"BP Says It’ll Pay For This Mess. Baloney." BP Liability Currently Capped at Only $75 MILLION ... Menendez Bill Would Raise Liability to $10 Billion → Washingtons Blog
"BP Says It’ll Pay For This Mess. Baloney." BP Liability Currently Capped at Only $75 MILLION ... Menendez Bill Would Raise Liability to $10 Billion - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"BP Says It’ll Pay For This Mess. Baloney." BP Liability Currently Capped at Only $75 MILLION ... Menendez Bill Would Raise Liability to $10 Billion

As the New York Times reported Saturday, BP's liability for is capped at $75 million:

Under the law that established the reserve, called the Oil Spill Liability Trust
Fund, the operators of the offshore rig face no more than $75 million in
liability
for the damages that might be claimed by individuals, companies or the
government.

The fund was set up by Congress in 1986 but not financed until after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska in 1989. In exchange for the limits on liability, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 imposed a tax on oil companies, currently 8 cents for every barrel they produce in this country or import.

***

Companies that lose business — fishermen who cannot fish, or hotel owners who cannot rent out rooms — can seek damages. So can governments that see tax revenues decline.

***

Money can be sought by the states for expenses like restoration of a damaged wetland or compensation for loss of use of a resource.

In other words, fishermen, businesses hit by loss of tourism and states that lose tax revenue or have to pay for repair to or loss of resources can only seek $75 million from BP under current law.

But Congressmen Menendez, Lautenberg and Nelson have introduced legislation they're calling the "Big Oil Company Bailout Prevention Act" to raise the limit from $75 million to $10 billion.

Here are the Congressmen's statements in support of the bill:
Senator Menendez said: “The bottom line is that oil spills can leave massive holes in the economy. If you spill it, you should have to fill it. We’re glad that the costs for the oil clean up will be covered, but that’s little consolation to the small businesses, fisheries and local governments that will be left to clean up the economic mess that somebody else caused. We can’t let the burden fall on the taxpayers – we should ensure that those who cause the damage are fully responsible. There is no such thing as a ‘Too Big to Spill’ oil well, which is why we need this economic protection in place. With some predicting that this spill could potentially make its way up the eastern seaboard, and with future plans for drilling along the East Coast, I look at this bill as a safety net for our small businesses owners and fisheries on the Jersey Shore as well.”

Senator Lautenberg said: "Throughout my career, I have stood by a fundamental principle: that polluters—and not the taxpayer—should pay to clean up contamination. Oil spills should not be an exception to the rule. The oil companies must be held responsible for every cost related to an oil spill -- and that includes both the environmental and economic damages. The devastation in the Gulf provides further evidence why we must protect and preserve the Atlantic from expanded oil drilling. I remain dedicated to keeping the Jersey Shore clean and our fishing, shellfish, and tourism industries strong."

Sen. Bill Nelson said: “BP says it’ll pay for this mess. Baloney. They’re not going to want to pay any more than what the law says they have to, which is why we can’t let them off the hook.”

18 comments:

  1. Wouldn't that be an ex-post-facto law if they apply it to BP?

    ReplyDelete
  2. -Ex-post-facto-? Stop smoking that stuff!

    A foreign corporation isn't protected by the Constitutional protection against -ex-post-facto- laws. BP (British Petroleum) has no more legal standing or protection under our Constitution than an enemy combatant.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What about all the toxic paper that wall st. polluted the financial markets with?

    Maybe the banks should pay to clean it up, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Menendez any comment?

