Corporations

Who Caused the Oil Spill? After All, It Was You and Me

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At any rate, as was obvious from the beginning, we'll all be paying for it, as this TalkingPointsMemo piece about the judgments of the Chamber of Commerce and of** House Minority Leader John Boehner reminds us:

"I think the people responsible in the oil spill–BP and the federal government–should take full responsibility for what's happening there," Boehner said at his weekly press conference this morning.

Boehner's statement followed comments last Friday by US Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue who said he opposes efforts to stick BP, a member of the Chamber, with the bill. "It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game," he said. "Everybody is going to contribute to this clean up. We are all going to have to do it. We are going to have to get the money from the government and from the companies and we will figure out a way to do that."

A hint of a more free-market approach to liability and recompense, blogged about here last week.

**This entry originally lacked the words "and of" there, which actually read pretty funny, but wasn't exactly what I meant to write.

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  1. It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game.

    Now, that’s funny.

  2. If theory follows:

    We are the government.
    Government leased the land to BP.
    BP fucked it up.
    Government is ultimately responsible for its land. (just like I am)
    We are responsible.

    Maybe government shouldn’t be in the land leasing business since I don’t want to be in the land leasing business.

    1. I think *that* land, the under water kind, belongs to all of us because the states wanted it that way in the Constitution. All that dry land I agree, government shouldn’t own it.

      1. Regardless of the reasoning the government still owns and leases it to private companies. If government has to follow the same rules I do then it is responsible for that land. Therefore we are responsible for that land.

        This isn’t to say that BP shouldn’t he held accountable, but to not understand the whole chain of ownership is a mistake.

        1. I’m sorry, but nowhere did Woodie Guthrie claim that we owned the Gulf of Mexico.

          Gulf *stream*, yes, just the Gulf, notsomuch.

    2. The problem with that theory is we’re only the government when it comes time to stick someone with a bill. An other time, we the people can fuck right off and the geniuses in Washington do their thing.

  3. “*I* broke the dam.”

    1. Obama doesn’t care about beavers!

      1. Poor Michelle.

        1. Which would you rather do: Helen Thomas’ pedicure (in Gaza) or Michelle O’s Pap smear, or Barney Frank’s colonoscopy?

          There’s ya some game theory, people!

          1. My bet is that last one can be done with the Mt. Palomar telescope by this point.

            1. Regardless, ooh-ooh, that smell!

          2. You are a cruel, cruel man, Dr. G

  4. Sticking BP with the cleanup bill is one thing.

    Sticking BP with the bill for the salaries of workers employed by other oil companies who are out of work because Obama declared a moratorium on offshore drilling is something else entirely.

    1. Let me be clear.

      Until this, the greatest environmental disaster of all time, is entirely erased from human memory, I will also hold BP responsible for the salaries of the brave and tireless media workers reporting the tragic story.

      1. When Katherine ripped off Urkobold earlier today (our Hayek vs. Hayek post), I read the old posting, which includes some choice quotes from each Hayek. Here’s one of them:

        “Emergencies” have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.

        1. “Never let a good crisis go to waste!”

          1. And BP wishes they could get junk to a good crisis!

          2. There’s that free market and those libertarians destroying the world again. Sadly, we must issue new regulations and seize control of parts of the industry. Then everything will be efficient, pure, clean, perfect.

          3. I’m still vexed about that. The whole media world was pissing and moaning about ‘disaster capitalism’ after Klein’s latest pathetic screed, and then the very next instant Emmanuel said that (and meant it, as the administration has since proved repeatedly), and what’s the response? Dead fucking silence.

    2. ^yeppers^

    3. Particularly when they want to do it on an ex post facto basis. There’s just no shame left.

  5. BP fucked up, ultimately. If they greased inspectors to let them fudge stuff, they are again responsible. The inspectors need to go to jail, and BP needs to pay for the cleanup. That’s it.

    1. they greased inspectors to let them fudge stuff

      Kinky!

      1. I just laughed way harder at that than I probably should have.

  6. Regardless of who you want to blame for this clusterfuck, it just blows my mind that Obama refuses to meet with or even talk to the top guy at B.P.

    I’m starting to think more and more each day that Obama is in no hurry at all to see the spill get cleaned up or the shorelines protected. It fits in well with the Cloward/Piven strategy of manufactured crisis that he has taken to a national level.

    1. What would be the outcome of that meeting, if it were to happen?

    2. Manufactured crisis? That’s a good one.

  7. It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game,” he said.

    Lets not forget: There is a law on the books right now that caps BP’s liability for economic damages.

    As I understand it, BP is 100% responsible for the costs of stopping the leak and, I think, for the cleanup, but its liability for economic damages is capped at $75MM.

    The lessor and lessee of land typically have a contract allocating responsibility for damages from the use of the land. That’s pretty much what this is.

