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Legal authority? BP will (mostly) cave to White House demand for escrow account

A bunch of readers have asked whether the White House is really on solid ground in asserting that it has the legal authority to force BP to set up a massive escrow account to handle the claims of people and businesses impacted by the spill.

In the press gaggle today, Bill Burton asserted to reporters that the White House does indeed have that authority, without going into great detail.

But in a sense this all may be beside the point: It's highly unlikely that BP will allow this to come to a legal confrontation. BP will mostly cave on the White House's demand.

Keep in mind that the announcement of Obama's demand for an escrow account comes in advance of BP's high stakes meeting at the White House on Wednesday. It also comes as behind-the-scenes negotiations between both parties continue. The bombshell about the escrow account is all about boxing BP in. It's all about making it impossible for BP to refuse the White House's demand.

To be sure, BP will throw up some objections. The company may haggle over details. They will insist on concessions designed to mitigate the appearance that they were forced into submission by the White House. But ultimately BP will give the White House what it needs to declare victory here.

It's understandable that folks would be skeptical about this, given BP's performance to date. But recall that the administration has arguably gone out on a limb in being over-protective of BP, at considerable political risk to Obama. BP is going to do what it can to preserve a state of affairs where the White House is basically giving it the benefit of the doubt. If the White House needs to demand an escrow account to demonstrate Obama's hands-on leadership, BP is not going to foul that up by picking a real fight.

I could be wrong, but I just don't see it coming to a real legal confrontation.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 14, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  Climate change  
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Comments

The U.S. should take 10 million of this escrow and set it aside to stand up a claims department to take and track claims.

Existing DoD databases used for tracking trouble claims could quickly be augmented to work with claims associated with the spill.

Without the Govn't standing between those making the claims and BP's claims department, which is turning out to be a farce, individuals would go bankrupt and go out of business before any claims are taken care of.

The last thing that region needs right now is a de-stimulus in their economy with spenders of money disappearing.

The Govn't needs to make it very clear they are on the side of the people and will stand by them every step of the way until their claims are addressed.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 14, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

BP will do it because they have to.

Republicans will shout and scream and cry and deflect from the issues because that's all they have left.

Speaking of the Spock metaphor, I think the President has gotten back to playing 8-dimension chess. I'm glad. He's good at it and usually gets the right result.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Considering the PR nightmare facing BP, I don't see how they can refuse. And since Boehner actually agreed that the liability cap should be lifted, not legal IMO, the appearance is that BP is on the hook in everyone's mind. If they claim to be responsible for the gusher cleanup and economic damages, how can they legitimately refuse?

Posted by: lmsinca | June 14, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

BP has already established a $360m escrow account to pay Louisiana for the berm construction.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 14, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Read all about BP's record of ignoring the regulations, and thereby causing massive oil spills.

http://www.propublica.org/feature/years-of-internal-bp-probes-warned-that-neglect-could-lead-to-accidents

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Holder could probably make them post bond, if necessary, because they are breaking the Clean Water Act law every second that oil gushes. At the rate that is spewing, the fine will be in the billions because they are charged by the barrel. Also, they are on probation, according to Wiki from the Texas City Oil Refinery explosion, for the laws they broke then. Yes, they will give us money or else.

Posted by: carolerae48 | June 14, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

So long as the oil is still gushing out, BP will be anxious to appear to be doing anything and everything to cooperate. The President is wise to take this action now, while BP is still floundering to end their fiasco.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | June 14, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

* Waxman Letter to Hayward Cites BP 'Shortcuts' *

Congressional investigators say documents uncovered as part of their inquiry into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have raised "serious questions about the decisions made by BP in the days and hours before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon" drilling rig.

In a letter sent Monday to BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward, the Democratic leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee say that in the days and hours leading up the April 20 explosion, BP appears "to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure."

[...]

The lawmakers then cite what they call "five crucial decisions" that BP made in designing and completing that may have led to vulnerabilities in the well's design. "The common feature of these five decisions is that they posed a trade-off between cost and well safety," the letter says.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704324304575306800201158346.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

When a child sets out to become the youngest ever to sail solo, around the globe, or climb some mountain, or........

What the hell is the point of those exercises?

