Senator Tom Harkin has joined 17 of his fellow Democrats in the Senate to question a financial transaction involving the owner of the oil rig involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Transocean is the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that sunk just over a month ago. The company intends to distribute one-billion dollars to its private shareholders. Senator Tom Harkin is among the group of senators asking the U.S. attorney general to investigate the move.

Harkin and his fellow Democrats say Transocean may be trying to distribute profits now, making it harder for those who have been affected by the oil spill to seek payment from the company later. Harkin and the other senators say the families of those who died in the disaster and the Gulf Coast fishing industry “deserve better” from the company.

According to Harkin, the oil rig was insured for more than it was worth and Transocean could make a 270-million dollar profit from the insurance payoff.