May 25th, 2010
02:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Cap on oil spill damages under fire

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="Lawmakers tore in to administration officials Tuesday, saying the law that may limit BP's liability for economic damages to $75 million needs to be changed retroactively."]New York ( - Lawmakers tore in to administration officials Tuesday, saying the law that may limit BP's liability for economic damages to $75 million needs to be changed retroactively.

"A year from now the TV cameras will not be there, and some fisherman will go try to get damages from BP, a multibillion dollar company," Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. "He won't stand a chance."

Representatives from the Obama administration said they support eliminating the cap on liabilities for large operations, but do not feel it's needed retroactively.

BP's public comments that it will not seek protection under the cap, plus the uncertainty that the cap would apply in the BP case anyway, makes a retroactive change unnecessary, the administration said.

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Filed under: Energy
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Suckers

    I'm going to Vegas...

    I'm going to play Black Jack at the table maximum of $50,000 per hand for each of three spots. If the cards fall my way, I'll double down and split my bets. I'll make a ton of money.

    If the cards don't fall my way, my out of pocket losses will be limited to $75,000.

    How many of you would like to have that arrangement in a casino ????

    That is effectively what BRITISH PETROLEUM has in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of America.

    May 25, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Larry

    Big oil rips off consumers for billions of dollars every year.

    Pay up BP!

    May 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. tpbco

    Particularly since Ex Post Facto is illegal in this country.

    But with this administraion, you never know.

    May 25, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Aaron

    Of course BP won't try to use the liabilities cap under the current law....unless their current ploy of getting liability even lower than $75 million by getting all litigation moved to oil company-friendly Texas doesn't work. There's a minute probability that current strategy won't work. But, we'll pay for any damages at the pump regardless. Can't have their bottom line showing any decreased profits.

    May 25, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Greg Pottstown PA

    If bush took this stance we would have a mob outside the WH right now.

    May 25, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Obama White House Leaking Oil As badly as BP

    The Obama White House is playing a role the same as most ordinary Americans when it comes to the worst man made disaster in our history – they are bystanders doing nothing.

    BP is killing the live feed duing the top kill and it is criminal. – tome fpr US forces to force the issue and keep the feed live
    BP ignoring the warnings of the EPA on the dispersant is criminal – time to arrest a few BP folks
    Not using the 1000 or so other products on the market is criminal
    The Army Corp of engineers sitting on applications for Louisiana to build barriers to protect the wetlands and marshes is criminal – The State should get guns and let its citizens build those barriers themselves and shoot the first Army guy that tries to stop them
    Not already passing a retro law on the $75 million liability cap is criminal – the GOP should bring that to a floor vote TODAY
    Allowing BP to operate any other active well in the gulf while this is going on is criminal – send the troops to the platforms and seize them
    Obama not calling up DOD and putting the National Guard on the beaches to build man made barriers is criminal

    Obama is doing nothing. His departments are doing nothing. DOD is doing nothing. This is sheer imcompetence.

    The livelihood of millions is being destroyed by the hour. The breeding grounds for millions upon millions of animals is being poisoned.

    And as the deadly plume creeps towards Florida – and then the Keys – and them up the East Coast – Obama will be doing nothing.

    The oil spill is like the AZ immigration law – an opportunity for Obama to gransdtand and make political points - this is utterly disgraceful. Mr president, it is 3 AM and the red line in your office is ringing off the hook – who will answer the call?

    May 25, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. grrace

    BP's comment that it will pay up outside the "cap" cannot be trusted. They'll say anything, as in "sweet talk," hoping to escape criminal prosecution. There should be NO CAP on liability. One way to address the cap, is simply, stop issuing permits for offshore drilling, and recind all current permits. STOP DRILLING IN THE OCEAN. Seafood and oil don't mix.

    May 25, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Ryan

    Boycott BP stations. BP brands to boycott include Castrol, Arco, Aral, am/pm, Amoco, and Wild Bean Cafe, Safeway gas.

    May 25, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Dan

    Has the government turned a blind eye toward BP. I believe that BP should be responsible for ALL of the costs no matter how large they might be.They should be made to pay all of the costs including cleanup. There should be no sweetheart deals here folks. If they are put out of business so be it. They will no doubt put a lot of hard working folks out of business in the spill ares and my friends what will Washington do to help thesee poor folks out.

    May 25, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Maria H-Miami

    Is that supposed to make us all feel better of this catastrophe? What a joke. This is so typical of our federal government to ignore us the people and favor the big guys.

    May 25, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Tulsa

    BP, Trans Ocean, Halliburton...... they need to pay for ALL OF THIS.

    No taxpayer dollars for cleaning up their mess. No taxpayer dollars to help the families and businesses who have been ruined by their greed and refusal to adequately safeguard the well.

    NONE. Rand Paul might not like it, but keep the boot on their throats and make sure they do not get a pass on any portion of the bill.

    May 25, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Mike

    Hey liberal morons, it is illegal to pass a law to fix something that has already happened.

    May 25, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |