Monday, November 26, 2012

If you're looking for some good news today

And I know you are.  Check out Bob Marshall's assessment of the recent BP plea agreement with the feds. Marshall is more upbeat about the news than I was when it rolled out a couple of weeks ago. You should probably put more stock in Bob Marshall's opinion than in mine in these matters.

Here's why: Some $1.2 billion is directed to go specifically to Louisiana river diversion projects and/or barrier island creation or restoration. BP will send the money to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which then must work with state and federal agencies. There's no wiggle room here -- that language is in the plea agreement.

You can read the whole thing here: (www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/43320121115143613990027.pdf).
And that is good news.  My concern, though, was that the big pay day we've been waiting for via the Clean Water Act hasn't arrived yet. As Marshall points out, the fact that we didn't hear anything about that with regard to this settlement may be a good thing.

Finally, and just as significantly, BP's guilty plea would seem to make it impossible for the company to argue it wasn't criminally negligent in violating the Clean Water Act. And that means it will be liable for the higher fine schedule that could top $20 billion. BP's only escape would be if the criminal plea was part of a larger global settlement for all exposures -- including Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act -- which Holder's office said was not the case.

So our $50 billion Master Plan 2012 could be coming in for more billions.
They'll need more billions, though. Many more.  The sooner, the better, too, of course.  

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