Florida Congressman David Rivera has filed a bill that seeks to hold the owner or operator of a foreign offshore drilling unit liable for the cost of cleanup in the event of a spill that affects American waters.
The Foreign Oil Liability Act of 2011 would amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 that uses money from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to pay for the costs of cleanup of any foreign spill that pollutes U.S. waters or shores, according to the State Column. The trust fund cap, however is limited to $1 billion per incident.
Rivera said foreign oil spills have the potential to cause severe damage to the U.S. economy.
“While the responsible party is held liable for American-sourced oil spills, there is a much lower level of responsibility for foreign-sourced spills,” Rivera added. “American taxpayers and state governments should not be footing the bill for cleanup and compensation costs from a foreign oil spill.”
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Rivera’s bill comes on the heels of a letter sent by lawmakers to President Barack Obama over their concerns over deepwater drilling in Cuban waters.