Upping the Ante on Recklessly Drilling

May 5, 2010 by

The current dollar amount for the payout of reparations by an oil company for environmental damage to this country was set shortly after the Exxon Valdez oiled up part of Alaska’s shores. There’s now a move in Congress to get that amount increased, due to the fact that it represents small change for the company that is ultimately responsible for the latest – and largest – oil disaster yet.

The following info came through the email today:

The bill number is S. 3305, the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act. There’s no equivalent House bill yet. It’s been sent to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which David Vitter sits on. So call his office at (202) 224-4623, state your name and that you’re a constituent, ask to speak to the staffer who works on environmental issues, and then here are your talking points:

-BP’s liability for economic damages is currently capped at $75 million
-The annual retail sales of Louisiana’s seafood industry total over $1.8 billion at minimum
-The cap is too low and BP is responsible for these damages
-BP can afford to pay since their 2010 Q1 profit alone was $5.6 billion
-Senate Bill 3305 addresses this problem by increasing the cap to $10 billion
Please cosponsor the legislation and encourage the Senate Environment committee to bring it to the floor for a full vote

Yes, I know it’s Diaper Dave and his group to whom this has been handed. Yes, I know BP will try to get themselves grandfathered out of it. But this should be done to help keep the drilling from becoming just another rickety Rube Goldbergian enterprise. Because, like it or not, we do still need the fossil fuels – and while we are working on extracting them safely and responsibly, we can also work on reducing our dependence on them.


x-posted at my place, too.
Update, 5:00 PM: From Maitri, in the comments:

Just so you know, the amazing, modern marvels of engineering that are Transocean drilling rigs are, like the Titanic, far from reckless or Rube-Goldbergian (we’ve really got to stop using this term for a while). It’s such a cool, awe-inspiring experience to be on one of those rigs. But, also like the Titanic, the failure of a crucial safety mechanism brought the whole thing down and sent millions of gallons into the sea.

My apologies for the Rube Goldberg description.

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