The Obama administration supports increasing how much companies responsible for oil spills have to pay in damages, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.
Current law requires companies to pay all costs of cleaning up the spill, but limits the liability on damages - such as economic loss - to $75 million.
Asked by reporters about pending legislation that would increase the damages limit, Gibbs said the White House supported the idea. However, he refused to provide a specific ceiling figure.
"We would be in favor of lifting that cap," Gibbs said, noting the current limit comes from legislation dating back 20 years.
A bill being introduced in Congress proposes lifting the cap on economic damages to $10 billion, and making the change retroactive to include the current Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Despite the current cap, Gibbs said that oil giant BP, which owns the leaking Gulf well, will be responsible for paying all clean-up costs and damages.