Question by O’Ryan: Do you agree with Wes Benedict of the Libertarian Party that the government shares responsibility in regards?
to the oil spill in the Gulf?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2010
Contact: Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Phone: 202-333-0008 ext. 222
Libertarians say government shares blame with BP for oil spill
WASHINGTON – Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian
Party, issued the following statement today:
“The federal government and BP share the blame for the large oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico.
“When the CEO of BP appeared at a Congressional hearing yesterday,
Republicans and Democrats predictably engaged in finger-pointing and
blame-ducking, trying to score political points. Their fingers should
have been pointed at themselves.
“When President Obama gave his Oval Office speech on Tuesday, there
was one important word missing: the word ‘liability.’ The president
never mentioned that, thanks to liability caps provided by the federal
government, BP was able to engage in riskier activities than it would
have otherwise. If BP had known in advance that it would be fully
liable for all damages related to an oil spill, it probably would have
taken greater safeguards. When you know that your liability will be
strictly limited, cutting corners becomes a lot more attractive.
“The spill will cause a lot of damage to the property and livelihood
of people living along the Gulf. We have a well-developed system of
civil courts to help people obtain compensation. Unfortunately, the
legislative and executive branches have inappropriately trampled on
this territory, and they seem to be trying to take the place of the
“The president has apparently convinced BP to put $ 20 billion in some
kind of compensation account. He said in his speech that it will be
‘administered by an independent third party.’ Will this third party be
able to decide what ‘legitimate claims’ are, and how much they should
receive? Assessing damages should be done by courts, not by political
bureaucrats appointed in backroom deals between the president and a
“The president could have taken the opportunity to talk about getting
government out of the energy industry, and allowing the free market to
guide the future of energy production. Unfortunately, he instead
blamed the free market for government failures, and discussed his
hopes of increasing government interference in the energy industry.
“For decades, Libertarians have warned against putting trust in
government regulatory bureaucracies like the Minerals Management
Service (MMS). While costing the taxpayers a lot of money, these
agencies generally fail to deliver the kind of protections they
promise, they tend to become corrupt, and they discourage vigilance on
the part of citizens by lulling them into
a false sense of security.
“When large companies and the government start working together, the
results can be disastrous. Congressional liability caps, the MMS
bureaucracy, and BP have all cooperated to create a costly disaster
that should never have happened.”
For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive
Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971.
The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You
can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website
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wish to do so, please click here
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Answer by Chi Guy
I agree that MMS is guilty of dereliction of duty along with the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.
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