SPIN METER: There since Day One? Maybe not
To hear Obama administration officials tell it, they've been fully engaged on the Gulf Coast oil spill since Day One, bringing every resource to bear and able to ensure without question that taxpayers will be protected.
Take President Barack Obama's repeated claims that BP will be responsible for all the costs associated with the devastating spill that began after an oil rig operated by the company exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and later sinking.
"Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak; BP will be paying the bill," Obama said while touring the area Sunday.
While it's true that the federal Oil Pollution Act, enacted in 1990 in response to the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, makes BP responsible for cleanup costs, the law caps the company's liability for economic damages — such as lost wages, shortened fishing seasons or lagging tourism — at $75 million, a pittance compared to potential losses.
Administration officials insist BP will be held responsible anyway, noting that if the company is found negligent or criminally liable, the cap disappears. Claims also can potentially be made under other state or federal laws, officials said.
Yet the liability cap is problematic enough that a trio of Democratic senators introduced legislation Monday raising it to $10 billion, and the administration quickly announced its support. Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Bill Nelson of Florida voiced concerns that unless the cap is raised, BP would avoid paying for the mess and leave small businesses, local government and fishermen with the bill.
"They're not going to want to pay any more than what the law says they have to," Nelson said.
Aside from the fact that the numbers keep changing as to the amount of oil leaking, the president and his team's only involvement aside from speeches, seems to be in attempting to create the appearance that he has "been on top of things and involved since day one."
I am sorry, but speech making doesn't count as involved in my book. No more than his and Napolitano's tour of the area to see for themselves. The end result is that as time has passed, we have learned that there were no 'bet laid plans' as it concerns a disaster of this nature.
Apparently there was a lot of lip service paid back in the mid 1990's to planning for potential gulf disasters, but nothing was ever implemented and absolutely nothing was ever staged on the gulf as insurance for getting ahead of any spill.
And now that we have this disaster upon us? Our law makers are looking to increase the potential fines and damages that BP can be held liable for. Way to go boys. Any of you ever heard of this little thing called existing laws and after the fact applications of changes? Try floating that scheme past a trial court and see what happens.
Meanwhile, the governors of Lousiana, Mississippi, alabama and Florida are asking Obama to 'federalize' their National Guards. Why? So that the American taxpayer can be put on the hook for those expenses. Never mind that WE DON"T HAVE THE MONEY! Lets' just call upon the federal government and demand disaster relief.
You know what? Had we managed our money and resources a whole helluva lot better over the past twenty five years? We might have been able to swing it. But not now.
There is no money available, other than what we can borrow and we are already 14 trillion in the hole on our credit cards.
So watch closely as the stories change and the lies become truths and the truths to date are revealed as lies. Meanwhile, this disaster will suffice to provide the excuse needed by this administration, when the economy stalls and falters again. And it will.
We are about to lose billions in jobs and industry along the Gulf. All it takes is for the oil to come ashore and it will....eventually.