Reid's Oil Spill Bill Could Spark Another Partisan Battle

Publication: National Journal

07/27/2010 - With comprehensive climate and energy legislation off the table, the Senate is gearing up to battle over oil spill liability measures that could prove divisive when Majority Leader Reid brings legislation to the floor this week.

Reid plans to introduce the Democrats' oil spill package this afternoon, after releasing a statement late Monday indicating CBO needed more time to analyze the bill. Reid had originally planned to release the bill Monday.

Republicans last week introduced substitute legislation with several provisions not expected to be in Reid's bill, including oil drilling revenue-sharing for coastal states and a liability cap set by the president that applied only to new leases.

The liability oil companies incur in the wake of an oil spill has been a major sticking points since Congress began investigating and holding hearings on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Current law sets the liability cap at $75 million, and nearly all lawmakers agree that amount is too low. But the consensus ends there.\


"For coastal communities in the Gulf and Alaska where there are sold leases and potential large impacts to those communities, that's a concern," said Eleanor Huffines, manager of the Pew Environment Group's U.S. Arctic Program.

Read the full article, Reid's Oil Spill Bill Could Spark Another Partisan Battle on the National Journal's Web site.

The Pew Environment Group’s offshore energy reform work is now a part of Pew’s Arctic Ocean Program.  

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