May 21, 2010

Rand Paul's Platform; Irresponsibility

In the wake of the growing disaster of BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the oil conglomerate has been harshly criticized from all corners for its lack of preparedness, sloppy procedures, and inadequate response. 

But not from Rand Paul.   According to the Associated Press, the conservative politician and tea-party darling states that everything he has heard from BP indicates to him that they intend to pay for the oil spill.

That's little consolation to the locals:
"Everything in that marsh is dead as we speak," Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said after touring the clogged marshes. "Had you fallen off that boat yesterday and come up breathing that stuff, you probably wouldn't be here, either."
Is BP really going to pay for the dead marshes?  The destroyed fishing?  The loss of tourism? The loss of the entire region's economy?  Are they - CAN they - really pay for the total impact of the oil spill?  Remember, it's not just Louisiana.  It's not even just the coast line of the Gulf; that oil has entered the Gulf Stream.  They may wind up scrubbing beaches in Ireland.

Not only is Paul satisfied with BP's response, he thinks they should not be held responsible for the 70,000 barrels of oil a day being pumped into the Gulf of Mexico.
"...I think it's part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it's always got to be somebody's fault instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen..."
I guess Rand believes that BP accidentally decided to drill in deep water with inadequate equipment.  It's not like they didnt' know that wells can blow up.  It's not like they didn't know that a broken well-head on ocean floor would need to be plugged.  If you know that something is likely to happen and that you should prepare for it, how is it an accident when it happens?

But there's more; his views did not begin with BP and the oil spill:
"We had a mining accident that was very tragic. ... Then we come in and it's always someone's fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen"
Here's the thing, Rand; accidents are when you have no way of foreseeing the incident, let alone prevent it.  It's not an accident when you were not only aware it might happen, but you were told 31 times that what you were doing was going to cause it to happen.  In fact, the coal mine operator he's referring to had been cited 2,973 times in five years for their gross safety violations.
"What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,'" Rand said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business."
This oil spill wasn't an accident; it was an inevitable event that BP failed to adequately plan for, and the  damage will ultimately be far beyond the scope of BP's ability to "pay for" it.  Ultimately, because BP didn't ensure that they had the ability to cap the well in the event of an emergency, millions of Americans are going to suffer the consequences; fishermen who've lost their livelihood, restaurants who sold the fish,  resort communities that relied on beach-going tourists, and all the taxpayers who will have to pick up the tab when BP inevitably falls short.

In 1989, an Exxon tanker spilled its guts 21 years ago.  The Exxon Valdez spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound, and they are still cleaning it up; the herring fishery has never returned - and that industry has been destroyed.  Exxon threw some money at them, but it didn't return their livelihood.

The lowest estimates of oil spewing into the Gulf put it at 5,000 barrels per day, but that number has been disputed, with some experts stating the amount is closer to 70,000 barrels a day.  So at best, every four days since the oil rig exploded has matched the Valdez disaster, or every single day has nearly quadrupled it  Either way, this disaster is several magnitudes greater than the Alaskan spill.

BP can't "pay for" this oil spill; no one can.

And if Rand Paul think's it's "un-American" to point that out, then he's not much of an American.


  1. Well, let's see... BP is a private business... so... maybe if BP decided didn't haver to sell gasoline to black people... hmmm... there would have been no need to drill in the deep waters of the Gulf... and this would never have happened! THE CIVIL RIGHT ACT IS TO BLAME!!!


  2. Louisiana originally allowed BP to drill in less shallow water. But the feds said no and pushed BP out into the deeper water. Shouldn't the feds take some responsibility here?.

  3. Anonymous, let's be truthful. The feds didn't "push" BP anywhere. They didn't have to drill at all. Your argument is kinda stupid, really.

    Let's try looking at an example: Chemical Company wants to open a factory downtown. The town council says no, it's too dangerous, the fumes could harm people. So the company moves the the factory up the river, where they dump their chemicals into the river and harm thousands of people in town.

    Are you arguing that the town council is to blame because 1) they were right about the danger and 2) the company was careless?

    The federal government did fail to properly monitor offshore drilling. There was effectively no regulations being enforced, BP was left to make its own disastrous choices without government "interference." Which puts paid to the conservative theory that there is too much regulation.

    BTW, the State of Louisiana invented corruption; if they permitted it, you can bet money that it will only benefit the wealthy and the politicos who voted for it.