BP & Future Drilling: Sounds Like a Threat. Why Don’t We Just Nationalize These Thugs?

[How about this for the first lines of a New York Times article:

BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“. . . warning Congress”!  If you don’t go along with what we want, we’ll just take our marbles and . . .  Sure they are promising to keep their promises already made, but based on past performance, I wouldn’t trust that promise any more than I can throw an oil rig across the Gulf of Mexico. Or to put it another way, this admonition by BP is the new definition of “chutzpah.”  Every borscht belt comedian had a standard definition for the yiddish word.

“Chutzpah”: A young man comes before the judge, accused of murdering his father.  He throws himself on the mercy of the court, on the grounds that . . . he is an orphan.”

BP has now rewritten the definition for generations to come. — Lew Rosenbaum]

BP Says Limits on Drilling Imperil Spill Payouts

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and JOHN M. BRODER
Published: September 2, 2010

BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg News  Support vessels worked around Transocean Ltd.’s Development Driller III rig, which was drilling the primary relief well at the BP Plc Macondo site in the Gulf of Mexico in August.

Representative George Miller wrote an amendment that would bar any company from receiving permits to drill on the Outer Continental Shelf if more than 10 fatalities had occurred at its offshore or onshore facilities.

The company says a ban would also imperil the ambitious Gulf Coast restoration efforts that officials want the company to voluntarily support.

BP executives insist that they have not backed away from their commitment to the White House to set aside $20 billion in an escrow fund over the next four years to pay damage claims and government penalties stemming from the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. The explosion killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the gulf.

The company has also agreed to contribute $100 million to a foundation to support rig workers who have lost their jobs because of the administration’s deepwater drilling moratorium. And it pledged $500 million for a 10-year research program to study the impact of the spill.

But as state and federal officials, individuals and businesses continue to seek additional funds beyond the minimum fines and compensation that BP must pay under the law, the company has signaled its reluctance to cooperate unless it can continue to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. The gulf accounts for 11 percent of its global production.

Read more here.

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