Who set the 75 million limit on oil company liability?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by uscitizen, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Who, when, etc set the 75 million liability limit on oil companies in the first place?

    A part of tort reform?
     
  2. txlonghorn
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    txlonghorn Senior Member

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    Under the law that established the...Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, the operators of the offshore rig face no more than $75 million in liability for the damages that might be claimed by individuals, companies or the government, although they are responsible for the cost of containing and cleaning up the spill.

    The fund was set up by Congress in 1986 but not financed until after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska in 1989. In exchange for the limits on liability, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 imposed a tax on oil companies, currently 8 cents for every barrel they produce in this country or import.
     
  3. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Well that worked out really well didn't it?
    What would have been the public outcry had BP stuck to that limit?
    And who would it have come from?
     
  4. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    I believe that liability limit is only for the clean up expenses, and BP has publicly committed to that. It does not limit damages or tort liability, and state laws still apply to the spill that are not capped by this fund.
     
  5. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    I am not sure what the cap was set up to limit.
    That is why I posted the question.

    I do wonder why no screaming from either side on this though.....

    Seemingly the cap law is still in place and can be claimed by the next oil spiller though?
    It appears that BP has "volunteered" to pay more than the cap.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  6. txlonghorn
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    txlonghorn Senior Member

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    I think they are wise enough to know that if they don't step up to the plate on this, they will become a casualty of the Gulf War....
     
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  7. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Good thought, it does seem to be turining into a politically fought gulf war.

    But apply my scenario to a later spill with some other company.

    Massive spill but they invoke the 75 mill cap. Who screams and who recommends that the govt pay for the rest of the cleanup and damages?
    Will not this liability cap mean future debt funded govt bailouts in big oil spills?

    Do you suppose that fear of the law going away was why BP stepped up to the plate?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  8. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    I know this is blasphemy, but could it be possible that they actually care about their image?
     
  9. ba1614
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    ba1614 Silver Member

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    Well apparently they do care about the "small people"!
     
  10. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    How much are they being asked to put aside as restitution for damages? Was it $20 Billion?

    I wonder if that's nearly enough given the overall cost to the economy due to environmental damage.

    Still, beats the hell out of $75 million, doesn't it?
     

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