    I’m not sure that the government can remove that cap for this spill. Typically, the law that applies to torts is the law that was in effect when the tort was committed.

    1. “It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game,” he said.”

      As the former bondholders of GM and Chrysler how that principle works under the Obama regime.

    2. How long before Obama makes BP pay for converting the whole country to wind and solar power?

      1. “It’s more a guideline than a rule”

    3. That’s what I said: All legitimate claims.

    4. The cap does not apply in cases of proven negligence, if I understand the law correctly.

      1. I haven’t seen the law, but can that be right? Maybe it doesn’t cap intentional acts or acts of gross negligence?

    5. Y’all might want to google “Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act of 2010.”

    6. I keep seeing that $75 million limitation everywhere but I keep reading the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and as far as limitations on liability is says this in section 1004 (a)(3):

      for an offshore facility except a deepwater port, the total of all removal costs plus $75,000,000

      Doesn’t this mean that they have to pay for cleanup and everything after that will be capped at $75 million?

  8. Ask the former bondholders, I meant to say,

  9. Threadjack: what happened to our trolls? I haven’t seen any of them for a few days.

    1. Pelosi needed a bikini wax.

      They’ll be back.

      1. Thanks for the visual.

          1. Pelosi needed a bikini crack, back and ass wax.

            1. She is Italian.

    2. It was the epoch Squirrel/Troll battle that happened earlier. Stay tuned for the graphic novel illustrated by the Friday Funnies artists featured in H&R this year.

    3. Did you hear the one about the Libertarian who wouldn’t post at Reason? He would “preview” but he refused to “submit”.

      Wacka wacka.

    4. What are you talking about? JohnSukiRealDoll has been here every day.

    5. I think that a lot of them are at Bonnaroo, and the rest are stuck in the fetal position after watching Obambi poop on everything he touches.

      Seriously, I knew this guy was a bad joke, but I had no idea he’d be this bad.

  10. Militant Michelle should be loving this. Crude oil is organic. Can’t she get her husband to shut up about it?

    1. It’s also black, which makes YOU a racist for bringing it up.

  11. The cap does not apply in cases of proven negligence, if I understand the law correctly.

    I think its gross negligence.

    Which will be interesting to prove, given the level of supposed MMS oversight. I look forward to the AG arguing “They were grossly negligent because we were criminally incompetent!”

    Not to mention the witnesses died.

      1. Gross negligence it is. Interesting about having to cover government clean-up costs, which explains the checks being written to the affected states. I believe Florida’s already gotten $75 million (or commitments to that effect).

      2. Gross negligence it is. Interesting about having to cover government clean-up costs, which explains the checks being written to the affected states. I believe Florida’s already gotten $75 million (or commitments to that effect).

  12. What? I was told with great authority that it was all the fault of libertarians.

    Evidently, free speech caused this.

    1. If the government didn’t have the power to cap liability, for instance, bet BP wouldn’t taken some extraordinary measures to limit the possible damage. To the tune of spending millions more.

      If BP didn’t know that the government could be dealt with under the table, if it didn’t know about bailouts that the government likes to give, if it weren’t aware that the government is practically unlimited in its power to protect BP from total annihilation. . . .

      Honestly, how is this the free market’s fault?

      1. Honestly, how is this the free market’s fault?

        Look, just drill a few holes in your skull, drink nothing but Sterno? for a few days and the answer will come to you.

    2. See? Still faulting me for distancing myself?

      1. I’m thanking you from distancing yourself from libertarians. Saves me the trouble.

    3. What? I was told with great authority that it was all the fault of libertarians.

      Evidently, free speech caused this.

      Right because lobbyist money and junkets and corporate contributions and cocaine parties had NOTHING at all to do with the lax oversight at MMS. Nope nothing. NO WAY NO HOW!!

      And putting people who believe government should play no role in oversight and leave industry to police itself in positions as “regulators” has nothing to do with the leak occurring.

      Listen asshat…it’s the libertarians and the right-wingers and the corporate whore democrats who will use every last breath to convince anyone who will listen that BP WOULD NEVER CUT CORNERS AND RISK SUCH A CATASTROPHE BECAUSE IT WOULD BE BAD FOR BUSINESS AND THEIR BOTTOM LINE — so they can self regulate….

      How’d that work out? And yet libertarians STILL wont admit that maybe just maybe we shouldn’t let the fox guard the henhouse.

      If you don’t think that type of ideology directly enabled this disaster to occur you are either a moron or dishonest..pick one.

      1. Yep. that’s the libertarians alright. Dripping with power. Party, party, party, all night long.

        Don’t you ever get tired of blaming the jews for all the problems?

