Gulf Disaster

Senator Blocks New Oil-Spill Liabilities

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is mostly known these days for putting holds on federal appointments, but it turns out that blocking President Obama’s agenda isn’t the only thing on his plate: On Tuesday, Inhofe blocked a proposal to raise the liability cap on oil spills for energy companies from $75 million to $10 billion. Inhofe, like Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who blocked the proposal last week, argues that such a move would hurt smaller oil companies. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, meanwhile, wants to eliminate a cap on liabilities altogether, while Obama warned that Republican obstruction “threatens to leave taxpayers, rather than the oil companies, on the hook for future disasters like the BP oil spill.”