Is it the Guinness Book Of Stupid Records Syndrome, being played out.

A Modest Proposal:

Let us cut right to the ultimate goal, where all this absurdity is heading for:

I propose, in order to set the ultimate: "youngest ever" records;

Strap a premature baby to a ship mast, and set it off on a solo voyage. Also launch another one in a hot air balloon, to try and float around the globe.

Not sure if one of those premature babies can be sent on a mountain climbing attempt, but perhaps we could hire a Sherpa to push one up Everest in a baby buggy. It would not be much different that how Edmund Hillary made it to the top of Everest. His Sherpa did all the heaving lifting, and Edmund got all the glory.

We can do it America. We put a man on the moon, so we are certainly capable of making This Giant Leap Backwards, In Child Endangerment.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

We have to make BP pay up now, before the national media takes off after another missing attractive blonde, story.

Heard anything about Goldman Sachs, or Haiti recently?

The national media will only stay on top of one story at a time.

Please quarantine all attractive blondes until BP has paid up.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

So long as the oil is still gushing out, BP will be anxious to appear to be doing anything and everything to cooperate. The President is wise to take this action now, while BP is still floundering to end their fiasco.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | June 14, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Common-sense statement of the week:

* Lack of national policy keeps sun power in shadows *

While the U.S. has spent decades developing competitive solar technology, efforts to translate that research into the marketplace have faltered because of a lack of national strategy, experts say.

“We haven’t developed a conscious plan, a conscious idea about how we might shift from our current set of resources, like coal and oil, to something with a better environmental and self-sufficiency footprint,” said Ken Zweibel, director of The GW Solar Institute at George Washington University.

To Zweibel, the fact that even something as disastrous as the Gulf oil spill has not prompted a major drive toward less-polluting energy sources is just more evidence of that lack of commitment.

"I don't think we understand what we're getting, and I think what we're getting is energy independence, which is price stability," he said, referring to solar power.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37623433/ns/business-us_business/

It is a DISGRACE that the wealthiest country in the world hasn't made even the most basic of efforts at defining our production of renewable energy. An out-and-out DISGRACE.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

BP: "NIGHTMARE WELL"

Six days before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, a BP drilling engineer called the rig a "nightmare well" that had caused the company problems in the past.

The comment by BP engineer Brian Morel came in an e-mail April 14.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/06/14/us/politics/AP-US-Gulf-Oil-Spill-Washington.html

BP, the oil industry, and the Republican Party are America's "nightmare well."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Agree with your post, Greg, and with comments above. Spot on. BP has to get out ahead of this while they can and with the well not even plugged they can't entrench themselves in denial or a court battle.

When the well gets plugged (or killed), watch for their reaction then. THAT is when we'll see them play small ball to limit liability for damages.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 14, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Show me the money. That is why Obama waited so long to do something wasn't it. So he could take the profits of BP. Is there no one safe from the fingers of Obama. The world offered to help with the oil spill and Obama rejected the help. Only now after the oil spill damage has done what Obama wanted it do does he accept the help from the international community. Why now. What's different in his reason for accepting and his reason for rejecting their help in the beginning. The conditions for rejecting and accepting are the same. The profits of BP stood in the way. Now that BP has agreed to give up their profits, Obama wants all the help in the world.

Posted by: houstonian | June 14, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"I could be wrong, but I just don't see it coming to a real legal confrontation."

You appear to be right, Greg. BP is obviously in a serious jam. They have to worry about criminal charges and being barred from U.S. oil fields and markets. BP's stock price is crumbling. There are bankruptcy rumors about. Obama has maximum leverage over BP and he is very smart to get the money now. Two caveats: 1) make sure that under no circumstances will BP have the power to take the money back from the escrow account (unless it is unused); and 2) get enough money, at least $15B, maybe more.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 14, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

How can the President compel BP to set-up a $20B relief fund without due process? Who is to decide what parties can have relief from the fund and the amount? I hope BP tells the Administration to kiss off.

Posted by: index1 | June 14, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Houstonian says to the residents of the Gulf Coast, whose livelihoods have been destroyed by the criminal negligence of BP;

We Republicans hate you hard working Americans, and we love the giant corporation that is smothering you to death.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Houstonian, your post doesn't make a bit of sense.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 14, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Right Wing Nut Jobs are engaging in their Usual Double Speak.

