Sarah Palin may have competition for the worst politician in Alaska. Meet Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski: She single-handedly blocked a measure to raise the amount of money oil companies are liable for in an oil spill.
Her state may still be feeling the latent effects of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. And the Mexican gulf may be filling up with spilled oil from the BP leak. But Murkowski decided to take a brave stand for the under-represented interests of Big Oil. The timing for a measure to raise the cap on liability from $75 million to $10 billion is off, she says:
I don't believe that taking the liability cap from $75 million dollars to $10 billion dollars… 133 times the current strict liability limit, isn't where we need to be right now...
Update: Commenter Brad Brown points out that Murkowski's top donors are Constellation Energy, Edison Chouest Offshore, Van Ness Feldman (a legal and lobbying firm that specializes in energy) and Exxon Mobil.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he'll try and get the measure past Murkowski again soon. Unrelated: the amount of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico is far greater than official estimates suggest, according to an NPR analysis. Experts analyzed video that BP released Wednesday. Their findings suggest the spill has already surpassed the 250,000 barrels of the Exxon Valdez.