On a rare occasion I find myself agreeing with a person or group that I otherwise have nothing in common with. Just days ago I found myself agreeing with the Socialist Party USA. The SPUSA National Committee issued a press release which says,
“Language matters, especially at times of crisis. The explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig that released hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has been called a “disaster” by many. It isn’t a disaster. It is a crime. Early estimates are that the spill will cost more than $14 billion to clean, will devastate local fisheries for generations and will result in untold damage to all parts of the ecology in the Gulf region. Corporations are the criminals here – British Petroleum (BP) and, a company that is no stranger to corporate crime, Halliburton. This massive spill highlights both the need for an immediate transition to clean energy sources and the need to apply democratic controls to inherently criminal multinational corporations.
The clean up of the area must begin immediately, it must be conducted with the consultation and best interest of local fishermen and environmentalists and it must be entirely paid for by BP.
…Not surprisingly, BP had a partner in this crime – Halliburton. Fresh off their stint bilking US taxpayers during the war in Iraq, the company was contracted by BP to cement the drill, oil well and pipe into the ocean floor. The Los Angeles Times reports that this task was completed a mere 20 hours before the well exploded.”
However, the SPUSA advocates more government controls as a solution. However, they’re willing to admit that governments and corporations are entangled in an unholy alliance, “Meanwhile, politicians from the Democratic and Republican parties serve as willing accomplices to the corporations.” And the SPUSA claims this is a product of “capitalism”. Mussolini is quoted as saying, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.”
The solution is to simply abolish “corporate personhood” and hold people accountable for pollution. Dr. Ron Paul says, “The environment is better protected under private property rights …. We as property owners can’t violate our neighbors’ property. We can’t pollute their air or their water. We can’t dump our garbage on their property.”
The Huffington Post has reported Republican Senators have blocked a bill that would have raised the cap on the amount of money oil companies like BP would have to pay for economic damages caused by oil spills. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued that BP would “be held to” its promise to pay for all damages. “They ought to pay for it and they will pay for it,” McConnell said. He then said the danger in raising an economic liability cap was that it would make it so that only large oil companies could drill off-shore. “If you raise the cap too high, there will be no competition in the Gulf and you will leave all the business to the big guys like BP.” What about accountability? By not forcing BP to pay for clean-up of this spill, the government is only sending a message to other corporations that they can “do anything and not be held responsible.” And to think, a $500,000 piece of equipment could have prevented this entire spill.