Bill Lifts $75 million Cap on Liability
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today praised committee passage of the S. 3305, the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act. The bill eliminates the $75 million cap on liability for oil spills that was passed in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill in 1990.
“We must ensure that BP, and any other responsible parties, bear the full financial costs of the economic and environmental disaster that continues to unfold in the Gulf,” said Senator Cardin, a co-sponsor of the measure. “S. 3305 lifts the cap on liability for an offshore oil spill and ensures that the polluters will fully compensate businesses and individuals for their losses.”
In 1990, Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act, which capped the liability of companies at $75 million for all damages claimed by parities injured by an oil spill, including individuals, businesses, and government agencies. In the first quarter of this year, BP reported $5.6 billion in profits. The Deepwater Horizon spill is now the worst in our nation’s history, with claims for damages that have far exceeded $75 million.
“We have a responsibility to the residents of the Gulf Coast and to all Americans to make sure the polluter pay for all economic and environmental damages they cause. This bill makes that a reality,” said Senator Cardin.