Dave Westlake thinks BP got shook down

Though the apology by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) to BP over the $20 billion shakedown BP was subjected to at the hands of the Obama administration, was met with almost universal scorn by folks on both the left and the right, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dave Westlake seems to agree with Rep. Barton’s assertion that the Obama administration engaged in a “shakedown” of BP in order to get BP to agree to set up the $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill.

Speaking at a candidate forum yesterday, Westlake noted that BP is already taking action to mitigate the disaster, but is faced with overcoming “bureaucratic hurdles” in doing so, saying, “Shaking BP down for $20 billion doesn’t do anything to further that end or to get the oil cleaned up faster.” Considering the fact that the victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill didn’t get compensated by Exxon until many years (and lots of litigation) later, I don’t consider the fact that the Obama administration asked BP to put their money where their mouth was when it came to compensating victims of this spill for their losses to be a “shakedown.” What’s more, I’m sure the victims of the Gulf oil spill don’t consider BP ponying up $20 billion to help compensate them for their losses to be a shakedown; they likely view it as being the right thing to do.


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6 thoughts on “Dave Westlake thinks BP got shook down

  1. I don’t consider the fact that the Obama administration asked BP to put their money where their mouth was when it came to compensating victims of this spill for their losses to be a “shakedown.”

    I don’t have a huge problem with requiring them to establish a separate fund, but c’mon. They weren’t asked kindly and I agree with Westlake. The President and his administration made clear this was going to go well beyond simply holding BP responsible. The President of the United States talked about “kicking their ass” and a member of his cabinet said their job was to “keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum” – their feelings towards the company are quite clear. Given that context, a request is anything but optional.

  2. What’re we supposed to do, ask nicely for them to compensate us for the blundering environmental rape of the Gulf of Mexico?

    1. Of course not. The point is Zach was arguing they weren’t forced or shaken down, they were asked – his italics for emphasis. My point is they weren’t asked – it wasn’t optional, they were bullied. Sure they screwed up and are a big evil company, blah blah blah – you can argue they deserved it and more and I wouldn’t necessarily say you’re wrong. But just like I don’t believe the government should pick winners & losers & favor certain companies, I don’t think they should attack others out of malice. The rhetoric is classless.

      1. Help in any way possible to put a stop to the oil erupting into the Gulf. And no matter how you say it, saying “plug the damn hole” doesn’t help.
      2. Help in every way possible to prevent damage and protect the people, animals and other natural and man-made things in the area (in that order).
      3. When those things are done, use whatever criminal and legal avenues allow to hold the company and individuals responsible accountable.

      But #3 needs to wait until 1 & 2 are under control. The White House seems to be confusing revenge with justice.

      And please note – I have don’t said nothing to excuse or defend BP in either of my posts.

      1. Waiting until the first 2 points are done isn’t necessary. Plenty of people were counting on income they now cannot receive. Should the people that were depending on fishing in the gulf wait until the hole is plugged to get some money? That could be August. They deserve that money now, and they need it to survive NOW. If the government can help them get it now, they should.

  3. Gotta stop posting without proof-reading – especially while I’m on the phone & emailing mid sentence… 🙁

    Ignore the “don’t” in the last sentence.

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