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Articles by Rep. Rush Holt

Rep. Rush Holt (N.J.-12) is the vice chair of the House of Representatives Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC).

Featured Article

The tragic oil spill in the Gulf has led me to look at the Oil Pollution Act, which Congress passed in 1990 in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill. It’s apparent that the liability limit set in that legislation, $75 million, is laughably small.

With estimates that the oil spill off the Gulf Coast may be the costliest in American history — far more than $75 million, when you factor in lost business revenues from fishing and tourism, natural resources damages, and lost local tax revenues — I have introduced legislation, the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act, to raise the liability cap to $10 billion.

The White House and congressional leadership support the legislation, which I introduced with more than 20 cosponsors, including Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), and which Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced in the Senate.

While BP has said it will cover “all necessary and appropriate cleanup costs,” the impact of the spill goes beyond cleanup. Companies like BP should pay not just for cleanup costs, but the economic damages resulting from the mess they caused.

At this point,... Read more