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In the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the CI CyberNews CyberPoll last week focused on liability costs for oil companies drilling off the U.S. coast. Of the total participants, 62.1% believe that the current $75 million cap should be raised or eliminated.
“I’m of mixed emotions on this... I certainly think BP should clean up the coastline. I don’t think that disasters like this one should be a windfall for trial lawyers. It seems like removing the cap would have little to do with environmentalism and a lot to do with billable hours.”
“Oil companies should have to raise a bond, the value of which should be set at an appropriate level, determined at the time of permitting the well. This bond (similar to a mining permit rehabilitation/reclamation bond) should be adequate to cover the remediation costs of the worst-case spill scenario.”
“If oil companies weren’t driven so far offshore by environmentalists such that they have to do more dangerous, deepwater drilling, this “calamity” wouldn’t even have happened! It is ludicrous to increase the cap, which only permits 100s more lawyers to line up with their schemes to get rich. How many lawsuits have already been filed against BP?”
“The cap should be adjusted to be a fixed % of the market capitalization of the company liable. That way, the barrier for entry for small firms is not insurmountable. After all, small business is where most innovation originates.”
“Once again, we are paying the cost of under-regulating industry. Given the chance, businesses will cut any corner they can to maximize profit. We have seen this time and time again in mining, minerals, manufacturing, the chemicals industry, and banking. Self-regulation by industry is a myth. It never existed, and never will. Make them pay the full cost of the economic impact of their mess.”
“Unfortunately, the costs of liability will be passed on to the consumer in higher per-gallon gas prices, just like malpractice insurance costs for doctors are passed onto patients in the form of higher bills.”
“They should be fully responsible for clean up. If found negligent, they should be fined double the amount.”
Many thanks to all of the CI CyberNews readers who have participated in our CyberPolls. Not a CI CyberNews subscriber? Follow this link to sign up for your free subscription!