They always want Government To Not Have Any Say In How Corporations Run Their Operations,

While at the same time, those same Right Wing Nut Jobs are saying, that President Obama should have interfered with how BP was handling the engineering aspects of the leak, from the very start.

Make up your minds, all you two faced Right Wing Morons; which way do you want it?

Ask Rand Paul for guidance before you decide.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

index, the point of the escrow is to then get an arbitrator to adjudicate claims for damages, and then pay them according to a formula that the parties would agree to. This has been done before.

If it's too complicated for those of you who want to protect BP at all costs, then just keep quiet while the grown-ups sort it out.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

* BP phone operator says calls from concerned citizens fall on deaf ears *

A contracted operator with BP said calls from concerned citizens are falling on deaf ears.

For this story, we’ll refer to her as "Janice."

Janice told 11 News she’s one of 100 operators at the BP Call Center in West Houston. They answer phones from the hotline number designated for the Vessel of Opportunity Program and for cleanup ideas.

"We take all your information and then we have nothing to give them, nothing to give them," said Janice.

Janice said calls about the oil disaster are non-stop and that operators are just warm bodies on the other end of the phone.

"We’re a diversion to stop them from really getting to the corporate office, to the big people," said Janice.

http://www.khou.com/news/local/BP-operator-says-calls-fall-on-deaf-ears-96259454.html

(h/t Think Progress)

THESE are the people that the Right Wing are defending. A faceless, nameless multinational organization that is DECEIVING THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST by pretending to hear their concerns.

Anyone who goes to bat for BP -- including the entire GOP apparatus, GOP hate radio, and GOP commenters on the blogosphere -- is supporting what can only be described as an IMMORAL CHARADE designed to FOOL the people of the Gulf Coast.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I bet BP sure wished they followed the rules more now. That expensive relief well would look like a bargain now.

Hasn't the company lost half its stock value by now?

I'm feeling schadenfreude, but it won't bring back the environment that's been destroyed.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 14, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Since when did Moveon.Org get its own columnist to post continuous drivel in the Washington Post?

You can't put lipstick on a pig, Greg. Obama and BP have been in bed together since his election where he took more in campaign contributions than McCain. Obama also had more than enough time to fix the so-called "scandalously close relationship" between the MMS and oil companies but all we got from our President of Hope and Change were calls for more of the same drilling in other waters.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | June 14, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

All, new interview surfaces in which Sharron Angle suggested we should privatize the Veterans Administration:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/sharron_angle_suggests_we_shou.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 14, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, probably BP will pay up, but then it will get reimbursed by Cameron, thoroughly an American company, makers of the equipment that fail and exploded, and Transocean, also American owned which operated the rig. And why not, let the sea of legal wranglings begin, I am sure they have already started only that we don't hear about them. The only happy people will be the lawyers.

Posted by: hoffmannrojas | June 14, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

BP will cave, not because it's legal--it isn't--but because the PR ramifications of fighting it are too great.

On the other hand, if Obama keeps up his recent rhetoric against BP, maybe BP will figure that they have nothing to lose fighting Obama. Obama seems to be overcompensating during the past week for his earlier soft treatment toward BP.

What surprises me is that more in the mainstream media aren't talking about Obama's comparison between the oil spill and 9/11. It has headlined the BBC homepage today, and has shown up scantily in much of the American press. Saying that this "echoes" 9/11, and that it will cause a rethinking of energy policy in much the same way that 9/11 caused a rethinking of security, implies that oil drilling and BP are attacking the environment like Muslim radicals attacked the U.S., or else it is reducing 9/11 to a mere accident of failed government policy and faulty American attitudes toward the Muslim world. Obama cannot make the comparison without implying one or the other...and yet most of the American media hasn't reported on the comment at all.

Posted by: blert | June 14, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"THESE are the people that the Right Wing are defending. A faceless, nameless multinational organization that is DECEIVING THE PEOPLE OF THE GULF COAST by pretending to hear their concerns."

This is what passes for factual commentary by liberals. Who exactly is defending BP? By pointing out that the liability cap might be enforceable? As such noted right-wing nuts like Liam and lmsinca have said?

