Keebler Elf Jeff Sessions (R-Hollow Tree) blocked legislation last week to raise the liability for oil spills from $75 million to $10 billion. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about that. Republicans, and Dems too, have never seen a corporate pocket they weren’t ready and eager to jump into, so Sessions just proves that white men can jump.
What is noteworthy is Sessions’ reason. A reason – within a season of stupendously lame reasons – is that BP gave Sessions their word they would pay for everything. Their word. Cross their heart and hope to suck the life out of the Gulf of Mexico word.
Oops, Jeffy Wandered Away Again
If Sessions truly believes that – and he’s certainly deranged enough to – he shouldn’t be allowed to go into the streets alone. Anyone that stupid is obviously a danger to themselves and others. That goes double for The Messiah™ – who is at least asking for a formal promise and still backs a legal change – if he trusts a company that has “promised” so many things their fingers are permanently warped from the constant finger crossing.
Last week, the world was treated to the spectacle of the three potentially responsible CEOs fighting hand-to-hand combat in an effort to blame the whole oily mess on someone, anyone, but themselves. Those are some mighty fine intentions there Jeffy.
BP has also tried to buy off fishermen too desperate to wait years for a settlement. Yes, BP’s Lord High CEOness, Tony Hayward, did say, “BP will honor all legitimate claims for business interruption”. However, when asked for examples of illegitimate claims, he hedged, “I could give you lots of examples. This is America — come on. We’re going to have lots of illegitimate claims. We all know that.” I won’t argue there will be no illegitimate claims, but not giving examples and backhandedly making that an American characteristic doesn’t make me all warm and fuzzy about the prospects of his promises.
The Elf and Turtle Brain Trust
Sessions and Yertle the Turtle McConnell don’t want to make waves by setting a realistic, though possibly still low liability limit because it would hurt the small drillers (Wow, Mom and Pop oil wells. Who knew?). But the issue here is the same as the banking crisis in reverse. If there are banks too big to fail, there are also drillers too small to not fail.
Small drillers often fail, just ask Dubya about Arbusto Energy. What’s the difference if they fail because they don’t have the resources to do a safe job or they fail because they drill empty holes? The end result is the same – with one important exception – empty holes don’t leak billions of gallons of oil.
In one of history’s lamest PR moves, Hayward called the pesky spill “tiny”. “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”
Tony, think about this: When a snake bites you, the amount of venom released into your body is very “tiny” in relation to the total blood volume.
But in the end, you don’t end up being just a “tiny” bit dead, especially if you drink the snake oil.
- The Gulf of Gelatneous Goo and the Tarball Etoufee (omnipotentpoobah.com)
- “BP Inserts Siphon Into Oil Leak, Washington Warns BP; Slick New Videos; Tracking the Spill; Will BP Survive?” and related posts (globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com)
- BP Plc Has ‘Some’ Success in Containing Oil Leak (wallstreetpit.com)
- BP Says Oil Spill ‘Tiny’ Compared To Ocean (news.sky.com)
- U.S. Seeks BP Clarification of Plan to Pay for Spill (Update1) (businessweek.com)
- BP Releases Video of Gulf of Mexico Oil Gusher (chicagoraysrants.com)
- $20 billion or a year of profits – Proposed oil spill penalty (money.cnn.com)
- Sessions: BP Should ‘Pay Every Cent’ (blogs.abcnews.com)
- Scientists Confirm the BP Oil Spill Is Larger Than Reported (dailyfinance.com)
- Fishermen Claim BP Failing to Provide Safety Gear Required by Law (treehugger.com)