Wednesday, March 06, 2013

What's grosser than gross?

During the early part of the BP trial, I've been asking why more witnesses don't toss in the word "gross" somewhere in their descriptions of company negligence which resulted in the 2010 Macondo blow out.  Since "gross negligence" is the standard the plaintiffs are trying to hit in order to trigger the higher fine scale, it only makes sense to throw the term around as much as possible.

Turns out, though, that's exactly the sort of thing to get BP's legal eagles' feathers all ruffled.

So, okay, we'll go right ahead and continue listening to testimony from "toolpushers" as well as speculation about whether or not the rig's "annulus" was sufficiently plugged to prevent seepage but we'll leave it to the judge to decide just how much of this can be described as gross.

For what it's worth, BP CEO Bob Dudley said this morning he certainly doesn't think the term applies.

Meanwhile, a  Louisiana Senator is going to bat for BP's privilege to continue operating in state waters even in the midst of proceedings to determine the grossness of their well-established negligence.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to lift its November suspension of oil company BP’s ability to secure new federal contracts, including oil leases in the Gulf.

Landrieu, D-La., said the EPA doesn’t have the authority to regulate the oil and gas industry and that what she considers arbitrary action against BP could “have a chilling effect” on other companies’ desire to drill in the Gulf.

“I’m furious and strongly opposed to the EPA’s authority for suspension and disbarment,” Landrieu said Tuesday. “I’m angry that this agency would put a business in a situation of what amounts to double jeopardy.”

Mary is "furious" that an oil giant who has become synonymous with its industry's despoiling of the Louisiana coast is being treated harshly.  Not sure what term best describes that perversion of priorities on the part of our supposed representative but whatever it is it's probably grosser than gross.

1 comment:

Ricardo said...

It's hard to cash campaign donation checks from BP if BP is banned from Gulf waters.