A state Senate committee advanced legislation Thursday designed to broaden the burden of preparing the state for an oil spill disaster.
The Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs agreed without objection to send House Bill 636 to the full Senate.
Currently, only refineries that receive crude oil by ship or barge pay a minimum 2 cent-per-barrel fee. The state sets aside the money to mop up oil spills.
HB636 would direct all refineries to pay into the fund, regardless of how they receive their oil.
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Mike Danahay, said the proposal would help three refineries which currently contribute the bulk of the money. Danahay, D-Sulphur, said 25 refineries would pay into the fund.