Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rachel Maddow: Oil Regulation a Broken System.

MADDOW: There is some breaking news tonight on the B.P. oil disaster and the government‘s response to it. NBC News has learned that on Thursday, the day after tomorrow, President Obama will announce tougher safety requirements for offshore oil rigs. This is according to a senior administration official. This is a result of 30-day review of offshore drilling procedures that the president announced after the Deepwater Horizon disaster started more than 30 days ago. Among the administration‘s plans are a stronger inspection regime for rigs.

Now, as the B.P. oil disaster continues unabated in the Gulf, you may recall that because of legislation passed after the Exxon Valdez disaster, oil companies are by law to required pay $75 million in damages in the event of a spill. Democrats led by Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey have been trying to get rid of that liability cap ever since the B.P. oil disaster happened.

The first time they tried to get rid of it, Alaska‘s Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski, blocked it. The second time they tried to get rid of the oil company liability cap, it was Senator Jim Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, who blocked it.

And now, given what we are going through in the Gulf, Democrats have made a third attempt to get rid of the limit on oil company liability in terms of paying for what they spill. And again, Senator Jim Inhofe has blocked it, explaining that if oil companies have to pay too much of the cost of their own spills then small oil companies, you know, little mom and pop oil companies, won‘t get into the kind of drilling that‘s likely to cause great big expensive oil spills.
So, certain Republicans - you know, the people who believe in "personal responsibility" - believe that oil companies shouldn't pay for their own oil spills, but that the rest of us should foot the bill.

It's the same crap that we witnessed during the economic crisis with the banks. Their profits are private, but they insist that their losses must be public. They appear to want to live in a risk free world where they can only ever win.

Rachel has much more on just how corrupt the system has become.

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daveawayfromhome said...

Privatized profit, socialized loss. If you want to stop Republicans, you
've got to stop them with thier own words.

Kel said...

Oh, you are good Dave.

Steel Phoenix said...

They should certainly be liable for whatever damages they cause. Before I would support any such legislation though, I'd want to see a clear and fair way of valuing damages. If we let PETA decide the value of a dead seagull, then we aren't being reasonable.

I'd really rather we just stopped drilling entirely. It has terrible health, environmental, and national security issues to burn oil, and all we get out of it is a temporary financial savings.

Kel said...

I'd really rather we just stopped drilling entirely.

I am totally with you on that one, SP.