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Sen. Murkowski Applauds Progress Toward Sensible Liability Plan


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today welcomed proposals by Alaska colleague Sen. Mark Begich and Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu to increase strict liability for oil companies operating in American waters.

The proposals are similar to legislation Murkowski introduced a month ago that would authorize the President and his administration to set liability limits based on a set of measurable risk factors, such as water depth, a company's safety record, the pressure and size of the reserve.

The Murkowski bill (S.3643) also establishes an industry-funded risk pool to cover any spill costs that exceed the individual liability limits, which will force industry to police itself and guarantees taxpayers never pay a dime in the event of a future spill.

Murkowski, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has worked closely with fellow energy committee member Sen. Landrieu to strengthen liability limits without forcing small and mid-size operators to move their investments and jobs overseas.

The majority abandoned efforts to pass oil spill legislation this week after members of their own caucus objected to liability language that would have cost thousands of American jobs and harmed the nation's energy security.

Murkowski is committed to resuming work on sensible oil spill legislation when the Senate returns in September. Murkowski believes a bipartisan compromise on liability is possible if the Democratic leadership is willing to allow an open and transparent amendment process.

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