Archive for May 15th, 2010
The New York Times reports that you have blocked an effort to bring up for a vote a bill to raise liability for oil spills from the current $75 million to $10 billion. The same article also states you doubt reports that BP’s daily profit is really as high as reported.
BP profits are reported at BP’s website as $6.079 billion for the first quarter of 2010. That’s “billion” with a “b.” There were 90 days in the first quarter of 2010. That means BP earned profits of $67.54 million per day. So the current limit on sanctions amounts to about 1.1 days of profits. Shucks, even the proposed cap of $10 billion would only amount to 148 days of profits, less than half a year. Your home state of Alaska – remember Alaska? – imposes fines of $50,000 or more for the lowest level of serious crimes, Class C felonies. Want to bet that’s more than half a year’s wages for your average criminal? Why should oil companies get lighter sentences in proportion to their income than, say, a private citizen who commits a crime? Are you saying spewing oil over oceans, wrecking the lives of coastal citizens isn’t serious?
Other sources report that your motives are to protect the “smaller operators,” who might not be able to pay fines of that size. Excuse me? When did ability to pay a fine become a criterion for punishment? WC suspects Raejean Bonham, the author of the World Plus Ponzi scheme, won’t ever repay the $14 million restitution order imposed upon her. Are you saying the order shouldn’t have been entered? And why would we want off-shore drilling companies to not have the resources to respond to damages?
The energy sector is by far your biggest campaign contributor. The Energy & Natural Resources sector has reportedly contributed $1,167,430. To what extent is your tender regard for the oil patch a product of those campaign contributions?
And as for the nonsense about private litigation providing adequate remedies, WC suspects you may have fallen out of touch with your constituents. That Exxon Valdez thing didn’t work out so well, if you hadn’t heard. Maybe you should find time to talk to an Alaska voter from anywhere in Prince William Sound?
WC expected better of you, Lisa. But maybe Jeanne Devon was right and this apple didn’t fall very far from the tree? You could prove her wrong: change your position. 148 days of profits is still a slap on the wrist.
/s/ Wickersham’s Conscience