Ethan is wee wee'd up that BP's CEO doesn't answer the phone when "concerned citizens" call, but a big room full of phone operators does instead?

That would be a great idea for dealing with the spill.

Great as a geneal policy requirement for all corporations, too: CEO must take all "concerned citizen" calls (and comply with their demands, I suppose).

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Some hard questions:

How would Haywood avoid being sued by shareholders for handing over $7 or 20 billion the company isn't legally obligated to pay? How would that be justified? Just because they think it wise as PR?

And how would such voluntary payment -- even if it were made -- affect bankruptcy and not be challenged by other creditors? That is, can BP put itself into bankruptcy by giving its money away, without consequence?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

His defense is: it was a plea bargain settlement, to avoid having BP going the way of Enron, a criminal enterprise that operated in a similar manner to the way BP has done.

Imagine what they must be doing to the environment, in third world countries, where no one is keeping them in check.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Harder question for the left:

Will some courageous liberal back up the "Bush's fault" meme with a specific factual account?

That is, can anyone give a detailed factual demonstration connecting the specific cause of the spill to something specific that Bush/Cheney did?

And I do not mean more generalized bs about "deregulation" and "cozy relationships" or rapid permitting.

Someone give the detailed, concrete demonstration that something specific that Bush/Cheney did caused the spill, and that the Obama admin shares no blame.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

QB doesn't care if the people who were damaged by this disaster ever see one penny for the destruction of their lives and livelihoods.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I doubt it can be that simple, Liam, particularly at this point in things. BP hasn't even been charged with anything yet, and I doubt will be any time soon.

I don't think it would work for them to say, in effect, we thought that if we took all the cash and net worth we could scrape together and hand it to Obama they might go easier on us.

Maybe we'll see something like this, but I think it is MUCH more complicated than you people are acknowledging and not nearly as likely as you think, at least if the issue is liability for damages and not removal costs.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"The teleprompter-reading monkey sent dipshit Holder and lawyers. "

Greg, I don't mind spending some time scrolling past a lot of the repetitive troll drivel around here, but surely the above comment crosses the line of decency and useful discourse.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 14, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still wrote: "Imagine what they must be doing to the environment, in third world countries, where no one is keeping them in check."

Kinda like Union Carbide, then, except BP haven't killed thousands of people. Of course, they were only Indians, right?

Posted by: BobT2 | June 14, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ethan doesn't care about the truth. That's all anyone needs to know.

Just because I destroyed your legally nonsensical argument doesn't give you license to tell lies.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: quarterback1:
"Someone give the detailed, concrete demonstration that something specific that Bush/Cheney did caused the spill, and that the Obama admin shares no blame."

****************************************

Good luck with that.

In simple terms, a call for more drilling in March was the Obama administration's tacit endorsement of existing policy and limited regulation. You cannot blame the past administration when your own administration has made calls to continue with more of the same.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | June 14, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

QB, give us a sign that you support BP paying all damages to the injured parties in the Gulf region.

Go ahead. Give us a sign.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

They have their knickers tied in a knot and cannot run, so they have to comply. The escrow account takes the tension factor down remarkably. They can then focus on shutting off the well and not look at every bill from every person going broke at their hands.

Posted by: ronjeske | June 14, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"QB doesn't care if the people who were damaged by this disaster ever see one penny for the destruction of their lives and livelihoods."

"QB, give us a sign that you support BP paying all damages to the injured parties in the Gulf region."

How about you figure out what position you are trying so stridently to assert, then I'll consider whether its worth my time.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I hope there are some people from the Gulf coast here who are reading this.

Here you have a "conservative"/Republican who CANNOT and WILL NOT publicly admit that they don't care if the people of the Gulf region get paid back for their damages.

Listen up.

The Republican Party DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU.

They don't care about the Gulf of Mexico.

They don't care about shrimpers, about fishermen, about oysters or crawfish...

They ONLY care about protecting the biggest, most profitable industries in the history of the world.

And you know what? They don't CARE if you know this. They will continue to screw you right to your face and then mock you and laugh at you.

Right QB?

