Tuesday :: Jun 1, 2010

Robert Reich: Put BP into temporary receivership

by Turkana

Writing in Salon, Robert Reich says President Obama should put British Petroleum's North American operations into temporary receivership, thereby giving the government full control of attempts to stop the continuing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's time for the federal government to put BP under temporary receivership, which gives the government authority to take over BP's operations in the Gulf of Mexico until the gusher is stopped. This is the only way the public know what's going on, be confident enough resources are being put to stopping the gusher, ensure BP's strategy is correct, know the government has enough clout to force BP to use a different one if necessary, and be sure the president is ultimately in charge.

If the government can take over giant global insurer AIG and the auto giant General Motors and replace their CEOs, in order to keep them financially solvent, it should be able to put BP's North American operations into temporary receivership in order to stop one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

Reich refers to Administration deference to BP, for having the equipment and technical expertise to address the crisis, but says that under receivership that equipment and technical expertise would be serving the public good and not BP's shareholders. He lists five solid reasons for this seemingly drastic but increasingly necessary move. Click through to his post, for full explanations:

1. We are not getting the truth from BP.

2. We have no way to be sure BP is devoting enough resources to stopping the gusher.

3. BP's new strategy for stopping the gusher is highly risky.

4. Right now, the U.S. government has no authority to force BP to adopt a different strategy.

5. The President is not legally in charge.

Right wing and traditional media critics would do what they do anyway, but given that they've been demanding more action from the White House, any of their possible protestations easily would be dismissed as transparent hypocrisy. Beyond that, BP's stunning dishonesty and irresponsibility have completely undermined its credibility, with the public. And it just keeps getting worse. The Obama Administration can continue to allow BP to undermine its own credibility, or it can take control, once and for all. By taking control of BP.

Turkana :: 12:41 PM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!