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U.S. Senate committee votes to eliminate cap on oil spill liability

07-01-2010 10:38 BJT

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday voted to eliminate a cap on damage claims that oil companies would have to pay for disasters like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 would set unlimited financial liability for offshore oil drillers.

The Committee approved the measure by voice vote and sent it to the full Senate. The change, if approved and made law, would apply retroactively to BP's massive Gulf of Mexico spill.

Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 introduced after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster in Alaska in 1989, oil companies are bound by law to pay for the full clean-up and containment costs of any oil seeping from their facilities after an accident. But the legislation caps the damage for which the firm is liable at 75 million dollars unless the company is guilty of "gross negligence."

That is widely regarded on Capitol Hill as too low. U.S. President Barack Obama also supports raising the ceiling.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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