04 May 2010

BP Only Responsible to $75 Million 4 Oil Disaster By USA Law

From Denny: Well, thanks to the Bush and Cheney Cheap Team they made sure that oil companies don't have to pay more than a mere $75 million - not billion - liability for lost wages, lost tourist dollars (Louisiana is known as The Sportsman's Paradise, especially for fishing tournaments), economic and environmental ruin of an area they screw up beyond repair.

I guess it's Bad Karma come back to haunt the Gulf Coast that so foolishly voted for the Republicans and swung from blue Democrat states to red Republican states under Bush. Bush made them think he was one of them. One of them what? Bush is a multi-millionaire trust fund baby who bankrupted eight companies with his lousy decisions.

Bush and his Republicans went on to bankrupt America, sending us into trillions of dollars of debt and saddled us with a two-front war. Iraq and Afghanistan bleed the national treasury to the tune of at least $2 billion a week right now - and that's if the Pentagon and the White House are not downplaying the costs. So, how exactly does the White House play to pay for this BP oil spill clean-up and economic recovery?

President Obama came down here to Louisiana to assure everyone that BP will pay for the clean-up and damages. BP has claimed on their website they will do what Obama said. The problem is the law only requires British Petroleum to pay up to the $75 million cap listed in the Oil Pollution Act. Already, BP is whining that Transocean, the company that built the oil platform, should also share in liability costs. So much for courage of responsibility.

At the moment, Senator Robert Menendez has co-sponsored a measure to raise the liability limit to $10 billion. Only $10 billion? Who are they kidding? These oil companies declared that much in each quarterly profit this year alone! This sounds like more Big Business corporate style welfare yet again. It's going to cost a lot more than this amount. At least Senator Menendez wants to make the amount retroactive so it can apply to the beginning of the oil spill that happened on 20 April 2010. So now the BP lawyers are counting which new oil leak they are going to pay for and which they are not?

Prez Obama is apparently pushing to lift the cap on liability entirely. Let's hope so. And while you are at it, Mr. President, might I suggest you begin taking immediate payments to the U. S. Treasury from BP? Don't wait for the final tally of the costs because they will just drag their feet on paying for another decade or more, leaving taxpayers with the bill. Make them begin paying right now while the payments are manageable.

One good piece of news is that the cap is not in effect if BP is found to have acted negligently or violated the law. This Oil Pollution Act was passed in 1990 because of the huge outcry from environmentalists after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Of course, with all the Senators the oil industry owns and slaps into their back pockets who the hell actually is naive enough to believe BP will ever face a trial?

Already BP has started demonstrating Weasel Posture by stating, "It's got nothing to do with caps. All legitimate claims ... will be honored," he said. So who determines what is and isn't legitimate as a claim? Where have we heard this one before? Insurance companies after Hurricane Katrina - that still continues today once Big Business figured out there was no one to stop them from taking advantage of consumers.

BP claims via its website it is committed to paying "all necessary and appropriate cleanup costs" as well as "legitimate and objectively verifiable claims for other loss and damage caused by the spill." Tricky legal language to be haggled over in court for another decade most likely.

Currently, our federal government has at its disposal an Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund that the oil industry pays into regularly. Right now that fund can only make up to a total of a $1 billion payout per incident to individuals, businesses and governments. Sounds like meager funds for an environmental disaster of this scope in the Gulf of Mexico.

Remember, Mr. President, you have the right to nationalize BP in America, freeze their assets and - or deny or suspend - their ability to sell their product in America indefinitely. If they don't start paying our government in installments this very month, then it's time to start the punitive process. Don't let this drag on like all your other projects that drove down your popularity and faith in the federal government to get things done. Treat this oil spill like it's the last days of the Presidential campaign and make the big push to win.

Right now you have way too many advisors around you from Chicago and the political campaign that all have the same mindset, and, frankly, they are far too comfortable and sitting down on the job. Get serious about broadening your base of different thinkers who are not Yes People but still Democrats. They need to have the will to solve problems at a faster pace that will reach down into the middle class life immediately.

You just can't continue this practice of putting off this reform or that investigation into wrong-doing until after the mid-terms or after the next Presidential election. The people simply cannot wait. The rioting going on in Greece right now could easily spread here to America by the summer as the public continues to fester resentment waiting for the positive change they expect in their daily lives.

People can't wait another 90 days for this, another six months for that, another two years for something else. People are still losing their homes to foreclosure, people are divorcing, still out of work because Big Business still does not want to hire American workers - like Microsoft and their nasty work visas bringing foreign workers in to take our jobs by the 100,000s - and the middle class that comprises 75% of this country is experiencing financial ruin. Do any of you guys in the White House get all that?

Right now millions of gallons - about 3 million at conservative estimates - has spilled into the Gulf since 20 April when the oil rig burst into flames and sunk to the bottom of the ocean floor, killing 11 workers. Millions more gallons will continue gushing out from the earth's crust for the next three months before that relief well - if it works - can cap the disaster. At the rate of 3 million gallons every 10 days to two weeks this oil spill could easily add up to 20 million gallons. With that much oil gushing out it will go up the Atlantic Coast and destroy their seafood industry and tourism as well.

Stay tuned for the next installment because we all know there will be one. Big Business Greed and lack of responsibility knows no bounds or sense of decency... Howl on, America.

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