      2. We have substantial government regulation already. And here’s an example of how relying on that works.

        1. Though I’m hardly suggesting that BP is blameless in this. It’s insanely culpable, regardless of the great assists the government has given it.

          The fact is that people do bad, stupid, and foolish things. That’s reality. Nothing we do will stop that or prevent accidents from happening.

          This illusion that an all-powerful government will stop such things is untenable, in any case. If a liability cap has encouraged negligent behavior on BP’s part, how much worse would total government control be, when there would be no direct accountability? Even if that control were via regulation, rather than outright ownership?

          1. BP is repsonsible? People will do bad, stupid, and foolish things no matter who or what is in charge? People make mistakes?

            Crazy talk. You make it sould like they could blow up a space shuttle or something.

            1. It’s all so weird. The self-professed “reality-based community” is so fucking delusional. Especially about human nature and cause-and-effect.

              1. Studies have shown that rabid partisanship will lower your IQ by 20 points. Or replace your serotonin with alka-seltzer. Or shape tin foil into wearable fashions. Or something.

      3. Here, let me fisk that for you…

        Right because lobbyist money and junkets and corporate contributions and cocaine parties had NOTHING at all to do with the lax oversight at MMS. Nope nothing. NO WAY NO HOW!!

        Democrat and Republican lobbyist money and donations? Oh, I’m sure that had an effect.

        And putting people who believe government should play no role in oversight and leave industry to police itself in positions as “regulators” has nothing to do with the leak occurring.

        Do you mean the Democrats and Republicans who hold the reigns of power appointing people?

        Listen asshat…it’s the libertarians and the right-wingers and the corporate whore democrats who will use every last breath to convince anyone who will listen that BP WOULD NEVER CUT CORNERS AND RISK SUCH A CATASTROPHE BECAUSE IT WOULD BE BAD FOR BUSINESS AND THEIR BOTTOM LINE — so they can self regulate….

        Do you mean all the regulations that the Democrats and Republicans enacted?

        How’d that work out? And yet libertarians STILL wont admit that maybe just maybe we shouldn’t let the fox guard the henhouse.

        Do you mean the Democrat and Republican foxes that the libertarians have been decrying for a couple decades now?

        If you don’t think that type of ideology directly enabled this disaster to occur you are either a moron or dishonest..pick one.

        Oh, I fully believe that the corportist ideology that permiates the Democrat and Republican parties is hard at work here.

        So, which are you? Moron or dishonest moron? It’s so hard to tell.

        1. +2 (1 red and 1 blue)

      4. BP didn’t self regulate. The MMS, part of the Department of the fucking Interior, has regulatory authority for off-shore drilling. How’d that work out, Einstein?

        If they’re (regulators) as useless as the MMS guys appear to be, why the fuck are we paying the bloodsucking parasites?

        What do you think would send a clearer message to every other corporation that deals with toxic substances, an occasional slap on the wrist by a porn surfing regulator (let’s see what kind of maintenance inspections these worthless fucks actually did) or an entire multi-national corporation that was regularly generating billions in profits quarterly going tits up for trying to save $100 million or so on operating costs?

      5. Hmmm, I wonder who BP gave the most money to? Hmmm…I wonder….

        The libertarians? Nope.

        1. That’s why I am taking responsibility.

          Duh.

      6. I wish you’d self-regulate.

      7. so they can self regulate….

        How’d that work out?

        Dunno, it wasn’t tried. Instead we tried having the government own the land and lease it to BP, and made the government responsible for watching for safety violations.

      8. We DID let the benevolent government officials regulate the drilling. Who do you think capped BP’s liability that would not have been capped for destroying things had they stayed out of it?

        In a libertarian scenario, an accident such as this would have placed 100% blame, cleanup expense, and liability on BP. Or, they would have taken such stringent measures to not have accidents rather than grease the palms of regulators and inspectors. Either way, we’d be better off in the libertarian scenario than in the ChicagoTom We’re-all-gonna-pay-and-those-that-are-really-screwed-by-this-spill-are-only-gonna-get-pennies-because-there-are-so-many-of-them scenario.

      9. BP WOULD NEVER CUT CORNERS AND RISK SUCH A CATASTROPHE BECAUSE IT WOULD BE BAD FOR BUSINESS AND THEIR BOTTOM LINE

        Except that whole theory of the way markets work is undercut when:

        1) The government interferes in liability.
        2) The government acts as the explicit inspections body and thus removes the incentive to have an independent body (like the UL) conduct inspections.

        The success of Free Market transactions is based on incentives. Those incentives were steamrolled by the government.

        And beyond that, there are obvious commons based pollution externalities that scream out for strong government oversight.

      10. On the contrary, Tommy, this reinforces our view that the regulatory apparatus will almost always be captured by the regulated industry to insulate that industry from upstart competition.

