Some, however, have rightly pointed out that this is a shakedown. The only difference in this shakedown from the one's that Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton perform against Fortune 500 companies, is that this one is coming not from hypocritical race hustlers, but from the leader of the Free World, and, BP can expect the full force of the U.S. government to be behind it, despite the dubious (ok, complete lack of) Constitutionality of it.
I haven't posted on the oil spill, so, I'll let my thoughts out here.
Clearly, BP and those responsible for the Deepwater Horizon rig are culpable and will have to pay massive damages, and must get this thing capped and assist in the clean-up (and pay for it all). This effort could bankrupt BP. If it does, so be it.
But, let's look at what the U.S. government has done to contribute to the accident.
- By preventing drilling in easily accessible spots on land - ANWR, the West where oil shale is accessible profitably, other areas - the government encouraged oil companies to seek oil in difficult to drill areas.
- By preventing drilling in shallow waters off the U.S. coast - California, Florida, the East Coast, even Alaska - the government encouraged oil companies to seek oil in difficult to drill areas.
- The MMS exempted oil companies (in 2008) from disclosing worst case scenarios.
- We continue to subsidize energy industries that will do little to produce significant energy - solar, ethanol.
And, what has our government done since the spill:
- Placed a moratorium on deep ocean drilling for six months. I can see doing this for maybe three months. But, we need this oil, and we need these people working.
- Turned down offers from help from other countries, Obama has yet to give a Jones Act waiver, which would allow foreign vessels to assist in the clean-up in our waters. Of course, our unions don't want this.
- Has been very slow to allow LA, MS, AL to take steps on their own to protect their shores. Famously refused LA the right to build temporary berms to protect their wetlands.
- Spent time getting advice from "experts" on who's "ass to kick."
- Shook down BP for $20B government-administered payback fund
- Used the spill as an excuse to bring back "Cap" and "Tax" plan
- Looked like idiots