Friday, July 2, 2010

Klobuchar and Senators Vote to Remove Liability Caps on Oil Industry

Klobuchar and Senators Vote to Remove Liability Caps on Oil Industry
Washington, D.C. – At an Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and her colleagues today passed legislation that would eliminate the liability caps for oil companies following disasters. Klobuchar is a cosponsor of S. 3305, a bill that would lift the liability cap for offshore drilling accidents and ensure that workers, coastal residents, fishermen, and taxpayers not shoulder the burden of oil companies’ risky behavior. The current law places a $75-million liability cap on the amount that oil companies are required to pay for disasters like the Gulf oil spill.
“The oil industry should take full responsibility for the safety, economic, and environmental consequences of its actions,”Klobuchar said. “Removing the liability cap will mean that the companies at fault, and not the American taxpayer, will be fully responsible for compensating the country for disasters like the Gulf oil spill. I look forward to voting for this bill in the full Senate,” Senator Klobuchar stated.

At an EPW Committee hearing earlier this month, Klobuchar discussed the impact that major oil spills have on families and businesses. Klobuchar highlighted the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill where Exxon executives fought against paying damages and compensating fishermen for years, even after pledging to pay all costs. An estimated 8,000 of the original Exxon Valdez plaintiffs died while waiting for their compensation as Exxon fought them in court.
The oil slick has become one of the nation's worst environmental disasters in decades, threatening local industries and economies, as well hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife throughout the Gulf Coast region.

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