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Inhofe: Menendez Amendment Good for Big Oil?
May 18, 2010

Posted by Matt Dempsey

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The Hill: Inhofe objects to passing increased liability cap for oil companies

By Michael O'Brien


Link to Article

 Inhofe: I agree with Obama on Menendez Amendment

Inhofe: Menendez Amendment Good for Big Oil?

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) stopped Democrats' efforts on Tuesday of passing a measure to increasing oil companies' liability for accidents resulting from offshore drilling.

Inhofe objected to a unanimous consent request by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who took a second stab on Tuesday at passing the bill in an expedited way.

tried Tuesday morning to pass, by unanimous consent, his bill to increase the liability cap for oil companies' offshore drilling accidents to $10 billion, up from the current $75 million cap. 

Inhofe objected, saying that it was important to calibrate the amount by which the cap should be raised, pointing out that President Barack Obama hasn't even yet set a hard figure. Inhofe also said that raising the cap by such a drastic amount would hurt independent oil producers, since all but the largest oil companies could weather such a large liability cap.

The move was the New Jersey senator's second attempt at attaching the provision to the Wall Street reform bill, a provision crafted in response to the massive and continued spill from a BP-leased rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Menendez offered another unanimous consent request - meaning that senators automatically adopt the measure without a formal vote - last week, but he was
met with an objection by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Gulf-state Republican senators
have introduced their own separate legislation, which would also seek to increase the liability cap.


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