    ReplyDelete
  4. What has happened to the 8 cents per barrel for the last 21 years? Let's be minimalistic and say that average consumption over the period was about 10 million barrels per day (the US actually uses about 25% of the world's oil and current output is somewhere north of 80 million barrels per day), that would be about 61 billion dollars that has been collected to provide for just this sort of catastrophe. The Federal Government didn't even have any fire booms available to contain the spill and they are asking other countries to borrow theirs. So the consumers have already paid in advance for the service, so where is it?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gotta love these "common sense" BP defenders? So you're all flacks at Ogilvy and Mather, right? Or are you those legendary ex-Marine small business owners who made $251K last year and would love to hire more people but are getting crushed by taxes? That's the sputtering explanation I usually get when I call someone online a corporate shill.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So they impose a "tax" on the oil companies which is simply passed on to the retail gas consumer! How long will Americans allow themselves to be victimized by "legal" system designed to mediate not resolve and that stacks the monetary burden on them ONLY? BP will pay? YEAH RIGHT EXXON GOT AN APPEALS COURT TO OVERTURN THE VALDEZ RULING FOR 400 MILLION DOLLARS THEY NEVER PAID A DIME. READ GREG PALAST
    www.gregpalast.com/court-rewards-exxon-for-valdez-oil-spill/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Who's surprized? Not about the fact that BP will likely successfully dodge liability for this spill. Rather who's surprized that Senate filth like this has lined up to moralize about it all the time probably taking BP campaign money. Why is the amount of the liability an issue now? And the biggest guffaw of all is to listen to a maggot like Lautenberg talk about "principles". Since when did anyone in the United States Senate have principles?

    Andrei Vyshinsky

    ReplyDelete
  8. We need accountability...

    Monday, May 3, 2010
    Turning the Tide on Lawcap and Fincap

    http://inpoints.blogspot.com/2010/05/turning-tide-on-lawcap-and-fincap.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. A1S9: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

    Its a restriction on congress, it doesn't matter if a person or corporation is the target.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One thing is to build up an insurance fund in order to spread the financial risk of events like this one. Quite another one is to reduce the liability of the company which has caused the spill.

    If BP can provide evidence that it has acted in a responsible, professional way it should be able to claim a refund of part of the losses for which it and only it can be responsible.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is clear that these oil companies are a cancer upon humanity, and this beautiful earth. This includes the shareholders that invest in these companies (by virtue of association). The catastrophe that this spill represents cannot even be comprehended, let alone be quantified. When are we ever going to wake up?!

    ReplyDelete
  12. "What has happened to the 8 cents per barrel for the last 21 years?"

    It was spent to fund fighting wars over oil.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It maybe that Halliburton is the negligent party here, too. The US government can go after this corporate capitalistic predator for the damages, if proven that their work was slipshoddy. It appears that the remote shut off system was not installed because, not unlike Norway which requires such a device, it was not required in the US.

    More of the oligarchist's design by the elite corporate capitalistic predators.

    http://eye-on-washington.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Raising the liability sounds good to the public, but it wouldn't really have the desired effect.

    What would happen is that an oil company would split itself into several pieces. Then have the guinea pig company do all the dangerous stuff while the profits are accumulated into the company that has very little if any liability.

    Oops you have a $10 billion accident. The guiena pig company is the only one liable. Well sorry guinea pig company, you're bankrupt. Time to start up a new one.

    A similar thing happened when GM went bankrupt. Several environmental penalties they were paying off got taken off their books.

    The fee / barrel really makes more sense. It sounds like it works kind of like the FDIC for banking. Now whether that fee is enough or the money got sqaundered is another story.

    I wonder if requiring drill operations to carry spill insurance could work.

    -AJP

    ReplyDelete
  15. ImpaleBPAndMasseyCEOsMay 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    The President has powers as Commander in Chief during a time of war, he can f--- BP up if he feels like standing up for Americans. Raise taxes on all the oil companies because of what BP did, just like they they punish the whole team for what 1 cadet does in the Army.

    ReplyDelete
  16. ImpaleBPAndMasseyCEOsIWillCelebrateMay 5, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    The President has powers as Commander in Chief during a time of war, he can f--- BP up if he feels like standing up for Americans. Raise taxes on all the oil companies because of what BP did, just like they they punish the whole team for what 1 cadet does in the Army.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Menendez is a dumb SOB. He doesn't know "ex post facto" from his asshole.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

    liability

    ReplyDelete

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