Isakson wants to waive $75M liability cap in BP spill

A Georgia senator is among those in Congress who want BP to foot the bill for damage stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, even if it exceeds a $75 million cap.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., is asking to waive the $75 million cap under the Oil Pollution Act. The measure would also establish the Office of Deepwater Claims Compensation to help people impacted by the spill collect damages, Isakson said.

“What is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is a terrible tragedy, and we should learn everything we can about what went wrong so we can prevent it from happening again,” Isakson said in a statement. “However, there are individuals, businesses and governments affected by the spill who need assistance now.

“BP has pledged to help those who are affected by this devastating spill,” Isakson added. “This legislation will ensure that BP keeps its promises and help provide immediate relief to the victims of this disaster.”

Meanwhile, BP has moved forward with its “Top Kill” effort to pump so-called “heavy kill mud” into the well to reduce pressure and stop the leak, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. However, it could be this weekend before officials know whether that procedure was successful, The Associated Press reported.

On Thursday, President Obama also announced plans to “continue the existing moratorium and suspend the issuance of new permits to drill new deepwater wells for six months” in addition to suspending “action on 33 deepwater exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.” Also, the “planned exploration of two locations off the coast of Alaska” has been canceled in addition to a pair of proposed lease sales, the president said.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x1.swf

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