Lisa Murkowski, caring nurturer, last February:
I think that’s been Exxon’s strategy every step of the way. To wear everybody down. They succeeded in fatiguing those who were entitled to this compensation.
…Robert Menendez sought unanimous consent for the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act of 2010, which would raise the liability cap on oil spills from $75 million up to $10 billion. And it would have surely passed. Big Oil needed one Senator to raise an objection and fend off those who want fair compensation for people unwittingly affected by the underwater gusher in the Gulf and other disasters in the future. And they found her in Lisa Murkowski: amazingly, the Senator from Alaska, the site of the last major oil spill in America, the Exxon Valdez disaster.
“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,” Murkowski said, objecting to immediate consideration of the bill.
Poor Lisa Murkowski. On the one hand, she doesn’t like the big bad oil companies taking advantage of Alaska’s simple fisherfolk. On the other hand, she doesn’t want Alaska’s big bad fisherfolk taking advantage of the simple oil companies either. Is it possible for a Senator to care too much?
(Gawker rather churlishly points out that Murkowski’s top four campaign donors are three energy companies and an energy lobbyist, but I’m sure her concern for the oil industry is motivated solely by her extra-big heart and superhuman compassion for every living thing.)