

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"While BP Stalled On Gulf Oil Spill Payments, CEO’s Pay Tripled Last Year"

The Deepwater Horizon rig one day after it exploded April 21, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon rig one day after it exploded April 21, 2010

CREDIT: Herbert/AP

BP CEO Robert Dudley had a busy year fighting the massive settlement he agreed to in 2012 that would pay for economic losses from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. His corporation may still be mired in lawsuits, but Dudley received a big pay raise last year that is worth triple his total pay from 2012. Counting his salary, bonus, and stock options, Dudley’s compensation was $8.7 million. With his pension included, Dudley cleared $13.2 million.

“BP has made strong progress over the past three years under Bob Dudley’s leadership – particularly in areas such as safety, operations and building for the future through reserve replacement – and his remuneration reflects this,” a BP spokesman said. “The great majority of his potential pay is directly dependent on BP’s performance in areas essential both to the delivery of the company’s strategy and to the long-term interests of its shareholders.”

When it comes to Dudley’s peers, CEO salaries are not a great indicator of performance. In the financial sector, 32 percent of the best-paid CEOs were the ones who would get bailouts, were fired, or caught for fraud. In 2010, when BP was still in damage-control over the spill, GOP lawmakers blocked raising the liability cap for oil spills at $75 million, which Democrats argued was a bailout for oil disasters. In fact, after former CEO Tony Hayward resigned from BP, he walked away with a year’s worth of salary, totaling $1.6 million and a $17 million pension. BP and the rest of the oil industry also continue to benefit from $4 billion in annual federal tax breaks.

Dudley now leads one of the most profitable oil companies in the world, pulling in a $13.4 billion profit last year. His leadership also includes defending BP’s aggressive legal tactics to lower its debts over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Payments to residents and local businesses “are going out to pay people who suffered, in many cases, no losses from the spill,” Dudley said in an interview last year. “And this is just not right. I don’t think it’s right for America.” But BP lost another one of its appeals this Tuesday to change the terms of its settlement with local businesses it claims filed exaggerated or invented losses. BP has so far paid a little over a third of a total $9.2 billion estimate.

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