Republican Senator applauds liability cap hearing

Murkowski is co-sponsoring legislation to raise taxes on the oil industry and increase to $10 billion the amount of money in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to help pay for offshore spills. 

Other legislation she is considering would:

• Allow the Treasury to temporarily provide the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund if claims exceed the $1.6 billion total that would be repaid by a fee on oil companies. 

• Increase the $1 billion per incident cap on claims from the trust fund. 

• Double the $500 million cap to $1 billion on natural resources damages. 

• Establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the cause of the Deepwater Horizon spill and recommend worker safety and environmental laws to "improve domestic energy security." 

• Expand research and development of U.S. Coast Guard spill response capability.

• Require Senate confirmation of Mineral Management Service directors.