The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted Wednesday to remove the cap on a producer’s liability for economic damages from oil spills on the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The legislation will be sent to the Senate floor, where it likely will be merged with other bills that have been introduced following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

There has been significant pressure on Capitol Hill to eliminate the existing liability cap of $75 million, with many lawmakers saying the amount would be far from adequate to compensate those affected by the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig and the current oil spill.

The $75 million cap was initially proposed to be replaced with a $10 billion limit, but an amendment offered by Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) would totally remove the cap on a producer’s economic liability.

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