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U.S.: Who Should Pay For the Gulf Coast Oil Spill?

News 2010/05/13 19:27:32
BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
BP should be liable for most but so should the federal government for dropping the ball.
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Federal investigators will likely criminal charges against at least one of the companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico spill, raising the prospects of significantly higher penalties than a current $75 million cap on civil liability.

Such a likelihood has broad legal implications for BP and the two other companies involved — not the least of which is the amount of money any responsible party could be required to pay. The White House is asking Congress to lift the current $75 million cap on liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, but there's no cap on criminal penalties. In fact, prosecutors in such cases can seek twice the cost of environmental and economic damages resulting from the spill.

On Wednesday, President Obama proposed legislation to create a variety of emergency programs to advance money to people affected by the spill, bolster the trust fund through a higher tax on oil companies and raise the overall spending limit to $1.5 billion per accident. Separate legislation already introduced would raise a company’s cap on liability to $10 billion.

If it is found that BP was grossly negligent or broke federal safety regulations, there is no limit to what it must pay. Experts said a final estimate could be more than $4 billion.

Read More: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/12/94061/federa...

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  • randy vaughan 2010/05/14 15:19:22
    I think ...
    randy vaughan
    +3
    it's not going to cost them a penny....IF they get fined (and that's a very big 'if') they'll simply raise the price and it's back to business as usual and, in essence, you and i will indeed pay for it all....

    that's what happens you 'create,' out of thin air and with the stroke of a legal pen, a 'corporate person,' a legal entity that has ALL the rights to engage in commerce and amass wealth but incapable of facing the same consequences as a 'real' human being...

    or have they figured out a way to a corporation in jail and i simply didn't get the memo?

    i'm sorry, but even 4 billion of what bp earns?....that's like fining me, oh, ten bucks...here's your money and i swear to god i'll never piss in the ocean again (wink wink)...

    it's time like this that the only thing truly witty and profound i can say is this:

    fuck 'em

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  • Kevin 2010/06/01 22:46:51 (edited)
    I think ...
    Kevin
    To answer the question asked: BP, OSHA, MMS, the Coast Gaurd, Haliburton, Trans Oceanic, and any other legislative body which was responsible for the ENORCEMENT OF SAFETY REGULATIONS.

    But who is GOING to pay for it? We will pay for it at the pump of course. They told us at the beginning of the year to expect gas to hit $5.00 a gallon this year, but failed to give a good reason why. I guess now we know.
  • AliOopSoCal 2010/05/14 18:33:24
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    AliOopSoCal
    BP went to court in Houston yesterday to request that they only be responsible for 27 million. It's costing over 400 million so far.
  • Chris 2010/05/14 18:29:47
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    Chris
    My guess is the cost will be dropped at the consumers feet just like most everything else.
  • Ric O'Shea® 2010/05/14 18:20:42
  • Strato 2010/05/14 17:45:13
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    Strato
    they have to pay for their mess. NO excuses, no going around the issue, and no playing victim. It does not matter if their company goes bankrupt afterwords. They have to pay period. The average citizen won't pick up the tab, we're fed up with Bullshit and special treatment for big companies. Just not fare.
  • randy vaughan 2010/05/14 15:19:22
  • behavioralcognivitist 2010/05/14 14:57:51
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    behavioralcognivitist
    The American people should not be subsidizing the risk incurred by private corporations. AND this is more or less a public utility and mass public commercial product, we should NOT be rewarding failure!
  • Franklin 2010/05/14 14:47:20
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    Franklin
    +1
    Who is to blame ? Liberals want to keep it simple and blame BP (simple answers for simple minds) but the fact is of the three companies involved BP is the least responsible ...the blame for actually failing falls on Trans Oceanic for bad safety valves-blow out valve failure+ a faulty cut of valve after the fact , and Haliberton for creating the bubble of gas in the first place (the concrete collar got to hot because it was mixed to set to fast!)
    But Obama plays to his audience and facts confuse them so he will simply point fingers at the shortest name on the list ! (anything with more than 5 or 6 letters would be hard for liberals to chant)
  • cruc1bl3 Franklin 2010/05/17 07:01:05
    cruc1bl3
    annular break down
  • JonHershey Franklin 2010/05/25 22:34:59
    JonHershey
    +3
    Yep...try to make it political.

    You should see the interview with the foreman who warned BP of the problems with the valve (after seeing chunks of rubber bubble up to the deck) BP (yes specifically the BP rep) told them to "keep drilling". BP knew of the potential for disaster, and did nothing about it.
  • FinalNotice 2010/05/14 13:22:00
    I think ...
    FinalNotice
    +3
    I don't care who pays for it as long as they stop it now! NO MORE OFFSHORE DRILLING! If you can't have plans in place for rectifying these situations then don't do it! My livelihood depends on the Gulf and this pisses me off!
  • dj 2010/05/14 13:03:53
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    dj
    +1
    BP and it's partners should pay for it. The taxpayer can not and should not have to be responsible for ever company that doesn't handle their money or product the way their suppose to. Why was our government sleeping on the job and not making sure the quick controlled burn was in place long before this happened? I guess they were too busy trying to find other ways of taxing us for their programs. In November vote these bums out.
  • luigi1- in god we trust 2010/05/14 12:10:12
    I think ...
    luigi1- in god we trust
    just like the exxon valdez disaster, the bp gulf spill will be paid for mostly by the taxpayers & those responsible will pay only pennies on the dollar. bp only offered $5,000 in damages to shrimpers that lost their entire livelyhoods.

    in the end, the too big too fails will be protected by the feds & that includes bp.
  • apachehellfire65 2010/05/14 11:39:03
    I think ...
    apachehellfire65
    +1
    ANY COST'S will be paid by you me and everyone at the pump!
  • luigi1-... apacheh... 2010/05/14 12:11:58
    luigi1- in god we trust
    your right. the politicians already got their kickbacks to get bp off the hook.
  • true american 2010/05/14 10:25:14 (edited)
    BP should be liable for most but so should the federal government for droppin...
    true american
    +1
    I agree the government is at fault as well
  • luigi1-... true am... 2010/05/14 12:14:15
    luigi1- in god we trust
    +1
    everyone is screaming about the feds getting into all facets of our daily lives. when drilling permits were released, it was understood the responsibility falls on the drilling companies & not the feds in the event of a disaster.
  • true am... luigi1-... 2010/05/15 13:03:32
    true american
    It is still the responsibility of the government to protect our shores, no matter what it is, and they are failing to do just that. While BP is the main contributor to this,government inaction of having the fire booms it was supposed to have for the last 15 years holds them liable as well.
  • dj true am... 2010/05/14 13:06:01 (edited)
    dj
    +1
    Guess what? We are the government. I don't want to pay for this. I pay for my mistakes, Companies pay for theirs. Don't these companies carry insurance for
    something like this?
  • luigi1-... dj 2010/05/14 13:40:02 (edited)
    luigi1- in god we trust
    remember the exxon valdez. exxon paid pennies on the dollar & the taxpayers got bagged for the rest.

    i'm not disagreeing with your opine but am stating how it will all materialize.
  • Lady Whitewolf 2010/05/14 09:15:28
    I think ...
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    That the BP Oil EXECUTIVES should PERSONALLY pay for ALL the cleanup.
  • captkirk999 2010/05/14 08:36:49 (edited)
    I think ...
    captkirk999
    +2
    BP, Halliburton and Transocean should split the bill bp halliburton transocean split
  • luigi1-... captkir... 2010/05/14 12:15:49 (edited)
    luigi1- in god we trust
    the bush-cheney-haliburton alliance may have something to say about all that. they will exempt themselves from any liabilities.
  • AverageJoe 2010/05/14 08:07:40
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    AverageJoe
    +1
    Don't worry.... taxpayers will somehow pay for this...

    bp related companies pay bills worry taxpayers pay
  • ChrisWingard 2010/05/14 07:32:01 (edited)
  • Lady Wh... ChrisWi... 2010/05/14 09:15:58
    Lady Whitewolf
    lolz. ya ain't alone, Hunny!
  • dj ChrisWi... 2010/05/14 13:07:50
    dj
    Along with a few others
  • Kathy 2010/05/14 05:12:47
    I think ...
    Kathy
    We the tax payers paid for the Exxon Valdez oil spill (over 2 billion dollars) and we'll probably get stuck paying this bill too:( No wonder we're broke
    Please note how they only have to pay 92 million and they refuse to pay that.
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/e...



    20 Years After Valdez Oil Spill, Exxon Still Owes $92M
    WASHINGTON, DC, March 24, 2009 (ENS) - Today is the 20th anniversary of the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, but the federal and state governments have yet to collect millions of dollars that the oil company agreed to pay.


