Senator Russ Feingold says it’s time to get tough with oil companies – and federal regulators. The Wisconsin Democrat made the comments during his opening statements, as the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on The Risky Business of Big Oil. “One way to deter wrongdoing and encourage the kind of responsible, careful drilling we need is to increase the unrealistically low liability caps for damages caused by oil spills,” said Feingold, who is cosponsoring legislation from New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez which would to that.
Feingold said it’s not enough to hold big oil accountable for the Gulf disaster: the federal government needs to end the cozy relationship between regulators and the companies they’re charged with overseeing. “It means making sure that regulators aren’t simply acting as a rubber stamp,” said Feingold. Also Tuesday, Feingold called on BP and the Obama administration to ensure the innovative ideas of businesses in Wisconsin and around the country to address the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico are being heard.