Too Much Government in the Gulf
Sadly, the disaster in the Gulf continues this week as BP's efforts at containment keep hitting snags and residents along the coast scramble to clean up and defend their shores and wildlife. Many have criticized the federal government in the past weeks for not doing enough. The reality is there is only so much government can do to help, yet a lot they can do to prolong the problem and misdirect the pain. For example, in the interest of "doing something" the administration has enacted a unilateral ban on offshore drilling. This is counterproductive. I am proud to cosponsor legislation to lift that ban. Why punish other oil companies and their hard-working employees who had nothing to do with this disaster, and who have better safety records?
And, as usually happens after disasters, countless people – even officials in local and state government – have come forward who know what needs to be done and are willing to help, but have been stymied by federal bureaucratic red tape as the oil continues to gush. The real problem is not so much a lack of government assistance, but government getting in the way of those who have solutions. We witnessed the same phenomenon during hurricanes Katrina and Ike. It seems government's main role in these situations is to find excuses to stall relief, hold meetings and press conferences, waste money, punish the wrong people, and over-regulate.
Yet even after many examples of past incompetence, people still look to government to solve problems in the wake of disasters. A government that tries to be all things to all people might engender a lot of learned dependence, but ultimately it only harms the very people it is supposed to serve as they wait helplessly for salvation from Washington.
Government could help by holding the appropriate parties fully liable for damages and clean-up costs. I am hopeful that efforts to do this are genuine and BP is indeed held responsible for all damages, not shielded by liability caps or reimbursed under the table by taxpayers. Unfortunately, a large sum of taxpayer money has been slipped into the upcoming supplemental bill for Gulf cleanup costs that should fall on BP. Taxpayers should not have to bail out a major oil company that has caused this horrible damage to our shores.
It should be noted that BP is not exactly a bastion of free market capitalism. Rather, they are very vested in acquiring government subsidies, favorably slanted policies, and competition-hobbling regulation. BP has even been a major lobbying proponent of cap-and-trade because of certain provisions in the legislation it could profit from. Considering who lobbies for them and what they lobby for, my concern is that attempts to hold them strictly and fully accountable could end up being nothing more than a shell game, with taxpayers ultimately holding the bag.
If the government's idea of action in crisis is to punish the innocent, bail out the guilty, and raise prices at the pump on everybody, we should want them to do less, not more. Recent polls show sharply waning support for offshore drilling. We still need oil, and a lot of good jobs depend on oil production. It is crucial to the functioning of our economy. But if accidents continue to be handled this way, it is easy to understand why so many see more cost than benefit to off-shore drilling, and that is also a tragedy.
Posted by Huh? on 06/27/10 02:15 AM
I heard some rumors on the internets about awesome oil-eating microbes. Are they for real?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Don't know ...
Gulf Oil Spill clean up- use oil eating microbes to Restore Environment in Just Six Weeks amazing!!
AWESOME VIDEO OF MICROBES GOBBLING UP OIL .MAKING IT NON TOXIC.THIS IS TRUELY INCREDIBLE.HELP SPREAD THIS VIDEO ...
Click to view link
Posted by John Treichler From The Banning Bunker. on 06/23/10 06:16 PM
Consider the impact of a hurricane distributing the toxic oil inland along the agricultural South. Toxic oil in ground water, contaminating current crop production, future crop production dependent on Farmer proving to USDA that his crops aren't contaminated. Crystal ball says this season's crop and future crops won't be coming from gulf states. Consider the impact on commodity futures, commodity prices in the stores, and loss of income to Gulf farmers and ranchers. Crystal ball is silent on how many Gulf Residents will sicken and die from inhaling and/or ingesting the toxic air during the hurricane and it's aftermath. So far, no discussion in mainstream media on this topic.
Gulf State Agriculture at risk, IMHO:
o Arkansas: Soybeans, Rice
o Alabama: Cotton, Peanuts, Sweet Potatoes
o Georgia: Cotton, Peanuts, Peaches
o Louisiana: Cotton, Sugarcane, Rice
o Mississippi: Cotton, Soybeans
o Missouri: Soybeans, Rice, Corn, Hay
o Oklahoma: Wheat, Hay,Peanuts, Corn, , Pecans
o Tennessee: Soybeans, Cotton, Tobacco
o Texas: Cotton, Corn, Grain, Wheat
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We mentioned it and have seen other mentions in the alternative press.
