The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Murkowski Blocks Bill to Hike Industry Liability for Oil Spills

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | May 13, 2010 | Elyse Woods

Today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) took to the chamber floor and asked for unanimous consent to pass his much-discussed bill to raise the liability ceiling — from $75 million to $10 billion – on economic damages resulting from an oil spill. The proposal is a response to questions about just how much of the spill’s economic damage BP is poised to pay in the wake of last month’s Deepwater Horizon blast in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Menedez bill didn’t get very far. Instead, Sen. Lisa Murkowki (R-Alaska), on behalf of the oil industry, blocked the motion. Her reasoning is worth a mention.

First, Murkowski invoked Alaska’s dismal experience following the Exxon Valdez disaster more than 20 years ago. “We lived with oil on our beaches,” she said. “We know the economic impact — we know the social impact — that a spill can cause.”

Then she argued that the responsible party should indeed pay for such accidents. The goal of Congress, she said, should be to “ensure that those that are responsible pay for the economic loss for the damages that are incurred. We’re with you on this.”

Then she immediately walked back that statement, arguing that a liability hike from $75 million to $10 billion ”isn’t where we need to be right now.” Instead, she offered, “maybe we need to understand a little bit better as to how much we might need to look at raising the limit.”

To no one’s surprise, she didn’t mention the $426,000 she’s accepted from the oil industry in her eight-year tenure on the Hill.

Elyse Woods | As a product marketing manager, I've had the opportunity to help a variety of companies improve their sales margins and audience reaction to new products. Since I am passionate about product perception, marketing, and company statistics, I have brought commitment and positive results to the companies with which I have worked. What makes a product successful fascinates and inspires me.


MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’

Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of

MA-Sen: Republicans Celebrate Coakley’s Gaffes in Worcester

WORCESTER, Mass. - By the way, said Curt Schilling. One more thing. I am not a Yankees fan. The overflowing crowd at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall on

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley

BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |