Here’s an good idea. Let’s say that a huge company creates a natural disaster on a scope that is hard to imagine, and that will cost billions of dollars to remedy. Okay, now let’s say that instead of making those responsible for the disaster pay to make things right, the government expects you and I to foot that bill.

That is what’s happening right now in Washington, where Congress is saying “Let’s screw the consumer (yet again). Instead of making BP pay the cost of the Gulf oil spill that they created, let’s protect that huge, faceless company and pass part of the cost on to the American people. That way, they’ll have more money to give to lobbyists to pay off congressmen!”

That’s right folks, Congress is considering quadrupling the tax on a barrel of oil to help pay for cleaning up this, and any future oil spills! They expect you and me to bear the cost of BP’s negligence. Doesn’t that make you mad enough to bite nails?

In an Associated Press story released Monday, it was reported that Congress will vote as early as this week on a proposed bill that would establish an $11 billion fund to clean up oil spills. The report said that lawmakers hope to get the bill passed before the Memorial Day weekend. The House could vote on the bill as early as today.

President Obama and congressional leaders have said they expect BP to foot the bill for the cleanup, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev), said taxpayers would not pay the cost of the cleanup under the proposed bill. Yeah, right, a tax that won’t cost taxpayers any money. If you believe that, I have a bridge I want to sell you!

Christopher Guith, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Institute, acknowledged that the tax could be passed on to consumers, if the oil companies raise gas prices in response to a tax increase. If? Like there’s any chance that they won’t?

Under current federal law, the cap on liability for economic damages big corporations face in cases like this is currently $75 million. Last week Democratic senators tried to pass a bill to raise that cap to $10 billion, but Republican lawmakers blocked their efforts. They have to take care of their buddies, right? Who cares what it costs us poor working slobs?

This is adding insult to injury. A report released this week said investigations show that federal inspectors accepted “lavish” gifts from the oil companies, whose offshore oil rigs they were supposed to be inspecting. Now just how diligent do you think those clowns were in noticing any shortfalls on those oil platforms?

We need to stop goofing around and get the Gulf cleaned up, and BP needs to be held accountable for every penny of the cleanup costs, as well as for the economic disaster they have caused to those who live and work along the Gulf Coast.

And once that’s done, we need to clean house in Washington, from the congressmen who expect us to pay the bills for their big business benefactors’ mistakes, all the way down to the inspectors and bureaucrats whose greed and negligence allowed this to happen.

I think we could grab any 535 everyday working people at random off the street and send them to Washington to replace the idiots in Congress, and we’d all be better off.

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22 Comments on Adding Insult To Injury

  1. Wayne Smith says:

    We need to vote every one of those A-holes out of office, Democrat or Republican! It’s all about taking care of their buddies and stuffing their own bank accounts.

    As for the inspectors who were on the pad, every one of them needs to be charged with acceptng bribes.

  2. Rog Willmits says:

    It makes me sick that this oil has been allowed to keep on flowing out while BP scratches its ass and makes excuses. I don’t like Obama, but I got some new respect for him when he got fed up with BPs excuses and said Fix the damn leak!

  3. Tom Becker says:

    Well of course we’ll foot the bill for this. Was there ever any doubt? Not in my mind!

  4. MichaelG says:

    Look, it doesn’t matter if BP pays for it or the taxpayer does. The money comes out of your pockets eventually either way. Either as a tax, as cleanup spending by the governments affected along the Gulf, or as higher prices, lower salaries for BP workers and poor investment returns on your BP stock (which some retirement portfolio undoubtedly owns.)

    There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

    I’m all for penalizing the company, since a poor safety record should be punished, but that doesn’t save you any money at all.

    Plus, if you burn the company to the ground for making a mistake, you don’t make sure that all oil drilling is safe in the future. Instead, you guarantee that no U.S. companies will do deep water drilling. The U.S. will just have to buy its oil from some other country that doesn’t regulate as much. Oil drilling will just leave the country like so many other dirty industries have been forced to leave.

    As for Willmits comment about “BP scratches its ass”, I’m sure that since the accident they’ve grabbed every expert they can find, damn the cost. This rig is a mile deep and I think people can’t even get down there. The work is all being done with clumsy remotely operated subs. They have tried one thing after another, and it’s not working.

    Criticize them for their safety record beforehand (or criticize the company that built the Blowout Preventer) but I really doubt anyone is sparing any effort now. Money is bleeding out of the ground and cleanup costs are mounting every day. They want that hole plugged.

