Friday, May 14, 2010

Senator Gillibrand: No Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts for Big Oil Companies

As BP continues to work to stop and clean up a series of leaks spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is joining with her Senate colleagues urging swift passage of legislation to prevent any taxpayer-funded bailouts for Big Oil and energy companies.

“After reaping record profits year after year, Big Oil companies should pay for all the damage they have caused in the Gulf,” Senator Gillibrand said. “As we work to establish a new, clean energy policy that creates American jobs by producing homegrown energy and frees us from the grip of hostile nations, this legislation will make sure that no taxpayer, here in New York or anywhere in America, will be left with the bill for cleaning up after any Big Oil company.”

Senator Gillibrand is joining with Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) writing to Senate leadership and relevant committee leaders urging quick adoption of the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Legislative Package.

Among the measures in the package is a proposal (S. 3305) to raise the responsible party cap on liability for economic damages from spills from $75 million to $10 billion, which it has been referred to the Environment and Public Works Committee. The other portion (S. 3306) would remove the $1 billion “per incident” limit on total claims against the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund safety net, which has been referred to the Finance Committee.

The Senators’ full letter to Senate and committee leadership is available here.