You've proven me right time and time again. It's obvious, QB, that you just DON'T CARE if the people of the Gulf Coast get money for the damages that were inflected upon them. Show us a sign that you care. Show us a sign that you think the Gulf Coast residents, who have had their lives ripped out from under them by BP's negligence, should receive financial remediation for the losses they've suffered. Go ahead.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

KISS,

"Pottery Barn Rules"

BP broke it, so they have to pay for it.

Only Republican believe in making the victims pay for the crimes that Corporations perpetrate.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 14, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Only a court of Justice has the authority to give BP the order to pay for whatever oil spill damage. BP has the elegance to do it volontarily. But Transocean and Halliburton have responsibilities too. President Obama, as chief of the Executive, has no constitutional authority to act on this. By asking BP not to fill its obligations to shareholders and not pay dividends, Obama is adding a new problem in this already difficult situation. I feel sorry for BP officials who thing they can be listened to at the coming White House meeting. Better for them to be ready to go in court. A compromise would be for BP to make clear that, as they are not in the business of evaluating and paying compensations, they ask the White House to create a Special Agency to receive all due claims and present the bills to all those responsible for this disaster.

Posted by: domagaya | June 14, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

What is obvious, Ethan, is that you are nothing but a blowhard propogandist and political hatchet man to whom the truth is irrelevant.

What is obvious is that your thinking is so fuzzy that you can't even distill a coherent and precise thought or argument.

What is obvious is that you are unable to grasp complexity and deal with it.

What is obvious is that you don't know the difference between caring about something and arriving at a sound and well-considered judgment about what to do about it.

What is obvious is that you like to spend your time in rhetorical attacks on your political foes over issues on which your own President hasn't even gone on the record. Interesting how you ignore inconvenient facts like that.

I'm flattered that you think my comments are so important to the national discourse and direction of the country, but I'm not playing your stupid games any more.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't care about fishermen, shrimpers or coastal businesses. He only cares about looking good in front of the teleprompter.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | June 14, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

GOP Senators & Congressman;

Lindsey O. Graham, (R-SC)
Richard (Senate Secret Hold & $350 Billion Littoral Warship Public Welfare) Shelby, (R-ALA)
Mitch (Balance Budget Commission but voted Against it) McConnell, (R-KY)
Saxby Chambliss, (R-GA)
John Boehner, (R-OHIO) Congress
Tom Coburn, (R-OKLA)
James Inhofe, (R-OKLA)
Lisa (Welfare State EPA Hater) Murkowski, (R-AK)

; are Stalling and Blocking Oil Company Reparations as the Gulf Coast Citizens are losing their livelihoods in slow motion horror.

This is Why Obama is taking more Drastic Action to Protect the People of the Gulf Coast and Hunderds of Billions of USA Resources.

If BP doesn't set aside $25~$100 Billion for Initial Clean-Up, Recovery, Reparations and Penalties to the USA: Place BP's American Operations in "Temporary Receivership".


Remove BP from Cleanup Operation! They are the Criminals!! The USA should hire Private Companies to do it and Bill all Expenses to BP, even if it’s $1 Billion a week. "Get the Money and Clean it UP". The Longer it takes to Stop, the Longer they Pay for the Damage.

Posted by: liveride | June 14, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I'll take that as confirmation that, NO, you don't care about the people of the Gulf Coast nor the life-changing damages caused by this oil disaster.

You can pick up your toys and go home, but when you get there you'll still be the same immoral clown who refuses to say that the people of the Gulf Coast should receive damages for their injury.

Shame on you.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

It would be a smart move on BP's part to set up a trust fund and begin stettling claims to midigate their long term losses. The first prinicple of tort law, is that there has to be a loss. If that loss has been adequately compensated, then the plantiff(s) has no standing. Thus, BP would save themselves potentiall $Billions in lawyer's fees by setting aside the money and showing good faith in getting the valid claims settled as quickly as possible.

Posted by: DrS1 | June 14, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

QB says to these poor, injured men, women and children: TOUGH SH*T!!!!

A month into the oil spill, Bernard Johnson sat in his living room in this Gulf Coast fishing village watching news of the crude's slow and deadly seep into the bays and bayous where he has made a living for nearly three decades.

He thought of his wife and 5-year-old daughter. And he made a decision.