    A final $92 million claim for harm to wildlife, habitat and subsistence users filed in 2006 has gone unanswered by the Exxon Corporation, now ExxonMobil.

    Early in the morning on March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude oil onto the Alaska coast, causing an estimated $15 billion in damages.

    The Exxon Valdez spill was one of the most worst environmental disasters in history. The spill covered over 10,000 square miles of Alaska�s coastline. Oil spread along 1,300 miles of shoreline, fouling a national forest, two national parks, two national wildlife refuges, five state parks, four state critical habitat areas, one state game sanctuary, and many ances...









































    We the tax payers paid for the Exxon Valdez oil spill (over 2 billion dollars) and we'll probably get stuck paying this bill too:( No wonder we're broke
    Please note how they only have to pay 92 million and they refuse to pay that.
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/e...



    20 Years After Valdez Oil Spill, Exxon Still Owes $92M
    WASHINGTON, DC, March 24, 2009 (ENS) - Today is the 20th anniversary of the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, but the federal and state governments have yet to collect millions of dollars that the oil company agreed to pay.


    A final $92 million claim for harm to wildlife, habitat and subsistence users filed in 2006 has gone unanswered by the Exxon Corporation, now ExxonMobil.

    Early in the morning on March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude oil onto the Alaska coast, causing an estimated $15 billion in damages.

    The Exxon Valdez spill was one of the most worst environmental disasters in history. The spill covered over 10,000 square miles of Alaska�s coastline. Oil spread along 1,300 miles of shoreline, fouling a national forest, two national parks, two national wildlife refuges, five state parks, four state critical habitat areas, one state game sanctuary, and many ancestral lands for Alaska natives.

    It killed hundreds of thousands of birds, marine mammals, fish, invertebrates; and disrupted the economy, culture, and livelihoods of coastal residents.

    The cleanup took four summers and cost approximately $2 billion, according to a report by the state and federal governments.

    The 1991 settlement following the guilty plea by Exxon Corporation provided for $900 million in payments, a $25 million criminal fine and $100 million in restitution.

    The plea agreement also called for added payment of up to $100 million for unanticipated damages unknown at the time of the settlement.

    On June 1, 2006, the United States and the State of Alaska notified Exxon Corporation, pursuant to the "reopener" provision in the civil settlement, that additional restoration would be necessary to address injuries that were not foreseen at the time of the 1991 settlement.

    The federal and state governments have demanded that Exxon fund restoration projects, estimated at $92 million, based on the continued presence of oil in the habitats of Prince William Sound and Gulf of Alaska beaches.

    After submission of the reopener claim, ExxonMobil had 90 days to pay or respond. Yet the claim has been unsatisfied, as neither the administration of President George W. Bush nor the administration of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took any action to collect.

    On Friday, Professor Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor who has intensively monitored conservation issues relating to the spill, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility sent a letter to both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Alaska Acting Attorney General Richard Svobodny asking them to act immediately to collect the overdue claim.

    According to the joint-federal restoration plan presented in 2006, the funds would be used to address the presence of substantial subsurface pockets of oil and the continuing toxicity of oil still in the environment.

    In addition, the funds would address the higher than expected wildlife mortality, especially among predator species, and the resulting impacts on subsistence hunters and fishers.

    �The coastal ecosystem injured by the Exxon Valdez spill is still a long way from full recovery,� said Steiner. �The governments should bring Exxon into court to collect this last bit of compensation for their environmental recklessness, and the governments should be allowed to use the money in the highest and best interest of ecological recovery � whatever that may be.�

    For the Obama administration, say Steiner and PEER Executive Director attorney Jeff Ruch, this may be an early opportunity to signal its approach to environmental enforcement. In addition, once secured these funds would be almost immediately translated into new environmental restoration jobs.

    �It is mystifying that our government has not lifted a finger in the past three years to collect millions that one of the biggest polluters in history has agreed to pay,� said Ruch. �At this moment, the $92 million payment would be a corporate-financed stimulus package, giving taxpayers a welcome break.�

    In its newly issued 20th anniversary Status Report, the state and federal Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council lists only 10 of the 31 injured resources and services they monitor as �Recovered.� Ten more, including killer whales and sea otters are listed as "Recovering." Populations of Pacific herring and pigeon guillemots are listed as �Not Recovering.�

    The most important species that is still experiencing significant problems is Pacific herring, an ecologically and commercially important species in Prince William Sound. They are central to the marine food web, providing food to marine mammals, birds, invertebrates, and other fish. Herring are also commercially fished for food, bait, sac-roe, and spawn on kelp.

