BP Fires First Warning Flare

…that the moneywell gusher might have suffered a kill shot.

BP attorney suggests that the oil giant might seek to cap spill claims at $75 million

…In the latest such PR blitz, BP employee and New Orleans native Iris Cross reiterates that the company will do everything it has to do in order to “make this right.”

But yesterday in federal court, an attorney for the oil giant sent shockwaves throughout the Gulf region by suggesting that BP may seek shelter under the $75 million liability cap polluters can invoke under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier, who’s presiding over the more than 300 consolidated lawsuits against the company, was taken aback when BP attorney Don Haycraft floated the idea of the liability cap. Barbier replied simply that “BP said it would pay whatever [is] necessary.” Steven Herman, a plaintiffs attorney in the case, also registered surprise. “We’re shocked over here to hear the defendants now bring up this $75 million cap,” he said. “We were under the impression it was waived.”

The article makes a point of noting, “Some lawmakers tried to raise the cap retroactively to $10 billion, but Senate Republicans blocked those efforts“, without, of course, explaining they’d blocked those efforts thanks to concerns about massive amounts of unconstitutionality/breach of contract LAWSUITS if Democrats did so:

…In last month’s analysis, the Congressional Research Service, which provides expert advice to lawmakers, looked at five constitutional grounds for a legal challenge to the retroactive effect of the Democratic bill.

On three of the grounds, the agency concluded a lawsuit would “appear to have at best a modest chance of success,” while challenges based on the other two would likely fail.

But at Tuesday’s hearing, Jack Coleman, an energy industry consultant who previously worked for the U.S. Minerals Management Service, added that any retroactive change in the 1990 law could open the federal government, which leases offshore tracts to oil and gas companies, to “enormous damages” on breach-of-contract grounds.

I expect we’ll see some attack ads out of this in the waning days of the election. “Republicans hate dolphins and pelicans.” Yeah, yeah, yeah.

2 Responses to “BP Fires First Warning Flare”

  1. Laura says:

    Pelicans are assholes. Ever see those videos where they eat random animals they come across? Bastards. I even saw one trying to eat a baby once. Not really, I just made that up. But I bet they would if they had the chance, so don’t hire a pelican to babysit. I mean, if you like kids.

  2. tree hugging sister says:

    Pelicans probably should come with warning labels. You know, they REALLY smell bad, too.

Image | WordPress Themes