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  • So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

    After watching how Exxon lawyered up and used every legal maneuver available to reduce and delay any accountability for over twenty years, I think getting a privately managed escrow account funded by the guilty party is a good first step.

    I also think the moratorium should have been heard by a judge who did not have a financial stake in the decision. Not that the moratorium was as wide spread as was reported. It only applied to 33 rigs out of over 4,100 rigs currently operating in the gulf. It did not apply to rigs currently producing oil, only exploratory rigs like the Deep Horizon.

    I say kudos for getting BP to own up to their responsibility quickly.

    I know many think personal responsibility only applies to natural persons, but since corporations want the privileges of personhood they too need to shoulder the responsibility for negligence. Even if it is somehow demonstrated that they did everything text book and no procedures were violated, it is still their mess, not ours.

  • #2
    Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

    the basic problem I see is back when the Exxon Valdez spill took place the congress, 1990 law passed that limited liability to a given limit, (think it was 75 million)
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/...law_06-04.html

    (now my guess is that at that time that was a very high limit), and no one who passed that law dreamed of a day when it would be pocket change for a company like BP,

    but does one follow the law that is on the books or make up things as one goes along,

    If one is in business, and they are operating under a set of laws and rules, and those laws have been used to formulate the operation costs, and liability's and reserves that are needed to keep the company function in case of a disaster, and the disaster hits, and the rules are changed on the fly, I do not see how that is right to the company.

    the other side of the coin is the Government has the regulatory agency's, that approved and set the guidelines for the drilling and production of oil, they collect tax on nearly ever gallon of oil and gasoline and diesel fuel sold in this country, they have made billions in revenue off of oil, they made the rules and set the guidelines and even the inspectors,
    (My guess is the Government is partly responsible for some of this disaster as well, from some of the decisions that were made by the regulatory agencies),
    (If the regulatory agencies did not do there job, (and there have been a lot of news reports that they were not), to what extent is the government responsible?

    personally instead of trying to point fingers and blame at this point do what is necessary to plug the leak, and clean up the oil that is coming on shore, and get things back to a safe point, and then see who screw up and then work with in the law to bring the appropriate justice to those who failed, both in the GOVERNMENT as well as those making decisions on the rig and the company.

    I just hope that extortion or black mail was not used in twisting BP arm in agreeing to the escrow account or it's amount,

    as if that is the new policy of government then no business is safe in its operations or person in there living.

    leasts just say BP gets fed up with the US Government, and says stick it where the sun does not shine, in the mean time they trade off there US assets to some other company and say to Obama this baby is yours you fix it, were going home? and just pull out of the US all together, leaving the oil gushing and the problem to fix to the government and there talking heads.

    Until the problem is under control I would think BP has some leverage in this game as well. and I would think the Government may be wise not to kick a$$ any to hard until the situation is controlled,

    Should BP be paying the losses of the people (my guess is probably), as it was not of any fault of there own,

    but if it was hurricane and the fishing was messed up who pays for nature?

    some times were constantly opening a can of worms in the effort to compensate ever one for every thing, responsible or not,

    should they (the individual),be compensated if they have some type of insurance that covers that kind of loss?

    to answer the direct question you asked, most likely it is a good thing for the Tax payer, as in theory that much less would be borrowed to aid the people in need.

    tho as a consumer of fuel it will most likely add to the cost of a gallon of fuel,
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

      I think the shareholders should be able to sue BP's board for establishing a fund that increases their liability by $19,925,000,000.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

        Let the share holders sue.

        It will be interesting to see if congress is able to remove the limit on liabilities. I suspect it will be shot down in flames though.

        If the president is able to convince BP that the small people are owed a minimum of $20 billion, then so be it. If that means that BP was told that unless they pony up the fund, they will not have access to our reserves or our markets. I see nothing wrong with that at all. It isn't as if this disaster is not entirely of their making.

        (Big, multi-national) Corporations are very adept at knowing just where their legal obligations end and do not go one step further. Less if at all possible. Often times this means they will do only what is required, not that which is morally or ethically required.

        So they wipe out the entire fishing and tourism industry in the gulf. They are only obligated to pay $75 million and their hands are clean. Pretty sweet deal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

          I am glad to see BP agree to the $20,000,000,000 escrow but not naive enough to fall for Obama's grandstanding over it. I suspect it was in the works way before the announcement. As for the moratorium, I feel it was poorly conceived and lacked common or scientific sense.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
            I am glad to see BP agree to the $20,000,000,000 escrow but not naive enough to fall for Obama's grandstanding over it. I suspect it was in the works way before the announcement. As for the moratorium, I feel it was poorly conceived and lacked common or scientific sense.

