Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:35 pm

Junk shot; or, What a really free market might look like

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , , , ,

How ’bout we plug the Deepwater Horizon with U.S. Sen. James Inhofe? He seems fond enough of oil that I think he’d actually enjoy the experience:

Republican Senator James Inhofe has stepped up to the plate yet again for big oil, pledging a Republican filibuster against legislation offered by New Jersey’s Robert Menendez that would completely lift the $75 million liability cap currently protecting big oil companies from claims of economic damage from oil spills.

That’s right, ladies and germs: A Republican Senator is calling for a taxpayer bailout of BP. Because that, in effect, is what blocking Menendez’s measure would do.

You know, Republicans are all for “free markets” when the markets in question are actually crony capitalism and they get to be cronies. But when they might actually have to face economic consequences for their actions, they’re all, like, “Oh, help, Uncle Sugar, SAVE us!”

Why is there a liability cap at all? Why shouldn’t BP have to pay every last dime it takes to clean up the mess and restore, or compensate for, the lives and livelihoods ruined by this disaster?

It might cost BP’s stock- and bondholders their investment? Well, yeah, that’s what’s supposed to happen when a corporation makes a mistake of world-historical proportions.

It might make other companies reluctant to invest in deepwater drilling? So? Maybe that might lead companies to take a second look at fields that, while more expensive, would also be safer.

So the price of oil would go up? So? Maybe people would use less of it, which would benefit the economy and the environment. Maybe competing, cleaner energy sources that aren’t cost-efficient now would become more so.

I don’t want to have to pay more for oil. But it’s pretty clear that we’re going to pay for it one way or the other, and everything else being equal I’m inclined toward anything that does not involve my paying for a private corporation’s mistakes.

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