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US Congress looks at spill-liability limits

COSTS associated with BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have already risen to more than $6bn, including over $300m to compensate people and businesses adversely affected by the incident

The company has agreed to pay all legitimate damages claims; however, its legal obligation is limited to only $75m, and legislators are concerned that if another catastrophic spill occurs, the perpetrator might not be as willing, or able, to pick up the entire tab. The Macondo well blowout on 20 April killed 11 people on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and sent nearly 5m barrels of crude oil spewing into the sea, creating the worst environmental disaster in US history. Since then, some lawmakers have been eager to revisit the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, passed in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil leak offshore Alaska, which established the ceiling on damages that companies operating offsho

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