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Oil Spills: Cost of Major Spills May Impact Viability of Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund: Congressional Testimony
Susan A. Fleming
On April 20, 2010, an explosion at the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon resulted in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill's total cost is unknown, but may result in considerable costs to the private sector, as well as federal, state, and local governments. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) set up a system that places the liability -- up to specified limits -- on the responsible party. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (Fund), administered by the Coast Guard, pays for costs not paid for by the responsible party. This testimony focuses on: (1) how oil spills are paid for; (2) the factors that affect major oil spill costs; and (3) implications of major oil spill costs for the Fund. Charts and tables.
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