NC legislators seek to remove cap on oil spill damages
RALEIGH, North Carolina: The House Environmental Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow the state to collect unlimited damages in the event of an oil spill or other hazardous materials in the state's waters. Currently the cap, set in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez disaster, is at $75 million, mirroring the federal government's cap. The bill would also require a review of offshore drilling permit requirements and the state's plan for handling an oil spill.
Bill Weatherspoon, executive director of the N.C. Petroleum Council, argues that the bill would force businesses to leave or avoid the state, and warned of unintended consequences. The bill now goes to a House Judiciary Committee. So far no oil from the BP Gulf spill has reached North Carolina shores.