Washington, DC-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released the following statement in response to the unanimous consent request by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to bypass the EPW Committee and consider his amendment to the Oil Pollution Act on the Senate floor:
"I've been clear from the beginning of the Gulf tragedy: BP as the responsible party should pay for the cleanup, whatever the costs," Senator Inhofe said. "As for the question of liability limits under the Oil Pollution Act, they are too low and need to be raised. But we need to be thoughtful in deciding the appropriate limits. As numerous experts have testified, the Menendez bill gives a huge economic advantage to BP and state-owned oil companies, such as China's National Offshore Oil Corporation, as it would push smaller independent producers out of the Gulf. That means fewer jobs for Americans and more dependence on foreign oil. Surely we can devise a balanced approach that holds oil companies accountable without putting jobs and America's energy security at risk."