Posted by William3 on 06/23/10 05:16 PM
I'm always amazed at how succinctly Ron Paul captures a complex subject -- brilliant work of a scientist/doctor, not a politician. He stops just short of implying some sort of collusion between BP and the US government. But, by not doing so, he raises the question for each of us to ponder.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 06/23/10 10:02 AM
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 06/23/10 10:00 AM
@ RM Geddon
You're quite right in your instincts. I too think the financial interests involved and certain actions, such as Goldman's, as well as others that I've researched but am not placing on the web, do support the idea of sabotage.
Plus the following:
The incident took place on Hitler's birthday April 20 " important in occultism. I believe the use of such symbolic dates and numbers is intended to manipulate the population (especially religiously inclined people) into a sense of inevitable doom, cataclysm, armageddon.
Plus, the elites themselves are deeply interested in such things.
Meanwhile April 22 was earth day. So that resonates as well.
In addition there was overinsurance of a very suspicious nature.
The blocking of obvious clean up efforts, the refusal to be transparent, the rush to pass regulations, the media black out that's alleged, and the suspicious connections and resumes of BP chairman Sutherland as well as former ceo Browne (with greenwashing)..the investment portfolios of several of the entities directly and indirectly involved all point to sabotage and planning..
Lindsay Williams says repeatedly that it was not planned but I don't know anything about him and can't say if he's credible or not. It seems highly likely unlikely that BP didn't know the dangers involved.
Posted by TeresaE on 06/23/10 08:43 AM
@ John Mahler
You state, "...Reagan said America is the last bastion of freedom. You just threw it away on Obama administration..."
While I agree that we threw away what little we had left, it kinda amuses me that we take Reagan at his word, instead of his deed.
Many of today's over-reaching legislation has roots in Reagan's social memes; namely, drunk driving and the War on Drugs.
There were the issues Reagan decided to use to spit on our freedoms, for our own good of course.
Having private property confiscated for $5 worth of pot or using a prostitute. Thank Reagan. Warrant-less searches for "suspect" behavior, again Reagan. Being arrested for drunk driving BEFORE actually driving, once again, thank Reagan. Creating felonies out of human nature, again Reagan.
So, while I wholeheartedly agree that Obama is the end of the line for our Constitution, if I am honest, for my entire adult life those in power have used disasters to increase the reach of the government. For our own safety and security, of course.
There is no denying that this century has brought us dramatic increases in the loss of our freedoms, I just wish that people would open their eyes and see the truth, ALL controllers are destroying our great foundation, including the exalted Reagan.
Posted by R M'Geddon on 06/23/10 06:06 AM
Everything about this whole business stinks – not just the ever-spilling oil. Obama is acting angry, but really this whole situation suits his anti-oil meme, & his desire for cap n'trade pedffectly. Petrol companies too could be major beneficiaries of cap n'trade – though you & I cdertainly won't. We'll just have to pay more at the pumps as oil companies continue to grow bigger & bigger, alongside ever-expanding government tax revenue.
I can't help wondering whether the rig really blew up accidentally, & whether the pipe below it fractured also accidentally – & genuinely at the same time. Or whether there is a more worrying explanation! The word "collusion" keeps coming to my mind. Does it also come to any other readers of this article?
Posted by Boatman on 06/23/10 05:58 AM
living in florida and having physical been to almost every mile of gulf coast, i can promise you that BP cannot clean up their Click to view link is physicaly impossible.
measure around every island n in n out every bay there is 18,000 mi of effective coastline......honestly.
only 1% of this area is beach you can drive a front-end loader down.the rest is marsh full of birds and fish that will no longer be there.there are no roads and its real shallow water out for miles.
there will be no bird washers there,no one with spoons and papertowels trying to clean the Click to view link will take whatever higher power you believe in 40 yrs to clean the marshes and maybe never for the birds and fish(given everything else that will happen in the meantime)
the florida keys is a NOAA marine Click to view link will be toast.
this is an asteroid on its way to florida.
BP will be nationalized by the UK to save it from being sold in pieces.
Posted by Puzzled on 06/23/10 05:29 AM
Dear Click to view linkul:
In your reference to "Bail out's" Is it true that our Fed is in the process of bailing out the Piigs? How many trillions have Bernake/Geithner sent there?
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 06/23/10 03:41 AM
Why should there be limited liability?
Was the damage limited?
This is why adoption of the precautionary principle is libertarian.
Companies shouldn't give assurances about things they can't possibly give know in advance. If they do, they're guilty of fraud.
If they knew they would have to pay for all damage and if the damage had a chance of being this bad, they would never have undertaken the drilling.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 06/23/10 03:08 AM
In a widely-circulated interview on Alex Jones, Lindsay Williams, a pastor who supposedly had a contact with elites involved with the oil companies, says that abiotic oil is proved by the gulf spill.
