Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today voiced his approval for Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act’s inclusion of a measure he originally introduced as HR 5355 that removes the financial liability cap for parties responsible for offshore oil spills. The bill was approved yesterday by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“I will continue to review the overall bill, but I find it encouraging that this important element is included,” Grijalva said. “Holding liable parties fully financially accountable is the best way to ensure corporate responsibility.” Movement on HR 5629 follows several committee hearings on the issue.
In a recent editorial, Grijalva pointed out, “BP will pay for the Gulf cleanup, which some experts estimate could cost as much as $14 billion. The effort will take years. But the damage done extends far beyond the environment. Fisherman cannot fish. Tourists are not visiting the hotels or beaches. Restaurants and other small businesses are losing customers left and right, and the tide of oil shows no signs of stopping. The economic life of the Gulf has been devastated. Yet the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 limits the liability of parties responsible for offshore oil spills to cleanup costs, plus $75 million in economic damages. $75 million will not even scratch the surface of the long-term economic damages that Horizon has wrought.”
Grijalva said he intends “to follow this current bill’s progress to ensure that we do all we can to hold oil companies liable for their mistakes as well as reward them when things are going well.”