Sen. Nelson marks 3rd anniversary of BP oil spill - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Sen. Nelson marks 3rd anniversary of BP oil spill

Posted: Updated:
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson & Rep. Kathy Castor announce oil spill bill U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson & Rep. Kathy Castor announce oil spill bill
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

Saturday marks the three-year anniversary of the BP oil spill. It was one of the biggest man-made environmental disasters in US history.

US Senator Bill Nelson wants to make sure oil companies are liable if a spill happens again.

On April 20th, 2010, an explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig led to an ecological crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.  Scientists say 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf over the course of a couple of months.  As crews battled to stop the gushing spill, officials say two million gallons of dispersant were also used in the Gulf waters.

Along with environmental damages, millions of people working in tourism and other industries were impacted across the coast, and oil giant BP was held responsible.

Senator Bill Nelson said, "On the occasion of this third anniversary, we want to remind our people that the fight is just beginning."

Sen. Nelson is co-sponsoring a bill that would make oil companies completely liable for future spills. He made the announcement in St. Petersburg alongside Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

The legislation authored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is called the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Unlimited Liability Act.

Nelson says under current law, an oil company is only liable for cleanup costs, plus an additional $75 million dollars.

"The limits of liability would completely deplete our people's ability to try to find recompense," said Nelson.  He says the BP spill showed the money required under current law is not enough.

The oil giant has already doled out at least $10 billion dollars for cleanup and individual claims. An official at Nelson's office said BP waived the $75 million dollar cap.

The senator says this bill was pushed through Congress before, but it failed in the face of lobbying efforts.

"The oil companies are trying to run from the fight. They can run but they can't hide," said Nelson.

In the meantime, scientists say Gulf seafood is safe to eat, but there is a lot we don't know about the long term effects of this oil spill.

Dr. Robert Hueter with Mote Marine Laboratory said, "It's no doubt that it will take decades for us to understand the trauma our gulf has suffered."

Hueter said the 2010 oil spill was twenty times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, and it took four years for the impacts from the Exxon Valdez spill to show.

Ultimately, we don't know what the final cost of damages will be.  Senator Nelson hopes oil companies will be responsible for every dime in the future.

The bill will be formally filed next week.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @WFLATAMPA

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Bay area home security customers continue to complain they were mislead

    Bay area home security customers continue to complain they were mislead

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:54 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:54:28 GMT
    Bay area homeowners continue to complain of door-to-door salesman from Vision Security.
    Bay area homeowners continue to complain of door-to-door salesman from Vision Security.
  • Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Pinellas front desk school staff trained to handle medical needs at some schools

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:15:59 GMT
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
    Penny Perez, of St. Petersburg, worries every time she sends her 11-year-old son, Keith, to school. Keith has a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. He is developmentally delayed, and if his blood pressure is too high for an extended period of time, his heart could stop.
  • Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Venice man says he has melting dashboard in his Toyota Camry

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-08-26 21:01:38 GMT
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
    Kayser Sayeg doesn't allow his wife to drive her 2008 Toyota Camry on long distances.In the hot Florida sun, the dashboard melts and becomes incredibly sticky.Aside from being a nuisance to clean, it causes a glare in the windshield, sometimes making it difficult to drive
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa Bay 'Ice Bucket Challenge' donations are changing lives

    Tampa Bay 'Ice Bucket Challenge' donations are changing lives

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:07 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:07:40 GMT
    The videos are filling up social media. Our friends and national celebrities all seem to be taking the "Ice Bucket Challenge".
    The videos are filling up social media. Our friends and national celebrities all seem to be taking the "Ice Bucket Challenge".
  • Medical marijuana plant planned for Polk County

    Medical marijuana plant planned for Polk County

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:05:02 GMT
    A proposed medical marijuana manufacturing facility is creating quite the 'buzz' in Polk County.
    A proposed medical marijuana manufacturing facility is creating quite the 'buzz' in Polk County.
  • Mother manatee and calf rescued in Clearwater

    Mother manatee and calf rescued in Clearwater

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:47:47 GMT
    Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute FacebookPhoto: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Facebook
    A mother manatee and her dependent calf were successfully rescued at Allen Creek in Clearwater Tuesday thanks to a joint effort by FWC and Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff.
    A mother manatee and her dependent calf were successfully rescued at Allen Creek in Clearwater Tuesday thanks to a joint effort by FWC and Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.