Tom Usher wrote or added | I haven't research this, and I don't remember reading about the details when it was past; but without even doing so, there's a quick thing that came to mind as I read it. Bill Clinton signed the bill, but who lobbied for it? If the oil companies had nothing to do with the passage of tax breaks for them to drill in deeper water, I for one would be absolutely amazed. Now, if the author's point is that the government should not have caved into any such lobbying and campaign contributions, etc., that are so common with Big Oil, then I take his point. However, I doubt that's his point because it would not be true to form for a Ludwig von Mises disciple that he seems to be.
Furthermore, I take huge exception to lionizing BP as being responsible for our ability to disseminate information on the Internet or elsewhere. Everything, absolutely everything, we can do now could be done without offshore drilling at all, no matter how shallow the water. In fact, if we were to have embarked on an intelligent plan decades ago when I wanted and likely from the looks of this author, possibly before he was even born, we'd be light years ahead of where we are now in terms of free, clean energy for all.
Ah, I started writing this while reading the article. I have come to the part where Matthew J. Novak states the following:
"...it is clear that the incentives put in place by the state — undoubtedly at the behest of lobbyists for oil companies — led to drilling in deep water, leading to increased risk. The incentives encouraged drilling in water that had been previously deemed economically unattractive by those same companies."
Well, if he thinks that way about it, why is he faulting anyone but BP who lobbies and lobbies hard? He's pardoning and excusing them while in that same article he's pointing out exactly why he shouldn't be doing that. He goes on from there excoriating BP apparently not realizing how much he had pardoned them. Ah, but he blame the government or state up front. Corporatism is bad, but government is so much worse according to Novak's philosophy or ideology. He couldn't have it more backwards.
The corporatists are the ones who have ruin the government, not the other way around. If there were vastly less government, those greedy corporatists would just drill wherever because there would be no government anyway to come after them for polluting. They wouldn't have added costs to meet regulatory requirements. It has been governmental regulation at the people's insistence afterall that has curbed what pollution has been curbed. Before the regulations, the business class was pooh-poohing all environmentalism, as if they hate the planet Earth and couldn't careless if it dies because they will have gotten their "gain" while the getting was "good" and be long dead.
Oh sure, I heard the lamebrain Milton Friedman spouting how a "free market" is self regulating and would get around to taking care of the environment because otherwise the markets would be bad. Hogwash that was and remains. Hong Kong was his shining-gem example, only it has had huge environmental problems that still haven't been corrected nearly enough. In some cases, it's only gotten worse.
Well, Milton is dead now, and we need to stop being so stupid about the environment and deregulation, etc. BP is not excused and has not been doing a "good" job of taking care at all. They wanted to drill in deep water; and now their in it, it's getting hotter too, and no amount of turning a blind eye by "libertarians" will change those facts.
The government did not twist BP's arm to fail to install a better shut-off value. It didn't twist BP's arms to opt for the cheaper and less safe platform housing. There are a number of others things one could say about BP in this vein, but suffice it to say that reportedly, BP has the worse track record of all the major oil companies going back quite a few years now. Explosions, deaths, spills, leaks, many citations, and some cover-ups have all been reported.