WASHINGTON — One year after a disastrous months-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Congress remains mired in disagreement over how much money victims of future catastrophes should be granted to cover the economic damages they incur.
Legislation to raise oil companies’ spill liability cap from $75 million to $10 billion — or even to make it unlimited — has stalled, with few clear options for passage. Senior aides on Capitol Hill say that “there are on-going negotiations” on how to proceed. But at this juncture, the political world has all but moved on.
At a Monday briefing, White House Press Sec. Jay Carney touted new safety and environmental standards that the administration has instituted for oil companies that want to do deepwater drilling. But when pressed on whether the president was comfortable with the fact that, since the BP crisis, 10 permits had been granted for offshore drilling with nary a change in the liability limits those companies are responsible for, he had little to say.