1989 Scorecard Vote
Rep. Miller offered a second important amendment to provide for a simple negligence standard for breaking liability limits, in other words, to establish the standard by which the oil spiller becomes liable for the total cost of clean-up. Environmental groups firmly believe that simple negligence or unreasonable conduct -- as opposed to gross negligence or willful misconduct -- is the appropriate standard for breaking oil spill liability limits. As defined by U.S. courts, negligence is unreasonable conduct. It is failure to exercise the degree of care a reasonable person would consider necessary for the particular circumstances or activity involved. Negligence is the standard which governs the operation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. There is no logic to adopting a standard in new oil spill liability legislation which would permit oil shippers to exercise less care and judgment in the operation of tankers than was required of the Exxon Valdez. The Miller amendment won on November 8th by a close margin of 213-206. Yes is the pro-environment vote.