    When Obama yells at them for not plugging the leak, my thought is “so why don’t you use your vast oil drilling expertise to stop it, Mr. President.”

  5. Justin says:

    Congress needs term limits!! 8 years and you’re out, done. No more ‘buying’ seats!!!

  6. Darrell says:

    It’s been time “to vote the bums out” for a long, long time now but, as long as Americans continue to have short memories and an aparthetic attitude toward elections along with the belief that it’s “not my representative, he’s a good guy/gal” it just won’t happen. However, I’m still hopeful that this year will be different and we will finally “vote the bums out” (or at the very least, a good portion of them).

  7. Ken H says:

    Dang, I hate to agree with MichaelG, but he does know whereof he speaks. BP said a long time ago they would spare no effort to fix and clean up every drop of oil. They have all the engineers and well control people in the known world working on stopping the problem.
    As far as the MMS goes, most of the inspectors I ever worked with were old oil field hands, that knew their business. Never had one that was less than professional. The compainies I was associated with would have fired the first person that even thought of offering a quid pro quo to one of the inspectors. The inspector would have gone straght to the drilling or production foreman and reported the offer. Those inspectors had one goal, the safety of the rig or platform. You could not get away with a half-hearted test of a safety component. You WILL test every safety component, it WILL pass, or the platform is shut down until it will pass. No half way measures with them. It has been reported some MMS people had been “gifted” with lavish meals, etc. Well, all the rig hands were “gifted” those same lavish meals, the inspector just happened to come to the platform on the day a crawfish boil was planned. Maybe on purpose, but it would NEVER have entered their mind to expect an easy inspection because of it.
    All the experts on TV are just trying to be seen. Listen to them with a salt shaker close at hand. The talking heads on TV make an oil field hand laugh at the depth of their ignorance.

  8. Connie Braidh says:

    The statement that the company should pay is a bogus statement. At no time will big business pay. If the government, state whoever taxes them or gives them a fine, they only pass that cost on to the customer in the form of increased prices. Big business will make their set profit (price minus expenses = profit). If you add $10 to their cost (price goes up $10 minus expenses which go up $10 = profit). Their profit stays the same. While you heart is in the right place, Nick, reality is they will not pay. We, the consumer, will pay. We will pay in increased costs or increased taxes. Either way we pay, business does not. If you tax business out of business, what do you have? A government or one business monopoly. Then we will really pay through the nose. While our system is not perfect, it’s a lot better than living in the old USSR or socialist Europe. We, the US, have the highest standard of living in the world. Government checks and balances on business are needed, but let’s be realist here, we, the US people will pay for this cleanup on the oil accident no matter how you look at it. It’s just the way it is.

  9. Dave C. says:

    We’re screwed either way. We will pay.
    Vote the bums out is a great idea. But be very careful that a 3rd party candidate isn’t put into play to split the conservative vote.
    That would result in another liberal retaining office.

  10. JIM says:

    Socialism is taking over faster than we think. Wake up America and get your head out of the sand. Think about all you worked for and your kids and grandkids.Socialists protect the crooks and rape the innocent. They are already training criminals to be their police force.

  11. Believe it or not, today we agree with MichalG! As well as with Nick. And in the end, no matter what is done in any area, we all end up paying for it. Who makes wealth? THe people who hold jobs and work for a living. Who makes those jobs available? Well, yeah, the companies that make things. But who pays for the things those companies make? The people who hold jobs and work for a living. No offese to farmers and ranchers — they are also important in the creating wealth arena. And by creating wealth, I’m not referring the kind of wealth that enables people to live in great mansions and have yachts and private jets. I’m referring to the wealth that spreads economic health into the nation. We’re all part of the problem, and we’d all better be part of the solution.

  12. Carey McConnell says:

    I don’t understand how BP can pass the cost along to consumers. If they raise the price of their gas, I’m going down the street to Shell or Exxon. Now, if they penalize ALL the oil companies, then your statement would be true; but they’re only talking about making BP pay. So, BP can’t pass the cost along to consumers and still be competitive (unless the oil companies are more incestuous than I think).

    Why can’t BP do what Shell reportedly did and bring in a slew of super tankers. According to what I’ve heard, they can suck the oil and saltwater up, separate the water out and return it to the gulf and fill the ship up with oil. Granted, it wouldn’t be the best oil, but they refine it before they use it anyway.

