Fla. lawmakers move polluter-pay oil bill

Foreign companies would foot the spill bill on U.S. coasts.

By Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- With reserves on tap in Latin America, two Florida congressmen introduced a bill that would force companies to pay for oil cleanup on U.S. soil.

"Our coastal communities need peace of mind that if they are impacted by a foreign spill, resources are available to clean up their shores and help them recover," Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., said in a statement. "American taxpayers should not have to foot the bill to bail out the mistakes of foreign companies."


Curbelo and his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Patrick Murphy, introduced the Foreign Spill Protection Act, which would ensure any party responsible for an oil spill would cover cleanup costs should contamination reach U.S. territory.

The congressman noted that, in 2012, Mexican regulators said they didn't have effective plans in place to deal with an offshore oil spill. With diplomatic doors opening to Cuba, they said concerns were evolving as Havana reviews its offshore oil potential.

A delegation from the U.S. National Oil Spill Commission visited Cuba in 2011 to examine Havana's oil plans.

Cuba at the time was looking into cutting the amount of oil it imports from Venezuela through development of offshore reserves.


In February, a group of 21 U.S. senators called on the Commerce Department to liberalize trade relations and allow for greater crude oil trade with Mexico.

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