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house Bill H.R. 468

Do Oil Companies Responsible for Spills That Damage U.S. Waters Need to be Held Liable?

Argument in favor

Owners and operators of companies responsible for oil spills should be liable for the damages they cause in U.S. territory even if the spill originates in foreign waters. This is a commonsense fix that keeps taxpayers off the hook for recovery costs.

Pamela 's Opinion
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09/02/2017
Yes. Who else would be held responsible if not the one that caused it???
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OlderNWiser's Opinion
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09/02/2017
Oil companies have been poisoning our water, earth, and air with impunity. They have destroyed livelihood and lives. Their obscene profits have been held above the value of the lives of animals and people regularly. Rex Tillerson covered up Exxon's harms in the way of the cigarette industry without consequence unless being rewarded with a Cabinet job is a consequence. Yes, of course oil companies need to be responsible. We must stop being a corporatocracy catering only to oligarchs. Now.
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Dan's Opinion
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09/02/2017
Assuming I understand this correctly: How did foreign entities ever get EXCUSED in the first place from full liability for their damage to USA? I can imagine cases where their existing $1B of insurance would not be enough to repair damages. Also, doesn't this work both ways - aren't US companies fully liable for damage caused to other countries? Thankfully someday we'll all be using less oil and more alternatives.
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Argument opposed

Current law offers up to $1 billion in financial protection for states, communities, and businesses that might be negatively impacted by an oil spill that occurs in foreign territory but affects U.S. waters. That’s enough cover, so this bill isn’t necessary.

Barbara's Opinion
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09/03/2017
Only if they are negligent in someway or could have anticipated this happening.
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Judy's Opinion
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09/02/2017
It is only fair, OIL companies mess up our oceans, rivers and estuaries, then seafood not edible! They dump multiple toxins also. WATER IS LIFE
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GatewayJohn's Opinion
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09/02/2017
This bill is to nationalized ideally an international entity should be able to enforce liability for any polluting industry
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
      Water Resources and Environment
    IntroducedJanuary 12th, 2017

Bill Activity

  • action
    Introduced in House
  • referral
    Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • referral
    Referred to the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.
  • referral
    Referred to the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation
      Water Resources and Environment
    IntroducedJanuary 12th, 2017
    Yes. Who else would be held responsible if not the one that caused it???
    Like (237)
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    Oil companies have been poisoning our water, earth, and air with impunity. They have destroyed livelihood and lives. Their obscene profits have been held above the value of the lives of animals and people regularly. Rex Tillerson covered up Exxon's harms in the way of the cigarette industry without consequence unless being rewarded with a Cabinet job is a consequence. Yes, of course oil companies need to be responsible. We must stop being a corporatocracy catering only to oligarchs. Now.
    Like (168)
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    Assuming I understand this correctly: How did foreign entities ever get EXCUSED in the first place from full liability for their damage to USA? I can imagine cases where their existing $1B of insurance would not be enough to repair damages. Also, doesn't this work both ways - aren't US companies fully liable for damage caused to other countries? Thankfully someday we'll all be using less oil and more alternatives.
    Like (105)
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    It is a lesson from the play ground: you break it, you fix it. Simple, personal responsibility.
    Like (94)
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    Yes and let's make sure they are billed for the entire long term economic and environmental costs. Stop corporate welfare.
    Like (73)
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    $1 billion looks like chicken scratch when we look at the damage caused by the fossil fuels industry in Houston today. And what about the chemical industry, shouldn't they need to pay too? Everyone thinks it's ok to release poisonous/noxious gases while refusing to say what's in them so we have no idea what short or long term effects there will be. Of course Oil and gas and chemical and God forbid the biological installation should be required to pay for all clean up of damage directly or indirectly caused by them.
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    Oil companies should always be responsible for clean up, wherever the spill originates.
    Like (39)
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    Yes. The big oil companies have had a very favorable business environment with most countries including the US. Their monitory influence not only gave them leeway with the environment but also gave them many representatives in any governmental body whether it was local, state or federal. The over welding amount of money held by so few has enabled the oil industry to mold governments to their will. A prime example of an industries over extension of influence is the cigarette manufacturers. Today we readily recognize the harm caused by cigarettes. It took decades to finally reach a critical mass before something gradually was begun to curb the propaganda generated by the cigarette industry. The oil companies are doing the same thing only they are much more clever and have infinitely deeper pockets. Their propaganda has convince millions that they have no responsibility for acceleration of the change in our environment. The oil companies have been using the cigarette industries play book for many years their are just better at it. The old adage "Fool us once shame on you but fool us twice shame on us" applies here. We've seen this before we should be wiser. The shame is on us and we should hold the oil companies responsible for damage done if it ends up hitting our shores.
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    Of course they do! And they should be made to pay for cleanup without raising rates to pass on the expense.
    Like (26)
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    Children have to clean up their own messes - why shouldn't oil companies?
    Like (22)
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    The company's and the Republicans need to be held responsible for the deregulation that has allowed unsafe practices that have caused the resent spills and fires in Texas
    Like (19)
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    Yes, of course oil companies should be 100% responsible for cleaning up their oil spills no matter where they happen. They should also have to pay the community for any damages (lost wages, lost business, etc) incurred due to the spill. In addition, we need to enact strong regulations designed to prevent spills in the first place, and move as quickly as possible away from the use of fossil fuels to renewable, environmentally safe sources of energy like wind and solar. All of this is common sense.
    Like (17)
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    Yes! That's free market environmentalism. Taxpayers shouldn't pick up the tab for the mess caused by private entities.
    Like (16)
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    Why wouldn't they be? Companies need to be held responsible for problems they cause.
    Like (15)
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    How is this even a debatable question?
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    Absolutely!!!!!!!!!
    Like (12)
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    If you crash into a telephone pole you are charged with replacement of the pole. Drop your Starbucks coffee and you have to buy more coffee. But Crash an ecosystem and suddenly there's no consequence?Consequences for mistakes are apart of life and should be equitable to the damage done by the mistake. An oil company held liable for an oversight is the price of admission for the big success being an oil company brings about.
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    Oh hell yeah. Whenever and wherever, they must be held accountable snd they must pay for all cleanup AND restoration costs.
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    I honestly can't even believe this is in question.
    Like (6)
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    Yes all companies and their executives shall be held responsible for any negative impacts to the environment, wildlife, people or physical property. The politicians that supported their unethical practices that may have led to their catastrophic event, or caused harm to the above mentioned entities, shall also be held accountable, including to the extent of paying for costs burdens pushed off on tax payers, losing their jobs and associated benefits and also to serve prison time, in the case of willful negligence and unethical acts.
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