House Votes to Lift Oil Spill Liability Cap

House Votes to Lift Oil Spill Liability CapLegislation that passed the House of Representatives on Friday would, among other things, eliminate the current $75 million cap on liabilities related to oil spills. The Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010, passed in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, overhauls the nation's offshore drilling regulations, increasing regulatory oversight and safety measures. But the most prominent provision would require oil companies to pay the full cost involved with any spills, and does not cap liabilities. The final vote was 209-193. The Senate has a similar bill pending.

Advocates for the bill say that removal of the liability cap will save taxpayers money that the federal government would otherwise have to pay to clean up after disasters such as BP's (BP) Deepwater Horizon leak. Opponents say that it could prevent smaller American companies from drilling offshore at all due to concerns about the cost of an accident. According to The Wall Street Journal, "Independent oil and gas producers fear being put out of business. Insurers have indicated they will not offer offshore-drilling insurance without a cap on damage claims. The result would be to leave offshore drilling to state-owned and giant corporate oil companies, which can self-insure against damages."

The CLEAR Act's future in the Senate is uncertain. Democratic representatives from oil-producing states in the House crossed party lines to vote against the bill, and there is some question of whether Democrats can pull together the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation in the Senate. Congress is scheduled to begin its August recess next weekend.

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How many wars have we fought because of the under pinning reason was oil?

August 01 2010 at 10:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If Obama keeps demonmizing business and destroying small business, as more and more people join the ranks of the unemployed and become permanently unempoyed, as he send our oil rig jobs and technology to Brazil and Africa, as he has allowed out Gulf widllife and marshes to be destroyed because of either his incompetence or his ideology, as he is allowing our Borders to become useless as Mexican gun runners and drug cartels and illegal aliens run rampant attacking our State Troopers, as he is one vote after Kagan away from taking our rights in the Constitution, because he wants judges with "empathy" more than those who follow the law.. I just don't see how far removed we are from the coruption and poverty which is pervasive in the thrid world. If Obama is not stopped now, we are headed for a very different "tranmsformed" America.. and not a good picture.

August 01 2010 at 9:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Because of this all oil companies will simply leave the united states. Jimmy Carter is back reincarnated as a black man and the gas lines will be back as well. Prepare to wait in line for gas for over 4 hours every time from now on and be willing to pay $9 a gallon. Obama said that under his plan energy prices would "necessarily skyrocket" and that he thought $9 a gallon gas would be good for the country. We need another Reagan. This law, if retroactive, as it seems to be, violates the constitution ex post facto clause which means that every house members that voted for it MUST be impeached. Once again they have violated their oath to uphold the constitution. Dictator Obama is a major f*ckup.

August 01 2010 at 8:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

As an Englishman who has lived in the Unite States for the past ten years and with no political affiliation I find it frightening that so many people have such short memories.

The 'Tea Party' crowd, the Hannity and Beck morons who do nothing but vilify your President are a blot on such a great country.

How soon these morons forget:

When Bush was elected he inherited a massive surplus in the countries coffers. He left a massive debt but without one word of apology or explanation,

Unemployment was nowhere near aS low as when he took office.

He provided massive tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% but did virtually nothing for the rest of the population.

For receiving huge donations from the oil companies and in return he gave them massive tax cutys and lifted regulations allowing them to operate with very little concern for safety for their workers or the environment. (See BP)

He BLATANTLY lied about the need to invaDe Irag and as a consequence, thousand on both sides died and continue to die and the countrry got deeper and deeper in debt.

The list goes on and on and yet, all we hear from the Republicans is how unfair it was to vote for the Health Bill, that it was wrong to pass a bill that would provide thousands of citizens with a continuance of unanployment benefit because it had not been paid for.

Funny how the Iraq war was never paid for and is still not paid for but that is OK because after all Bush said it was.

What I find equally distasteful is hearing Republicans complaining when a Democrat dares to point out these FACTS.

"Oh you have been in office for eighteen months so there is no way you can blame us" !!!!!!!!

Is Obama perfect ? No of course not but I would venture to say that he has achieved more in eighteen months than Bush and his cronies achieved in eight years.

Finally I find it funny that now they are out of office suddenley that have all the ansers ?

Fact is that if they were as [erfect as they would have everyone believe then they would still be in office.

August 01 2010 at 8:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dcoach442's comment

First of all, as an "Englishman who has lived" in my Country for ten years, did you by any chance see what happened on 9/ll? Did you see what Bush had to deal with?.. The intelligence that made Bush to decide to invade Iraq was also belived by the English, the Israelis and all the Dmeocrats who later said Bush lied like the Clintons and Kerry and all the others.. WE might have had better intel had Clinton not done his best to destroy our intelligence agencies, even permitted our FBI and CIA to confer like the "flying but not landing" Memo form Phoenix.. Also Clinton had been offered Ben Lden either in custody or to kill by Afgan resistence, but he turned both down.. And while you were away from your homeland, have you noticed that they voted against the Liberals who you seem to still favor.. Your healthcare system is a mess and it's going to be reformed completely if not dismantled.. Your country is just about bankrupt.. Your Global warming scientists are e-mailing each other that they can't prove the earth is getting warmer.. Why don't you go home now and get back in touch with your own people.

August 01 2010 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Democrats are idiots with trying to pass that bill since BP has already paid more than that and has set up account to pay businesses hurt by the oil spill. The Obama Administration gets a F- grade for his first 2 years as Dictator. If the bill passes I hope BP go bankrupt pays no more money and come back stronger with new name. They have paid billions so far durng the oil spill and Obama trying to squeeze them for more. Obama has to be the biggest idiot on planet side by side with head of Iran.

August 01 2010 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And, why again should there be a cap on liabilities? I don't know about these guys, but when I was growing up I was taught that if you made a mess, you clean it up. There wasn't any of this, "Well, let me get that for you since you're too important" B.S. BP is responsible for this disaster; ergo, BP should cover the entire cost of the cleanup. Individuals are expected to be accountable for their actions; corporations should be, too.

As for the smaller companies being afraid to drill because they couldn't afford to clean up a potential mess...if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you can't afford to be in business, find another one.

August 01 2010 at 5:54 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jennifer's comment

The 75 mill. cap law is 20 yrs old. The new law says no cap. You can bet your sweet bippy the reps are gonna fight this too.

August 01 2010 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There should be no cap on the damages that BP caused. This accident is just like any other accident you are responsible for your actions and any damages that you cause. If any information turns up that says that BP knew about problems and did not correct them, the persons responsible should be held accountable and fines and jail time should be enforced.

August 01 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lmsale123's comment

They already have 20 billion set aside for damages, cleanup and other lawsuits which will come their way, let's hope it is enough.

August 01 2010 at 5:15 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

Who put a cap of 75 million in place anyway? Guess they were never considering amything of the magnitude of the BP disaster.

August 01 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to goringm14's comment

watch and see how many republicans will vote against it they have always been for big oil and business

August 01 2010 at 3:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply