I'd heard and read it before: how oil industry opposed the recently passed in the House legislation that lifts the current $75 million cap on potential liabilities an oil well driller might be exposed to, should a drilled well or other mishap require cleanup. It was its reiteration in today's (August 1) Daily Finance that prompted me to take another "huhhhh" look. I copied and pasted a rather large component of the article. See whether you can spot the "huhhhh" element that motivates me.
Legislation that passed the House of Representatives on Friday would, among other things, eliminate the current $75 million cap on liabilities related to oil spills. The Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010, passed in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, overhauls the nation's offshore drilling regulations, increasing regulatory oversight and safety measures. But the most prominent provision would require oil companies to pay the full cost involved with any spills, and does not cap liabilities. The final vote was 209-193. The Senate has a similar bill pending.
Advocates for the bill say that removal of the liability cap will save taxpayers money that the federal government would otherwise have to pay to clean up after disasters such as BP's(BP)Deepwater Horizon leak. Opponents say that it could prevent smaller American companies from drilling offshore at all due to concerns about the cost of an accident.
I've decided to end the suspense . . . because it's killin' me. Here it is: "Opponents say that it could prevent smaller American companies from drilling offshore at all due to concerns about the cost of an accident."
Let's pretend for a moment that we're all adults here. (I say pretend because only by pretending can everyone past the age of . . . what . . . six or seven honestly believe they are and behave as we can all stipulate an adult ought to behave, which is taking full responsibility for our behaviors.)Essentially what the opponents to the bill are saying is that "if those drilling holes in the earth screw up and actually be expected to pay the price of the screw up, they might not be allowed to conduct themselves in a way that would lead to screw ups, and we just cannot have that."Try, just you try telling your youngster that being grown up means accepting responsibility for your actions, then defending a position that is 180-degrees removed from that position.
An honest to goodness, 100 percent true anecdote. When my son Chris, now 22, was seven, he came home from school and found he had misplaced his front door key. He attempted to gain entry to the house by prying open a window. It cracked. Very small crack. Maybe four or five inches, max. As I pulled into the driveway a half-hour later, after a sales appointment, Chris met me. "Dad," he said right away, "there's something I've got to show you." Chris led me to the window, then promised he'd pay for it, out of his allowance. Yeah! You want to know the factual difference between a 7-year old and a 77-year old? It's 70 years . . . if you're lucky enough to locate a 77-year old with the maturity and integrity and sense of responsibility manifested by my 7-year old son.
What's wrong with this new generation? I'm more concerned with what's wrong with the older generation. It needs to grow down.
Ed Tubbs, the luckiest man on earth.
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