For the first time in three generations of fishermen, a Johnson would accept outside help. Days later, his wife, a school bus driver in St. Bernard Parish, applied for food stamps. The first check -- about $260 -- arrived on a Monday, 41 days after the Gulf of Mexico rig explosion.

"My daddy raised four of us with no help. My daddy's daddy raised 13 with nothing but what he made on the water," said Johnson, 43, whose family settled near the bayou after moving from the Canary Islands. "This is a first. I have never asked the government or anybody else for help in my life. I have never taken a handout. And it was hard for me to do, but we just don't know how this thing is going to turn out."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/06/14/95833/after-generations-of-independence.html

Anyone who treats these hard-working Americans with open disdain, as QB has shown, is nothing more than a mean, callous, bitter, soul-less coward. And that perfectly sums up the Republican Party of 2010.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

BP will cave, not because it's legal--it isn't--but because the PR ramifications of fighting it are too great.

On the other hand, if Obama keeps up his recent rhetoric against BP, maybe BP will figure that they have nothing to lose fighting Obama. Obama seems to be overcompensating during the past week for his earlier soft treatment toward BP

=======================================

Since Obama doesn't know what to do he's acting tough so it'll look like he's doing something.

I think BP will cave because it doesn't have a choice now. They may fight later on if the survival of the company is at stake.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 14, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Remove BP from Cleanup Operation! They are the Criminals!! The USA should hire Private Companies to do it and Bill all Expenses to BP.

BP executives are still Lying about Oil Spill Rates, Lying about Oil Plums, Lying about Intimidating Cleanup Workers from discussing the spill, and Nickel and Diming Cleanup and Reparations while setting aside Billions for Stockholder Dividends. This Oil spill is an Attack on America and these guys should be arrested Immediately.

Prosecution and Jail for all BP and MMS Managers Responsible for the Oil Flood/Eruption and Fine BP Wrath of God Money ($100~400 Billion) as that is the Only thing that will force these Companies to stop;

* Falsifying, inspections,
* Neglecting key safety equipment,
* Failing to perform key checks and maintenance, and
* Harassing and Intimidating workers, and whistleblowers.

There is the Cost for Cleanup ($60~$100 Billion), Cost for Decades of Lost Income of USA and Gulf Coast Residents ($100 Billion) and the Cost for Criminal Negligence (Double these two Costs: $320~400 Billion).

Legendary Coach John Wooden said "Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail."

Here is How the USA Prepares BP, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Marathon and Others Not To Fail;

* Require Current Drillers to be subject to new Insurance and Safety Regulation Requirements (& Frequent Inspections to Verify compliance and well maintained 450 Ton Blow-Out Preventers (BOP), Storage Tanks leak checks, and Pipeline Cleaning and Corrosion checks.

* Require Secondary Relief Wells for all Current and Future Deep Sea Drilling. It's Crazy to allow Current Drillers to not have Secondary Relief Wells and potentially create a Duplicate Disaster.

* Require Remote Acoustic Triggers for Shut Off Valves,

* Require Drillers to be Insured for Worst case Scenario ($100 Billion ~ $500 Billion).

* Raise the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund supported by industry fees from $1 Billion to $500 Billion.

* End the Billions in Tax breaks for Oil Companies and end all fossil-fuel subsidies.

BP has Billions set aside for Stock Dividends. We need to do all possible to Block and Redirect those payments to USA Clean-Up, Recovery, Reparations and Penalties.

Posted by: liveride | June 14, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Recently I had the Opportunity to make a submission to the EPA concerning the Oil Spill and a possible solution.

http://i49.tinypic.com/ip4o4x.png

It is, for all intended purposes and purposes that would concern technology R&D, . . the same one that I made twenty-one years ago.

I intended to send it to the EPA but at the time of the Valdez Spill the Government elected for oil-spill technology to go to the Marine
Spill Response Corporation, (MSRC instead of going to the Office of Environmental Protection.

The concept was a net that was small enough in net loop size, (screening), that it would hold the partiality
buoyant crude. The flotation booms were designed to be much over sized and would protect the contents from leaving the
seine during rough seas. It would have been deployed using it in such a way that in would open and engulf or surround large
amounts of oil, then holding it in one place, acting as a pumping station.