    Due to the decreased population, the Status Report states, the herring fishery in Prince William Sound has been closed for 13 of the 19 years since the spill and remains closed today.

    In his introduction to the Status Report, Alaska Deputy Attorney General Craig Tillery writes, "Over the last 20 years, we have made significant progress in restoration of areas impacted by the spill: permanently protecting crucial habitat; increasing our knowledge of the marine ecosystem; and developing new tools for better management of these vital resources."

    "Visitors to Prince William Sound and the North Gulf Coast of Alaska today again experience spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife and see little evidence of the spill. Yet the area has not fully recovered," writes Tillery. "In some areas, ExxonValdez oil still remains and is toxic. Some injured species have yet to recover to pre-spill levels."

    "This long-term damage was not expected at the time of the spill and was only just starting to be recognized in 1999, at the 10th Anniversary."

    "At that time, the majority of species injured by the spill were still struggling with low numbers, such as the depressed herring populations, but it was expected that the ecosystem would recover naturally over time," writes Tillery. "Now, in 2009, as we reach the end of the second decade, many of these areas and species of concern remain. As we learn more, the picture of recovery is more complicated than was first appreciated."

    Click here to read the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council's 2009 Status Report, "Legacy of an Oil Spill 20 Years Later."
    (more)
  • mach 2010/05/14 05:07:33
    I think ...
    mach
    +1
    The only sure way to stop the gusher is to drill another well to relieve pressure, and that could take another three months. In that time, we'll have slicks coming ashore at Martha's freaking Vineyard! BP should be responsible for unlimited damages, period!
  • realist 2010/05/14 03:47:22
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    realist
    why is there any question about this
  • Diane 2010/05/14 02:40:46
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    Diane
    Without a doubt!
  • Jangle 2010/05/14 02:08:22
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    Jangle
    +1
    And they should not be allowed to pass the the cost on to the public.
  • sasquatchette 2010/05/14 01:54:38
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    sasquatchette
    It was an accident, they did it, they should clean it up. ALL of it. Criminal charges should only be discussed if there was actual negligence involved.
  • Magus BN-0 2010/05/14 01:53:05
    BP and any related companies should pay all bills.
    Magus BN-0
    "On Wednesday, President Obama proposed legislation to create a variety of emergency programs to advance money to people affected by the spill, bolster the trust fund through a higher tax on oil companies and raise the overall spending limit to $1.5 billion per accident. "

    That's still not enough. Make the maximum fine $1.5 trillion instead.

    Yes, that would put BP out of business. That's exactly the point. They SHOULD be destroyed for this.
  • Divided States of America 2010/05/14 01:29:05
    BP should be liable for most but so should the federal government for droppin...
    Divided States of America
    I think fair is fair,to blame the government too. They were allowing a company to operate with violations.I'm sure this is more so, as it is important we get the oil. We see TIME AND AGAIN the fines my be cheaper than the compliance.So we let them operate and hope for the best???.I think the CEO/president of a company should be tried for MURDER when employees are killed in accidents when safety violations are pointed out by OSHA and not corrected that day.So we hand BP the biggest fine in the world,we are all going to pay for it in the end.BP could care less.
  • VoteOut 2010/05/14 01:18:09 (edited)
    I think ...
    VoteOut
    they will charter as a commercial bank and get a bailout
  • hunter 44 2010/05/14 00:25:24
    I think ...
    hunter 44
    that fines paid to the government would be stupid and do nothing except pass the cost onto all of us anyway.
  • flaca BN-0 2010/05/14 00:25:04
    I think ...
    flaca BN-0
    +2
    it's more likely to be Lloyds of London that foots the bill. Oil companies are heavily insured.
  • VoteOut flaca BN-0 2010/05/14 01:23:23
    VoteOut
    +1
    I wonder if AIG did any underwriting for BP so then US taxpayers will be on the hook again. AIG has been underwriting CDSs for Greece.
  • flaca BN-0 VoteOut 2010/05/14 14:34:46
    flaca BN-0
    very probably Vote Out. I think oil companies spread their insurances out among several companies, as it would make sense if there was a really large claim. It seems that the taxpayer has its fingers in too many pies!

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