        The oil industry is regulated by all kinds of agencies already. What makes you think your new, super-duper regulators will be any better?

      11. BP WOULD NEVER CUT CORNERS AND RISK SUCH A CATASTROPHE BECAUSE IT WOULD BE BAD FOR BUSINESS AND THEIR BOTTOM LINE

        Seems more reasonable that BP would try their hardest to avoid spilling a ton of valuable oil (particularly if they faced full liability) than your absurd claim that THE WRONG SORT OF PEOPLE WILL NEVER BE ELECTED TO ANY HIGH POSITIONS.

      12. Racist

      13. Shorter ChicagoTom:

        Its the libertarians’ fault that the regulators are corrupt and lazy!

        1. Actually, shorter ChiTom is BLARGHRRRARRGHLIBERTARIANSBLARRRGHHURRDURRWOOPWOOPWOOPWOOP

    4. Evidently, free speech caused this.

      Now you’re getting it!

  13. Honestly, how is this the free market’s fault?

    Palin’s book is sold in stores. QED.

    1. It’ll be useful for lighting campfires after the power goes out.

  14. Actually a significant chunk of the blame goes to the eco-socialist wackos the politicians who cater to them.

    The only reason that oil companies drill in places that are more difficult and therefore more expensive to drill is that they have been prohibited from drilling in places that are easier to do so – like on land in Alaska and in shallower coastal waters.

  15. “Who Caused the Oil Spill? After All, It Was You and Me”

    If you are going to keep producing variants of this Rolling Stones line, at least make an effort. For example (just off of the top of my head)

    I shouted out who killed the estuaries?
    When after all it was you and me

    Sorry, but I just fucking hate lazy writing.

    1. I rode a tanker
      Held a general’s rancor
      When the oil rig raged
      And the pelicans stank, er…

    2. Pssst. Woodie Guthrie.

      1. He used to give me a woody.

        1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…..944_Lyrics

          I googled your lyric, but only got your post as a hit.

          1. Sympathy For The Devil

            Please allow me to introduce myself
            I’m a man of wealth and taste
            I’ve been around for a long, long year
            Stole many a man’s soul and faith
            And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
            Had his moment of doubt and pain
            Made damn sure that Pilate
            Washed his hands and sealed his fate

            Pleased to meet you
            Hope you guess my name
            But what’s puzzling you
            Is the nature of my game

            I stuck around St. Petersberg
            When I saw it was a time for a change
            Killed the Czar and his ministers
            Anastasia screamed in vain

            I rode a tank
            Held a general’s rank
            When the Blitzkrieg raged
            And the bodies stank

            Pleased to meet you
            Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
            What’s puzzling you
            Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

            I watched with glee
            While your kings and queens
            Fought for ten decades
            For the Gods they made

            I shouted out
            “Who killed the Kennedys?”
            When after all
            It was you and me

            Let me please introduce myself
            I’m a man of wealth and taste
            And I laid traps for troubadors
            Who get killed before they reached Bombay

    3. Skid–Your rhyme is cleverer, to be sure, but my duller one matches the scansion of the original better. Tho Mick could sure sing “estuaries” so it had the same beats as “Kennedys”

      1. ::facepalm:: I now see what you did there.

        No sympathy for me, please.

      2. I wish I would have read your post before posting the lyrics (it’s a great song) and yes, Jagger could have easily sung Estuaries to fit the meter.

        Originally, I went with – I shouted out who killed the manitees, but I don’t recall seeing any on Grand Isle or Venice.

        But according to this manitee habitat map, they’re there.

        http://www.savethemanatee.org/sirenmap.jpg

        1. I deserve it. I glommed onto “you and me” and heard Guthrie.

  16. Could someone forward this to the Chamber of Congress and Rep. John Boner for me. Thanks

    http://friendsofirony.files.wo…..457001.jpg

    1. Nice pic, but you lose points for the boner comment…too easy, way too easy.

      The guy is fucking orange fer crissakes, lot of opportunity there, I’m tellin you.

  17. it just blows my mind that Obama refuses to meet with or even talk to the top guy at B.P.

    What useful outcome could possibly result from that?

    As incompetent as Tony Hayward may be, he knows more about this stuff than the Presidential Suit.

  18. Yep, we’re all to blame for this one. I drive I car. I fly in planes. I like that oil companies make gasoline so I can do both of these things, not to mention use the internet, which probably wouldn’t exist, but for an oil based economy.

    Mother Earth is just taking one for the team right now.

  19. I still remember when I took on both Boehner and the Joker.

  20. Hey we the tax payers pay enough in this awful high state and if the government sticks us tax payers for this don’t look for my vote to re-elect Obama. This is the governments problem not the tax payer’s we have enough trouble with keeping ends meet in our own lives. We don’t need a catastrophie that the government caused on top of it!!!

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