    I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and I think Obama is dropping the ball on this tradgedy in the worst way. Like Bush, he’s all hat and no cattle on this one. Surely there is something the country can bring to bear on this. Doesn’t the Navy do deep water work?

    Today, they are going to try to dump heavy drilling mud into the system through the blow-out preventer. That might work or it might make the whole thing much much worse.

    I’ll tell you what really twists my knickers: there are a bunch more deep water drilling platforms out there with the same lax or non-existant safety inspections. The Atlantis rig alone would make the Trans-Ocean rig look like a pin-prick if it blew up.

    I just hope we still have a Gulf Coast when this ends.

  13. LR says:

    “Last week Democratic senators tried to pass a bill to raise that cap to $10 billion,”…..Even higher would be better!!

    “Now just how diligent do you think those clowns were in noticing any shortfalls on those oil platforms?”……….Not very, or surely they would have noticed that something was amiss.

    “I think we could grab any 535 everyday working people at random off the street and send them to Washington to replace the idiots in Congress, and we’d all be better off.”……Easily. Anyone who manages to hold down a job in the real world has more common sense than these idiots in their fantasy world.

    But, as usual, the costs for cleaning up this disaster will fall on the consumer. After all, BP is “too big to let it fail”, or pay the price for it’s own screw-ups. Just knowing what’s coming makes me want to buy a horse & buggy from my Amish neighbors and junk the cars.

  14. ken t says:

    Why is no one talking about the huge oil supply we have here in
    the U S A? you know the field that is in s.Dakota,MONTANA,And I think Wyoming !!!!!!!!They say it’s bigger than all the Arab fields combined! Can we assum that maby it’s because it’s private
    property? look back at Texas and Black Gold,A lot of folks got
    filthy rich. with our new SPREAD THE WEALTH deal,this shouldn’t happen.There is no 5000 ft.water there and it would be much easier to control leaks.I have been wondering about this for some time.How about you? Ken

  15. Judie Ashford says:

    In the “They Never Learn” department :

    If you think the disaster in the Gulf is bad, take a look at what BP would like to do in the Arctic. Or, actually, make that “not to do in the Arctic” – that is to take away the requirement for a relief well.

    Please read the first few paragraphs of the above-mentioned article to see what BP is doing elsewhere while our attention is focused on the Gulf of Mexico.

    Judie Ashford

  16. Carey McConnell says:

    To Ken T:
    I was very intrigued by your statement; however, apparently the size of the Dakota/Montana reserves are an Urban Myth (or maybe a Rural Myth). Go here for the scoop:

  17. Kenneth says:

    If you drive a car you will buy gasoline, today.
    If you drive you will have an accident someday.
    BP had a lou-lou of an accident.
    We have had two Space shuttles blow up or apart.
    An those were rocket scientist.
    Big companies will pay through our pockets not theirs.
    BP, consumers and nature will pay for this spill, like all the other spills of a destructive nature.
    As long as petrochemicals are our main fountain of progress this type of accident will happen.
    You can vote out these idiots for another group of idiots if you like but the nature of the game will not change, just the players.

  18. concerned citizen says:

    Oil reserves. There are proven reserves of oil in that general part of the continent, BUT they are within shale and or sand deposits and not in a liquid state. Getting the oil out is a lot more expensive. Some of that oil has been extracted from the ground, but not cost effective.

  19. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by arizona dennizen, Nick Russell. Nick Russell said: A new Bad Nick Blog post titled Adding Insult To Injury at […]

  20. ken turner says:

    Carey; maby someone should tell Canada about this myth,as the story goes ,They have been taking thousands of gal.or more out of this same MYTH oil field.The only thing I could find out about your scoop was a myth it didn’t come up on my PC ken T

  21. Connie Braidh says:

    BP plc is a global company. It is registered in England and Wales. It’s international headquarters is 1 St James Square, London, England (see Look under products and Services. They are a very diverse company. If we put taxes/ fines on them, they will spread costs across the spectrum of their products. If they raise prices 1 or 2 cents for fuel, other companies will follow suit (haven’t you seen them do it time and time again? I have.) So we will not only pay for the tax/fine but also to increase profit for other companies. Have you noticed the small one owner gas station is gone? The large companies squeezed them out. Also the large old companies have many times been in trouble for controlling prices at the pump. I am not saying we should just grin and bear it, but I do think we need to understand the system and how it works. Just saying, “Make big business pay.” is unrealistic and not really possible. So what is the solution? Not sure but a combination of government and big business working together to control these occasional disasters would be good. Now that’s a novel idea.

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