Feingold calls for an end to cozy relationship between big oil & government

As the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil leak continues, Sen. Russ Feingold has been working on initiatives to not only hold BP accountable for the disaster while making the oil industry as a whole more accountable in the future. Sen. Feingold’s current efforts are focusing on ending the very cozy relationship between the federal government and oil companies, a relationship which has no doubt contributed to relaxed oversight and taxpayer-funded giveaways to the oil industry. Sen. Feingold issued a statement about his efforts:

“The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is causing incalculable damage to our environment as well as our economy. As the federal government works with the private sector to stop the leak and address the aftermath, Congress has the responsibility to look ahead and do what it takes to prevent this from happening again. This oil spill makes painfully clear how dangerous the cozy relationship between the federal government and powerful companies can be. Just as we saw with Wall Street recently, when the federal government gives in to powerful special interests by reducing protections and oversight, the American people pay a heavy price.”

Among the efforts Sen. Feingold is sponsoring or cosponsoring to hold BP accountable for the current Gulf oil spill, in addition to holding companies accountable to try to prevent future crises include:

  • Making oil companies responsible for damage they cause
  • Ending government giveaways to oil and gas companies
  • Forcing oil companies to use the leases they currently have before receiving new leases through his “Use It or Lose It” bill
  • Keeping big oil accountable for oil spills

In addition to his efforts to hold BP and other oil drillers more accountable, Sen. Feingold has also been a strong opponent of drilling for oil in the Great Lakes, having cosponsored the Great Lakes Water Protection Act, which sought to deny oil or gas drilling in any of the Great Lakes.


Related Articles

12 thoughts on “Feingold calls for an end to cozy relationship between big oil & government

  1. Aren’t the first and fourth bullets redundant? Or is that just to make sure we know they’re really serious – that the government really has their “boot heel on the throat of BP.”

    I’m curious though. Is there really any chance BP is not going to be held liable without such legislation? I mean, aside from fines and getting killed on the stock market, won’t BP eventually be sued into oblivion?

    1. I’m not sure BP will be sued into oblivion, simply because they’ve got the money to keep up the legal fight for a good long time. After all, look how long it took folks to get justice after the Exxon Valdez spill. The main lawsuits against Exxon weren’t finally resolved until 2006 or 2007, if memory serves me.

  2. Russ is completely appropriate in his response as always. He would have been a straightforward, intelligent and subtly dignified President.

    re: the redundancy
    Item one seems to encompass ALL damage caused during all phases and types of operations within the oil industry. Possibly even at some point including corollary industry i.e. Frac Sand etc.

    Item 4 seems to then single out spills for detailed attention.

      1. Well, yes that is what I believe. You may recall that early on, before Russ made the public statement that he felt he could make a greater contribution retaining his current office and so would not be running for President, there was a fairly enthusiastic group of people who were hoping Russ would run. I was one such person. And I still think Russ is/would have been fit for the job.

  3. Let’s also enjoy the moment when Oil Giant jack prices, playing victim and blaming the spill for “reducing supply”. I can’t help but think of Farmer dumping milk to raise prices as I watch this whole thing.

    Do I think the bastards would do this to create a Katrina for Obama and other nefarious purposes (ANWR? who knows)
    Paranoia is not a pretty thing, but rather fitting in the world we are in. I can’t imagine such thoughts have not flitted across people’s minds now and then.

  4. Tell me again how tough Big Gov will be on Big Oil. Our dependency on Big Oil is greater than our ‘toughness’.

    I think Feingold is playing to the bleachers on this one.

  5. If it gets to expensive to remediate the damage caused in the Gulf or the preponderance of lawsuits becomes a burden they will re-organize under bankruptcy..

  6. Maybe Russ should add something about holding the Obama Administration accountable? Per the Rolling Stone article The Spill, the Scandal and the President, “the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency’s culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards”.
    Ironic that the worst ecological disaster in history was possible due to the negligence of the eco-warriors favored son and messiah. This was an obvious case of the government being way too cozy and ignoring the warning signs, yet Feingold only penalizes the oil company. He would of made a great president, of the local Boy Scout chapter.

Comments are closed.