KTUU (NBC): Murkowski proposes bill targeting offshore drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Congress was flooded with bills Tuesday in response to the Gulf disaster.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has proposed a bill that covers a lot of territory.

Mukowski's bill is called "The Oil Spill Compensation Act of 2010." The bill aims to give the president, congress and the coast guard more authority and more tools to compensate victims.

The proposed legislation would allow the president to set liability when a lease is awarded.

A company's rate would depend on its safety record, as well as the depth and pressure of the reserve.

There's also a safety net should claims exceed the cap. All offshore operators would have to share responsibility for paying that claim.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund would also increase from $1.6 billion to $10 billion.

To pay for this, oil industry fees would be raised to $0.21 cents a barrel for oil produced or imported to the United States.

Some of that money would go to the Coast Guard to research new technology to better respond to spills.

Murkowski admits her bill is a lot to digest, but says the legislation needs to do more than just target BP.

"And it is very emotional. It absolutely is. But we need to insure that policies that we're going to put in place today long outlast the devastation unfolded on a daily basis," said Murkowski.

To expedite compensation, the bill sets up a claims administrator to be appointed by the president. Some other long range policies proposed in the bill include restrictions on oil transportation in the arctic to oil pipelines and giving states with offshore development a cut of federal revenues of about 38 percent.

According to Murkowski, it's important to look ahead, as well as address the current disaster and it is important to address offshore development on a case-by-case basis.

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Source: By Rhonda McBride. Published June 15, 2010