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Tim Carney: Republicans should end the Big Oil bailout


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http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Republicans-should-end-the-Big-Oil-bailout-94525209.html

I read this guy's columns weekly.

Republicans need to remember that they're supposed to be pro-market, not pro-oil. Pro-market politicians would go along with Democrats in abolishing the current $75 million cap on economic damages for oil companies and go even further: Abolish the communal "oil spill fund" and leave oil companies liable for the entire cost of their spills.

Current federal law limits the liability of companies responsible for an oil spill. The guilty party has to cover the cleanup, but as far compensating those harmed by the spill -- such as fishermen and property owners -- the companies are on the hook only for the first $75 million.

The rest of the compensation comes from a special federal account, funded by an 8-cent tax on every barrel of oil produced in the United States or imported here. That fund currently has about $1 billion to cover the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Democrats have proposed a measure to lift the cap on oil company liability to $10 billion, but Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and James Inhofe, R-Okla., have objected to motions to change the cap without debate. On cue, Democrats have attacked these senators as shills for Big Oil, echoing the party's standard disingenuous line of attack under President Obama.

Democratic slurs shouldn't be necessary to spur Republicans into agreement -- a belief in the free market ought to suffice.

The federal government has no business protecting BP from paying for the harm it has done to shrimp fisherman. The liability cap and the spill fund are subsidies for oil drilling. In a free market, oil companies would have to buy more insurance to cover the cost of a potential spill. In other words, a free market in oil drilling would mean no liability cap, no 8-cents-a-barrel tax, and no special fund whereby careful drillers pay for sloppy spillers.

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I understand many are trying to score political points and keep the Big oil= repubs only frame out there but the facts just do not support that.

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant (BP) and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html#ixzz0oZwNt6Ko

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I understand many are trying to score political points and keep the Big oil= repubs only frame out there but the facts just do not support that.

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant (BP) and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html#ixzz0oZwNt6Ko

That may be true, but Republicans, by and large, show their favoritism more so by their political actions. Some Democrats ARE pro-Big Oil, usually due to regional business reasons, but Republicans as a party appear to embrace this industry. The financial connections between right-wing PACS and the oil industry pales in comparison to this $77,051, as well.

It was a good try on your part, but Obama has not yet demonstrated that he is a shill of Big Oil . . . unlike, say, previous administrations.

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a belief in the free market ought to suffice.

The federal government has no business protecting BP from paying for the harm it has done to shrimp fisherman. The liability cap and the spill fund are subsidies for oil drilling. In a free market, oil companies would have to buy more insurance to cover the cost of a potential spill. In other words, a free market in oil drilling would mean no liability cap, no 8-cents-a-barrel tax, and no special fund whereby careful drillers pay for sloppy spillers.

I think this is consistent for republicans. Consider, how do republicans feel about caps on medical malpractice awards? They favor them. Intensely. Something along the lines of: absence of such a cap makes the insurance too expensive, makes the liability too great, and drives down incentives to be a doctor and drives up the cost of health services.

Seems like a consistent position to me...

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I understand many are trying to score political points and keep the Big oil= repubs only frame out there but the facts just do not support that.

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant (BP) and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html#ixzz0oZwNt6Ko

Another issue here is that Rand Paul recently said this: "What I don't like from the president's administration is this sort of, 'I'll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,'" Paul said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100521/ap_on_bi_ge/us_rand_paul

So which is it? Which narrative do we choose? That Obama is in the pocket of Big Oil, or that he is a "un-American" "socialist" attacking the good people at BP?

People want to attack Obama both ways, but they can't, because the narratives just don't jibe.

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tough to argue against it. He makes a great point.

Do we carry that point to every industry or business?

Should subsidies or limits be removed for alt energy?

How about healthcare and providers?

Transportation?

Or even better the government itself? :)

This excerpt tells the problem that many ignore

Inhofe and Murkowski are on fine ground asking for debate on this proposal. But in that debate, let's hope they take the side of markets, and not just oil.

Such destabilizing actions should not be done w/o open debate NOR retroactively w/o careful deliberation of the consequences.

Doing so introduces even more uncertainty into a very volatile business environment and is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to garner votes or pandering if you prefer:beatdeadhorse:

The writer's attempt to equate this to a free market issue is a joke(though I do enjoy his pieces as well ACW.

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Do we carry that point to every industry or business?

Should subsidies or limits be removed for alt energy?

How about healthcare and providers?

Transportation?

Or even better the government itself? :)

My guess is that libertarians would say yes. He would end every gov't subsidy and nearly every gov program. They would add a few... the marijuana brownie subsidy, the legal prostitution subsidy, and maybe an ammo subsidy.

To the general issue, I think most powerful and incredibly rich sectors have too much influence these days and government seems willing to kneel at their feet and defer to their will. This is a problem.

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My guess is that libertarians would say yes. He would end every gov't subsidy and nearly every gov program. They would add a few... the marijuana brownie subsidy, the legal prostitution subsidy, and maybe an ammo subsidy.

To the general issue, I think most powerful and incredibly rich sectors have too much influence these days and government seems willing to kneel at their feet and defer to their will. This is a problem.

Which is why the Libertarians are the fringe by ignoring critical needs:)(not all of them of course)

I agree Big Oil has too much influence,but this type of bill will not lessen that,instead it will give them even more market control by virtue of they (and NOC's) will be only ones to afford the added liability

You would be better off to include premiums for liability into the lease and royalty programs themselves...which is what the Oil Fund creation in 90 did to a degree

as a side note I do think the economic cap needs raised,it has been 20 yrs,but the retroactive bit has to go and open debate on the limit encouraged.

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Do we carry that point to every industry or business?

Should subsidies or limits be removed for alt energy?

How about healthcare and providers?

Transportation?

Or even better the government itself? :)

This excerpt tells the problem that many ignore

Inhofe and Murkowski are on fine ground asking for debate on this proposal. But in that debate, let's hope they take the side of markets, and not just oil.

Such destabilizing actions should not be done w/o open debate NOR retroactively w/o careful deliberation of the consequences.

Doing so introduces even more uncertainty into a very volatile business environment and is nothing more than a knee jerk reaction to garner votes or pandering if you prefer:beatdeadhorse:

The writer's attempt to equate this to a free market issue is a joke(though I do enjoy his pieces as well ACW.

I wouldnt have a problem with equal application.

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That may be true, but Republicans, by and large, show their favoritism more so by their political actions. Some Democrats ARE pro-Big Oil, usually due to regional business reasons, but Republicans as a party appear to embrace this industry. The financial connections between right-wing PACS and the oil industry pales in comparison to this $77,051, as well.

It was a good try on your part, but Obama has not yet demonstrated that he is a shill of Big Oil . . . unlike, say, previous administrations.

The just like to take money to get elected then change stuff around.

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Common sense application should apply:

As you get bigger you lose subsidy.

Small = more help

Big = no help + you pay more

or a straight 20% tax with no cap on cleanup...

As with all business' you have a catastrophe you might fail to recover.

Other medium and smaller business swoop in and take your spot.

I thought the Dems could pass whatever they wanted?

I though the block was on the debate/not the bill?

The Democrats failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster — a procedural tactic to delay debate on a bill — and bring the energy package up for consideration.

I thought there were 59 dems?

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