            Mark
            I think that drillers should be liable for more than $75,000,000. $20,000,000,000 might be the right number for the future (hell it could be $100 billion, and indexed to inflation or the cost per barrel of oil or something so that in 20 years when some other company has an accident we don't say "$20 Billion that is chump change."). I just don't think it is right to change the rules after the fact.

            As far as a company trying to avoid liability, that is their job. If I were retired and had BP stock (which apparently accounts for 1/6 of dividends paid in Britain); I would sure as hell be upset that they are going to cut my paycheck by 1/6. The board of directors has a responsibility to investors not to spend money on things it doesn't have to. This is the same as if they paid $20B in extra taxes just because.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

              Originally posted by cpw View Post
              I think that drillers should be liable for more than $75,000,000. $20,000,000,000 might be the right number for the future (hell it could be $100 billion, and indexed to inflation or the cost per barrel of oil or something so that in 20 years when some other company has an accident we don't say "$20 Billion that is chump change."). I just don't think it is right to change the rules after the fact.

              As far as a company trying to avoid liability, that is their job. If I were retired and had BP stock (which apparently accounts for 1/6 of dividends paid in Britain); I would sure as hell be upset that they are going to cut my paycheck by 1/6. The board of directors has a responsibility to investors not to spend money on things it doesn't have to. This is the same as if they paid $20B in extra taxes just because.
              I'm sure they did an internal risk analyst to come up with the figure. I am also sure their intention is to go after other parties after the mess is cleaned up.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                I am glad to see BP agree to the $20,000,000,000 escrow but not naive enough to fall for Obama's grandstanding over it. I suspect it was in the works way before the announcement. As for the moratorium, I feel it was poorly conceived and lacked common or scientific sense.

                Mark
                I haven't seen him 'grandstanding' over it. I do know that the GOP is openly opposed to the $20 billion escrow however. Apparently they feel this is an expense that should be covered by the taxpayers.

                The moratorium, as I understand, was limited to 33 rigs that are actively drilling/exploratory (they don't know there is oil there for sure until they hit the pocket) drilling. Out of 4,100+ rigs in the gulf, 33 of them were engaged in the same activity as the Deep Horizon, but had not yet reached the pocket of oil. The moratorium was to halt these active drilling operations until a we have a better understanding of what went wrong on the Deep Horizon. Seems practical, doesn't it? Is there something process or procedure that is inherently incorrect for the depth/location? Do we need risk another Deep Horizon for the minimal amount of oil available on the international market?

                The other 4,100 rigs are either harvesting oil or are drilling in shallower waters and were not included in the moratorium. The number of rigs affect by the moratorium is .008%.

                The WH, as usual, did a very poor job of messaging. Had they simply come out and said this moratorium will affect less than one tenth of one percent of all the rigs in the gulf it would not have even made it to page three.

                I think the GOP will present congress with a very difficult challenge in raising or all together eliminating the cap on damages. I do not expect them to allow any meaningful change in the law.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                  Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
                  I haven't seen him 'grandstanding' over it. I do know that the GOP is openly opposed to the $20 billion escrow however. Apparently they feel this is an expense that should be covered by the taxpayers.

                  The moratorium, as I understand, was limited to 33 rigs that are actively drilling/exploratory (they don't know there is oil there for sure until they hit the pocket) drilling. Out of 4,100+ rigs in the gulf, 33 of them were engaged in the same activity as the Deep Horizon, but had not yet reached the pocket of oil. The moratorium was to halt these active drilling operations until a we have a better understanding of what went wrong on the Deep Horizon. Seems practical, doesn't it? Is there something process or procedure that is inherently incorrect for the depth/location? Do we need risk another Deep Horizon for the minimal amount of oil available on the international market?

                  The other 4,100 rigs are either harvesting oil or are drilling in shallower waters and were not included in the moratorium. The number of rigs affect by the moratorium is .008%.

                  The WH, as usual, did a very poor job of messaging. Had they simply come out and said this moratorium will affect less than one tenth of one percent of all the rigs in the gulf it would not have even made it to page three.

