The British Petroleum spill in the Gulf of Mexico could cost $8 billion to clean up, but under federal law BP's financial responsibility for the problem is capped at $75 million.
Which is an obvious problem that needs some fixing, and today Washington Sen. Patty Murray is signing on as a co-sponsor to a measure, originally put forward by Sen Robert Menendez (D-NJ), that would raise that liability cap to $10 billion.
In a statement announcing the move, Murray said:
Washington state taxpayers should never be left holding the bag for oil companies’ environmental and economic disasters. This is a simple issue of fairness—if an oil company causes a spill, they should have to pay to clean it up. This issue hits close to home for families in the Northwest who saw first-hand the devastation caused by the Exxon Valdez disaster and the long battle over cleanup costs.
She also noted that the BP spill—which the company has suggested it will pay for, though it's not clear up to what dollar amount—came right after BP announced its quarterly profit had shot up to $6 billion.