The MSRC rejected the idea, and when I asked why, they told me that they did not have to answer that.

Previous to that I also sent it to the Exxon company, who seemed to, ( I may be wrong), have a slight interest in it but they rejected it too.

I also sent it to the DuPont Company, they spent a little time looking it over with some interest, but also elected to pass it up.

Since, my plans at the time included the seine design, . . it would have nicely fit the bill, for deploying it after the pipe break in the gulf.

What terrible loss of twenty-one years which would have availed me a career in Environmental Technologies!

Posted by: Jople | June 14, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

We've seen your "I'll take that as" bit before. We already know you misunderstand, misrepresent, and distort everything, so no one really cares how you "take" anything.

But again I'm flattered that you think my views so important.


DrS,

BP can't "satisfy" anyone's claims by putting a bunch of money into an account. You are way off the mark there. A defendant and a class representative cannot even settle the claims of absent class members unless strict requirements of class certification are required, and here that certainly would not be possible.

That is one of the many problems with this whole "escrow" fund idea that no one has bothered to address.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

QB, at least you're admitting that you are fine with not helping people who are hurting. People in your own country, in the U.S.A. Your so-called "views." I.e. when you say, "I'm flattered that you think my views so important." I gave you several opportunities to say that you care about the people of the Gulf Coast and you never have. You have made your "views", clearly echoing the Republican Party line on liability, abundantly clear.

The funny thing is, that was my point before when you refused over and over again to even SUGGEST that these people should receive some compensation for their damages, you called me a liar, etc. Now you're basically admitting your views in your repeated refusal to answer that basic point. It's just difficult for me to imagine that having that kind of mentality.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 14, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, no, sorry, you're all wet.

You do little more than make strident, over-the-top, hyperpartisan assertions that Republicans "DON'T CARE!" etc., then throw down silly challenges to accept your shifting but asbolutist positions or be declared guilty of "not caring."

Then you drop the "I gave you every chance" nonsense and say "I just can't understand . . . blah blah."

You're never engaged in anything resembling a good faith argument. You are just playing some silly debating point game, and I just won't even give you the satisfaction or validation of responding to your nonense challenges.

Your "argument" is complete rubbish.

As for your lying, the reason I said you lied should be quite clear to you. I have never said anything remotely suggesting that I "don't care." I only refuted your stubborn argument that either BP or "the taxpayers" would necessarily be liable for damage.

You knew that, but you are perfectly willing to lie for your cause. Good for you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 14, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I am disgusted by this inept administration that obviously has no clue how to handle this crisis or any other for that matter. Oh they are going to get their slush fund. But spacey as they are, they still have done nothing to organize cleanup. When I heard that Obama will not sign a waiver to allow other countries to help clean up the spill to protect Unions, I knew Obama was all about self and special interests. When I heard he had time for fund raisers, praising Paul, and playing golf but did not have time to meet with the executives of BP until this week, I knew he was not a leader and a complete oaf. I thought I had seen anger when they passed the health care takeover, but I have seen people shed tears over this spill watching this administrations total indifference. I am counting the days to vote these pathetic people out of office. We deserve better.

Posted by: greatgran1 | June 14, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

greatgran1, why didn't you say anything during Katrina and where were you when Bush said he didn't give much thought to Bin Laden?

Just what I thought, it was all okay because Bush was a Republican.

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | June 14, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

And we still hear NOTHING from the GOP representatives in Washington! They're probably holding the BP execs hands and telling him that everything will be alright.

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | June 14, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The impact of this "leak" will have long lasting consequences for the whole world. The clean up will be many, many times harder than the sealing of the well head is and we see how swimmingly that has worked so far. We are in a heap of environmental trouble and just refuse to see the scope of this disaster.


BP will cave in, BP will survive, BP will not change at the core and will move elsewhere with zero regulation. Who cares anyway, that oil in the gulf was bound for the wondrous, all mighty and all knowing free market for the USA to bid on against the rest of the world.

Come on folks, even after the power grab by the Bush admin, the POTUS does not weld that much power at all. It's still and always has been a bit of a show and we all know it if we are honest. Come on, Dubya was not in any type of control. Obama is about there too. Give it a break.

Blah, blah, blah!

Posted by: rugthug | June 14, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

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