H.R. 1684 would expose owners and operators of oil production facilities located offshore and outside of the United States to liability for cleanup costs and damages from oil spills. Under the bill, such foreign entities could be held responsible for oil spills that originate outside U.S. waters if they threaten or cause damage in the United States. Those entities also could be penalized under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act), the Deepwater Port Act, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act.
Because H.R. 1684 would expand the number of entities that are subject to U.S. laws, the federal government might recover additional costs and collect additional penalties under the legislation. CBO estimates that enacting H.R.1684 would increase recoveries to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) by $7 million over the 2017-2026 period. Those recoveries are recorded as reductions in direct spending. CBO estimates that the bill also would increase revenues from penalty collections by $5 million over that period. The estimated amounts reflect CBO’s assessment of the low likelihood that a significant oil spill originating outside the United States would occur over the next decade and the small probability that responsible entities would be identified from whom the federal government could collect recoveries and penalties.
Because enacting the bill would affect direct spending and revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1684 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
H.R. 1684 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.