And that in fact BP was imitating the deep-drilling done in Russia, except they took it to the ocean floor instead of doing it on land, as the Russians did.
I don't know how credible Williams is and whether he's exaggerating (or why he would) but he made the point you're making in the interview.
Posted by John Mahler on 06/23/10 02:45 AM
I'm sure you in the know pundits know about the Soros, Obama, Petrobras connection. Could this be why America, in debt to its eyeteeth would lend Petrobras money for deep well drilling to 20K feet and ban all well drilling in American waters? Could this be another case of CRIME INCORPORATED? But then, I guess it's better to ignore the truth than to be labled a "conspiritorialist".
The road to serfdom never sparkled so brightly with the green promise of environaziism. Go quietly to your graves, American tribute slaves before you pay diminitude to Islam and our chosen dictator, POTUS Obama. The greatest mistake Nixon ever made was allowing an eighteen year old electorate.
When America was sound and healthy, the aristocracy held power and the vote. Allowing non land holders, Women, poor people, and minorities to vote has caused the present corruption in our government. People with no skin in the game vote the largess of government to themselves until the government collapses. Soon, my little donkeys, soon, you shall be set free from government and find yourselves enslaved to totalitarianism enforced by police state.
Think a martial law enforcement will protect you? Live long and learn! Don't ask the people of the former USSR. You don't want to hear inconvenient truth! Reagan said America is the last bastion of freedom. You just threw it away on Obama administration. May you suffer as you deserve and may your suffering last until you awaken and throw off the criminals who enslave you. Russia suffered for 88 years. Your time may be greater because you are greater fools.
Posted by Delbwato on 06/23/10 02:32 AM
There's only one thing I don't like about Ron Paul... he's a politician. Though, since we must suffer politicians, I'd take another 534 similar to him in our congress.
BP should get its day in court; its chance to delineate what is its fault, what is shared and what is not its fault (there's plenty of each).
BP's liability cannot exceed its ability to pay under any circumstance.
Oil, stuff happening and psychopathic busybodies are with us beyond the foreseeable future... develop a legitimate, understandable strategy to change it or get used to it.
Finally, take heart. In the not too distant future, with new events, memes and dominant themes most all will be forgotten and we'll be bitching anew about something else, never harboring a thought about how manipulable we are, expecting only that others would not do to us what we suspect that, trading places, we'd do to them and life will go on in the swelling but rarely acknowledged silent desperation.
Posted by Wrusssr on 06/23/10 01:31 AM
BP's leak in the Gulf continues and now one is beginning to hear, ". . .we don't know."
Drilling that deep through a mile of ocean may not have been one of industry's brighter ideas, according to more and more offshore experts.
Industry papers, they say, had already been written as to why. (I have not read them.)
The Russians probably have the best first hand experience and body of knowledge on ultra deep wells, having successfully drilled several; some beyond 40,000 feet. All on land (by choice and for a reason).
What did they find down there? Reports say abiotic oil.
Their advice? Be extremely cautious. You never know what you're going to hit that deep.
Reports, meanwhile, continue to surface of well-head pressures of 20,000"80,000 psig at BP's leak, and of leaking fissures on the ocean floor within a 20-mile compass circle out from the well-head.
If this is true, any sort of explosive attempt to seal the well would probably be too dangerous.
Absolutely it's BP's mess to clean up and eat, but it's looking like it may take the oil industry's worldwide expertise to get this one stopped.
Reply from The Daily Bell
It would be most ironic if BP of all companies accidentally proved out the theory of abiotic oil.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 06/23/10 01:18 AM
No, I don't believe I have.
If you have links to something on the net I can post, pls. post to my blog.
Posted by Clayton on 06/23/10 01:16 AM
Three cheers to the good Dr. Paul!!!
In a Rothbardian Private Law paradigm BP, having committed the tort, would be liable for the damages. The directors of BP would not be protected by corporate immunity and would bear personal responsibility for these injuries also. The risky and seemingly criminal and reckless behavior that lies at the heart of this tragedy would have, in my opinion, been avoided. But, instead we live under the governmental monopoly of so-called Justice. I already know who will be on the hook for this one. It is that fellow in the mirror, who I greet every morning.
Question for Lila. Have you read Rothbard's book "The Ethics of Liberty" and if so have you an opinion concerning its assertions?
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 06/23/10 12:40 AM
I really respect Ron Paul for pointing out that free marketers should not be defending BP, that government shouldn't be saddled with any of the clean-up costs, and that responsible oil companies shouldn't have to pay the penalty for this state-subsidized fat cat's sins.