                  I think the GOP will present congress with a very difficult challenge in raising or all together eliminating the cap on damages. I do not expect them to allow any meaningful change in the law.
                  If you missed the grandstanding refer to his announcement of the fund. There is no question BP already had it in the works or it would not have happened. There was also a reason they had two separate news conferences.

                  I would like to see the proof "the GOP" is openly against the escrow account.

                  The judge found the White House misrepresented the information provided by Obama's Experts.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                    Republican Study Committe Members list

                    "Chicago-Style Political Shakedown


                    Washington, Jun 16 - Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) issued the following statement after the White House announced it had reached a deal with BP to require the oil company to place $20 billion into an escrow fund to pay claims filed against the company in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.

                    “We all agree that BP should be held fully responsible for its complicity in the oil tragedy in the Gulf,” said Chairman Price. “In fact, BP has already begun paying claims. Any attempt by the company to sidestep that responsibility should be met with the strongest legal recourses available. However, in an administration that appears not to respect fundamental American principles, it is important to note that there is no legal authority for the President to compel a private company to set up or contribute to an escrow account.

                    “BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics. These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration’s drive for greater power and control. It is the same mentality that believes an economic crisis or an environmental disaster is the best opportunity to pursue a failed liberal agenda. The American people know much better.”
                    Link

                    So the president telling the American people good news is now considered grandstanding? At least he wasn't standing on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier bragging about mission accomplished. Sorry, but the bar for grandstanding was raised considerably by the cowboy.

                    If you recall, he gave a speech from the oval office the night before. He didn't brag or hint that BP was going to be paying up. Like I said, messaging is something this WH does very poorly. He should have waited until he had the escrow account and then give his speech. PR 101.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                      Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
                      Republican Study Committe Members list

                      "Chicago-Style Political Shakedown


                      Washington, Jun 16 - Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) issued the following statement after the White House announced it had reached a deal with BP to require the oil company to place $20 billion into an escrow fund to pay claims filed against the company in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.



                      Link

                      So the president telling the American people good news is now considered grandstanding? At least he wasn't standing on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier bragging about mission accomplished. Sorry, but the bar for grandstanding was raised considerably by the cowboy.

                      If you recall, he gave a speech from the oval office the night before. He didn't brag or hint that BP was going to be paying up. Like I said, messaging is something this WH does very poorly. He should have waited until he had the escrow account and then give his speech. PR 101.
                      I must have missed the part where the GOP was opposed to the escrow fund.

                      It's pretty well documented how poorly Obama has handled this mess. He is now playing catch up and few are impressed. The escrow fund was a mutual decision yet Obama plays like he had to strong arm them.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                        Has anyone here even bother to ask the most important question?

                        "How can I be on the receiving end of that money?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                          Frankly,I've heard very little from Obama on the escrow account. Perhaps the cable news channel you watch has it on some kind of loop to create the illusion he is talking about it non-stop.

                          I know the repubs are very adept at messaging. If it won't fit on a bumper sticker, the electorate can't comprehend it. Back in 2000, the word nuanced was ridiculed because every good, red blooded, patriotic, flag lapel pin wearing American knew that the biggest problems facing our country and the world were simple matters of black and white. You're either with us or against us.

                          Say what you will about Obama's poor messaging. At least every other sentence isn't an outright lie. When Bush spoke, he went out of his way to tell you he was telling the truth, yet there was rarely a lie the man didn't miss. It was appalling.

                          As for the press release, you do realize the committee is comprised of some very powerful republicans, standard bearers in the party, right? I hardly believe they would be out of lock step with the RNC. If there one thing republicans do well, and governing isn't one of them, is they march in lockstep .

                          Heck, Barton even took back his apology apologizing for apologizing to BP. Back in the early 90's you guys called that a flip flop.

                          So yes, the GOP has said nothing to indicate that anything above the $75 million is acceptable to them. If you can prove me wrong, please do so.

                          Obama goes to a baseball game on a Friday evening and then plays a round of golf on fathers day and he is crucified for not paying attention to the disasters. I hear there was a ranch down in Crawford Texas for sale last year. Seems the owner spent quite a bit of time there, roughly one third of his time in office. But that was different.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                            And what responsiblity does the government take for not regulating these oil companies and forcing them to have all the checks and balances in place before drilling starts.

                            Tony

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: So is the $20 billion escrow account a bad thing for taxpayers?

                              Why is it that whenever anybody criticizes Obama, his defenders always bring up Bush? Bush is no longer president. Get over it.
                              When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

                              Comment

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