Chutzpah spotted in Washington DC!

The arrogance of this:

The political and financial pressure on BP escalated sharply yesterday as the US government demanded compensation for thousands of oil industry workers laid off as a result of a freeze on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The demand sent the company\’s shares plummeting on Wall Street amid worries over long-term survival prospects.

In an unexpected addition to BP\’s already huge liabilities from America\’s worst ever oil spill, the White House said it would press the company to pay the salaries of staff laid off as a result of a six-month moratorium imposed by the Obama administration on exploration activity in the Gulf. The freeze means a halt to work on 33 existing oil rigs, affecting thousands of jobs.

The sheer audacity.

Federal Government imposes drilling ban. This has, of course, effects on lots of people who used to work at drilling. Federal Government doesn\’t want to have to pay for the effects of its own actions. Hey, let\’s dump this cost on someone else!

Perhaps maties, if the costs of shutting down drilling are so high then drilling should not have been shut down?

After all, you are, rightly, saying that BP should carry the costs of its actions: what moral or practical justification is there for you not carrying the costs of yours?

11 thoughts on “Chutzpah spotted in Washington DC!”

  1. Indeed. The guys over at The Hayride put it well:

    This is the kind of incompetent, chaotic government which introduces the concept of “political risk” into capital investment decisions about getting involved in American markets that has never been at issue before. America was always preferable to some Third World sinkhole like Ecuador or Angola, simply because it was known that the rule of law would apply here, making decisions simpler and productive endeavors easier. But when nobody knows what the rules of the game are, which is how the Third World works, profit-seekers usually figure the only way to insure they won’t end up getting killed on their investment ventures is to bribe government officials.

    Obama is acting no differently than Putin did towards Yukos. He’s going to turn the USA into Mexico if he’s not careful.

  2. The White House press secretary Robert Gibbs later went further, saying the freeze is “a result of the accident that BP caused”.

    No, it’s a result of your boss being a gutless wonder. No examination of the risks of each project, no admission of regulatory failure if BP turns out to have been negligent, just a kneejerk reaction without any consideration of the consequences. Policy making on the run…

  3. From the point of view of an interfering politician, we have two possibilities.

    1) BP was negligent and responsible for the leak
    2) It was the result of ordinary operating risk

    If case 1 is correct, then the government should stop all of BP’s operations only, as there is no reason to stop anyone else.

    If case 2 is correct, then all operations should be stopped, but in no way is BP liable.

    In either case, even by the standards of santimonious politiciansi Obama is way out of line.

  4. How about 3) BP was negligent *and* regulatory enforcement is currently so pisspoor that no other company’s safety case can be trusted, therefore all operations need to be stopped until the regulator is fit for purpose or the companies can demonstrate themselves to be safe?

  5. And that justifies sticking the bill to BP how exactly John B? If those companies safety cases are no good, they should cop it themselves. If they are good, the government should compensate them. Who is safe if the rules can be changed willy-nilly?

  6. Ltw: it doesn’t at all; that part of things is clearly blame-deflection and nationalist grandstanding. But I suspect it’s also the actual situation…

  7. I’m with Serf on this.

    By what rationale did the US Government shut down operations on a bunch of unrelated drilling rigs?

    If someone crashes his car, you don’t void everyone else’s driving license, and saddle him with the bill. If he was reckless, you have no justification for acting against the blameless. If he was just unlucky, you have even less.

    It comes across as spite, with a liberal sprinkling of anti-British grandstanding.

  8. Pingback: FCAblog » Time to reduce BP’s liability?

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