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Sen. Murkowski calls on Senate to consider her legislation in support of the victims of the Gulf spill

Improve Offshore Spill Response and Streamline Compensation Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today urged the Senate to take up legislation she introduced in May that would speed up payments to the victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

"The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has exposed many inadequacies in the system and this bill directly and aggressively goes after them," Murkowski said. "It holds individual oil companies and the industry as a whole accountable for spills, it fairly and quickly compensates victims of those spills, it provides coastal states like Alaska and Louisiana with a fair share of offshore oil and gas revenues, and it brings oil spill readiness into the 21st century."

Murkowski has prepared additional measures to strengthen her initial legislation, which she plans to introduce next week, including raising the liability cap on oil companies operating offshore, establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the causes of the Deepwater Horizon spill and providing coastal states with a fair share of the revenue from offshore development.  

Murkowski's legislation would, among other things:
  • Compensate those affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill in a fair and expeditious manner by establishing an streamlined administrative claims process in place of litigation;
  • Establish a strong, credible bipartisan commission to investigate the Deepwater Horizon incident and make additional policy recommendations moving forward;
  • Issue rational guidelines and criteria for the administrative assignment of strict liability limits for economic damages for various operations on the outer Continental Shelf, while establishing strong financial incentive for individual companies to police one another;
  • Restore and strengthen the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to a total of $10 billion and provide key additional flexibilities for the fund to quickly disburse in emergencies;
  • Provide major additional funding and authority for the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct research and development for oil spill containment and response technology and capacity;
  • Restrict oil transportation in Arctic waters to pipelines rather than tankers;
  • Acknowledge the clear and present risks and impacts to coastal states which elect to participate in oil and gas development off of their shores by directing 37.5 percent of outer continental shelf oil and gas revenues to states and affected communities.
Murkowski is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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