From the Tulsa World: "U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe blocked Democrats’ proposal Tuesday to boost the liability cap on oil spills from the current $75 million to $10 billion.
"In objecting to letting the proposal move forward, the Oklahoma Republican warned its current form could actually end up helping big oil companies like BP by giving them exclusive rights to off-shore drilling."
The block prompted a sharp rebuke from President Barack Obama: "I am disappointed that an effort to ensure that oil companies pay fully for disasters they cause has stalled in the United States Senate on a partisan basis. This maneuver threatens to leave taxpayers, rather than the oil companies, on the hook for
future disasters like the BP oil spill. I urge the Senate Republicans to stop playing special interest politics and join in a bipartisan effort to protect taxpayers and demand aaccountability from the oil companies."
The group Americans United for Change is asking its Gulf states activists to take photos of tar balls washing up on their shores and mail them to Inhofe, whom it says "blocked Senate action on the 'Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act' on behalf of his Republican colleagues and as payback to the big oil companies for more than $1.2 million in campaign contributions."