Wednesday, June 9, 2010


We've heard a lot of bullshit flung about during this Deepwater Horizon crisis. From Tony Hayward's proclamations that it wasn't going to be that bad and in the grand scheme of things it's only a small bit of oil, to the various pronouncements of shills that people were blowing this out of proportion, to denial of oil plumes, to the proclamation from Sen. David Vitter yesterday that old man Obama's offshore drill ban was going to do more damage than the spill itself, the flow off bullshit has almost been as pronounced as the flow of oil into the gulf.

So it's nice when someone has the stones to throw out the unvarnished truth about the situation.
"If you were affected in Louisiana," said Brian O'Neill, an attorney with the firm Faegre & Benson, "to use a legal term, you are just fucked."
And who is Brian O'Neill? Only the man who represented tens of thousand of fishermen and other claimants in the Exxon-Valdez disaster. He continues.
"These big oil companies, they have a different view of time and politics than we do," he added. "The fact that BP hard-asses it a little bit for 5 to 10 to 15 years, despite all the bad publicity there may be between segments of society and BP as a result [of this spill]. Exxon sure weathered it really well. The market went up the next day for Exxon stock [after the settlement]. They just thrived despite treating an entire state poorly. And there is a lesson there for BP, and that is: it really doesn't matter whether you treat these people nicely or not. The only difference is if you extract oil."
He is of course referring to the fact that Exxon dragged the court cases out for two decades and ended up having their monetary liability reduced from $5 billion to $500 million by the Supreme Court.

So we'd like to thank Mr. O'Neill for being one of the guys willing to tell the truth about the future of lawsuits against BP. The horrible, horrible, legally tortuous, won't have to pay what they owe, dragged out for decades, people get screwed, awful truth. Thanks, Sunshine. You maybe want to wait until there isn't so much oil gushing into the sea before you tell everyone they're fucked?

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