Who Should Pay For The BP Mess?
The worst secret in the world at this point is the large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, courtesy of British Petroleum (BP). Actually, it’s a misnomer to call it a “spill”; it’s more like a “gusher”, because it continues coming out; the Exxon Valdez was a spill.
One of the big questions that keeps coming up is who should pay for all of this stuff. In my mind, it’s a ridiculous question, because of course BP should be paying for it. They should pay to clean it up, and they should pay for the industries that have shut down because of it. All of us can look forward to higher seafood costs this year because of them; I guess I won’t be eating much shrimp soon.
However, there are many who believe the United States should pony up a share of the costs. That’s right, we, the taxpayers, are under some kind of consideration in helping to pay for something that someone else did. Where is this coming from? I mean, these are the same people who make people pay for forest fires if they accidentally leave a cinder burning and it sparks and spreads all over the place. What’s the difference here?
Check this quote out from the CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue, who believes “we” should be helping out: “It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game. Everybody is going to contribute to this clean up. We are all going to have to do it. We are going to have to get the money from the government and from the companies and we will figure out a way to do that.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) at first seemed to agree with this, but has backed off his initial comments, although it’s left us not quite knowing what his position on this is. What’s our position? According to Gallup, 59% of Americans believe BP should be paying for the whole thing; who are these 41% who believe we should be paying anything at all for this? And, for that matter, how is it that only 49% of Americans believe BP is doing a bad job in taking care of this matter? Did the word get out that it’s still coming out?
By the way, this issue won’t easily be taken care of. More than 20 years later, the area around Prince William Sound in Alaska still has oil all over the place, and has still impacted the fishing industry there, and it was a lot smaller than this. This one is affecting travel and vacation plans, and there’s still the possibility that it could reach beaches if not contained in some fashion. This one could really end up hurting our economy worse than we know. Should we pay for someone else hurting us that badly, something that may take decades to recover? No!