President Obama Supports Lifting Liability Cap On Gulf Oil Cleanup

I would think if we don't have money for unemployment benefits, we certainly don't have money to clean up this catastrophe. And yet, I guarantee you t

I would think if we don't have money for unemployment benefits, we certainly don't have money to clean up this catastrophe. And yet, I guarantee you that many of the same politicians who are screaming about the jobless will be more than willing to pay the tab for these

Democrats in Congress and officials in the White House are making yet another major push to pass legislation to make the liability for oil companies involved in damaging spills unlimited.

On Monday evening, the White House confirmed that it favors the most recent piece of legislation that would drop any numerical ceiling to the amount of money an oil company like BP would have to pay for economic damages caused by a spill. Currently, the cap is $75 million.

"The president supports removing caps on liability for oil companies engaged in offshore drilling," said spokesman Ben LaBolt. "Oil companies should have every incentive to maximize safety and arbitrary caps on liability create a disincentive to achieve that goal."

The statement was the most detailed the administration has offered to date with respect to the debate surrounding BP's liability. And it reflects a growing sentiment within the White House that more aggressive action (if not optics) need to be in place to stem the fallout of the Gulf crisis. Several weeks ago, U.S. Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli made the case for an unlimited cap without formally endorsing the policy.

The government, he said before a congressional hearing, needs to "ensure that there is no arbitrary cap on corporate responsibility for a similar major oil spill."

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