Menendez calls for liability cap raised on oil companies

JERSEY CITY AND BEYOND — U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) at a Tuesday press conference at Liberty Science Center said he will reintroduce a bill in Congress to remove the $75 million liability cap for oil companies.
Standing in front of one of the center’s aquariums, Menendez said he will reintroduce the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act that he authored last year. The act would raise the liability for oil companies from $75 million to $10 billion. The act was proposed as a result of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April of last year. The explosion led to 11 deaths and billions of dollars of damage to gulf waters from oil gushing out, with the oil company BP held responsible.
His announcement came a short time after a presidential commission studying the oil spill issued its final report. The report cited management failure by BP and other companies operating the oil rig as a key cause for the oil spill.
The act was blocked from a vote by Republicans last year. Menendez said he wanted to reintroduce the act as BP is fighting any future liability for damages with plans for lawsuits.
He said BP is also contesting the estimated amount of damage the spill caused and is looking to make sure they are only responsible for up to $75 million with taxpayers to pay for future costs.
“If you mess up, then you clean up,” Menendez said.
Menendez said to a reporter that despite Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives in the November elections, he believes both houses of Congress will vote on the bill before the year’s end. – Ricardo Kaulessar

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