Tags: US | Gulf | Oil | Spill | Liability

Obama Wants Oil Industry to Pay More to Clean Up Spills

Wednesday, 12 May 2010 11:38 AM

The White House moved Wednesday to boost funding for the clean-up of oil spills by hiking taxes on oil companies and raising the cap on a special liability fund.

The White House unveiled a proposal to boost taxes that oil companies pay into the oil spill liability fund from eight cents a barrel to nine starting this year.

And it also proposed that the cap on the fund — set up to ensure cash is available to help pay for any clean-ups and damage caused by an oil spill — be raised from $1 billion dollars to $1.5 billion.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that the Coast Guard and other responders can get access to the funds they need without having to wait for the appropriations process," said Jeff Liebman, acting deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget.

The White House also wants to raise a separate cap on the liability for individual responsible parties in an oil spill, but officials said they would negotiate that new figure with lawmakers.

"We think its important to work with Congress on what exactly that number will be," said Carol Browner, a presidential assistant on energy and climate change.

The legislation was drafted as crews struggle to contain a massive oil spill leaking from the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded last month.

Thousands of barrels of oil have flowed into the sea since then, forcing authorities to close fishing areas and sending crews scrambling to protect delicate wetlands.

The bill seeks to protect those who livelihoods are affected by the oil spill, and also to increase environmental and food inspections.

Fishermen and others, including self-employed workers, who might not qualify for regular unemployment benefits will be able to seek up to 26 weeks of unemployment assistance, White House officials said.

"We will clear statutory roadblocks and feed assistance to those affected by the oil spill," Browner said.

The bill also contains funding for the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to step up testing to detect any contamination of seafood or the local environment.

Liebman estimated the total discretionary cost of the bill at 118 million and said the administration expects the majority of that cost to be paid for by British Petroleum, which leased the Deepwater platform.

© AFP 2017

 
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The White House moved Wednesday to boost funding for the clean-up of oil spills by hiking taxes on oil companies and raising the cap on a special liability fund. The White House unveiled a proposal to boost taxes that oil companies pay into the oil spill liability fund...
US,Gulf,Oil,Spill,Liability
385
2010-38-12
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 11:38 AM
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