You Bet Your BP

, Kristin Theresa Jaroma, Leave a comment

Ever since the oil spill disaster occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, the issue at hand has been the long-term and near-term effects of this on local residents, local businesses, and the South’s economic hit, Nick Loris of the Heritage Foundation said at the Bloggers Briefing there on August 10, 2010. As a result, pressure has been placed on the Obama Administration to end the moratorium.

The oil spill liability cap issue, and the secondary costs that BP must pay as a result of the economic disaster, have been contentions issues for Democrats and Republicans alike.

The leading Democrats wish to lift the 75 million dollar liability cap, which if done, will result in making oil drilling unnecessarily too risky and subject these companies—the small, close association sized companies in particular—to frivolous lawsuits making them unable to take on the off-shore drilling responsibilities.

Republicans unanimously opposed this option of lifting the liability cap, “knowing it would cause economic devastation,” Loris pointed out.

However, an issue is that the Republican bill is not exceedingly better than that of the Democrats. Its solution for the time being is to arbitrarily lift the liability cap to another number and create a number of variables for risk-assessors to analyze. This leaves politicians to determine what the risks of off-shore drilling ought to be.

Loris spoke also of Heritage’s plan which would create a multi-tiered insurance and liability system for liabilities exceeding 1 billion dollars, equipped with voluntary insurance pool to guard against lawsuits, hold operators responsible for all actions, and focus around private insurers and professional risk assessors.

“It takes the system we already have in place right now; it removes the cap entirely, and it transforms the oil spill liability trust fund,” Loris stated.

Kristin Theresa Jaroma is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.

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