The White House is sending a comprehensive legislative proposal to Capital Hill that is designed to help abate the economic, climate and even nutritional impact of the massive oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
On Wednesday, administration officials unveiled a bill that will provide funding for further safety inspections at oil rigs, granted unemployment assistance for those hurt or displaced by the spill, gave money for environmental studies related to the oil damage in the Gulf and even expanded nutritional assistance to those affected.
The flashiest element of the legislation, however, and the one that sparked the most questions, included a provision to raise the liability of oil companies responsible for catastrophic spills. In a fact sheet sent to reporters, the administration called for a raise in “the statutory expenditure limitation for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund from $1 billion to $1.5 billion.” This, in short, would provide more money to handle the immediate coasts of coping with a spill disaster.
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