Landrieu Oil-Spill Liability Bill May Force All Companies to Pay

Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, plans to introduce legislation next week that would increase liability in a Gulf of Mexico oil spill and may make all drilling companies share costs of potential damage.

Landrieu’s legislation would create three categories of liability. The company responsible for the spill would pay as much as $250 million, and additional costs as high as $10 billion would be covered by a mutual insurance fund supported by companies in the Gulf. Damages exceeding $10 billion would be paid by the responsible party, Taylor Henry, Landrieu’s spokesman, said in an e-mail today.

Congress should increase the financial responsibility of drilling companies significantly, to make sure that producers and not taxpayers pick the bill for catastrophes similar to April Macondo blowout, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill said in a report Jan. 11.

An effort to lift the existing $75 million cap failed in Congress last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Houston at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

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