>>that law doesn't apply to this situation.
It absolutely does as amended.
$75MM for direct losses to individuals + actual clean up costs.
BP says they will waive the $75MM limit, but that means they can also set the terms if they choose, like no lawsuits allowed, only binding arbitration.
Actually the $75MM liability is for impact to individuals and businesses. BP says it will voluntarily pay more.
They are responsible for 100% of the cleanup at whatever costs.
Total they could face should be in the $5BB range for what is known today, assuming top kill works...
Actually I think between $15 - $50B is more realistic. Here is a graphic from awhile ago but estimate as of this date was $14B - Valdez was $7B. This estimate has BP spending $350 million but as of today it is in excess of $1B.
1. Current liability limit does not cover all damages. So, BP can be exposed to limitless liability.
2. The law Congress is attempting to pass would likely be ruled unconstitutional. But in reality it does not matter. BP already agreed to pay for all expenses. there are legal implications for this "admition" too. But even this does not matter. The government can force BP to pay expenses without changing the law. Just seize assets, revoke licenses. Impose fines. File criminal charges against BP and top officials. You get the gist.
The government holds all the leverage. BP is in trouble. Throw the liability cap out the sindow for this spill. It would have applied and helped BP if BP had only caused a Valdez type spill. This is about a thousand times worse.
Does anyone really think the US government is going to allow BP to drill anywhere on American land or property. BP will not even be allowed to drill in the Western hemisphere after this.
You are a fool. Limit was $75M and they have agreed to pay everything and yes you can always change the law. In addition, they can be fined 4300 per bbl which at 1,000,000 bbls is 4.3B. Also have spent $1B to date and that is without legal claims from all the economic loss.
Wake up! Obama & Congress are changing the law...it's already in the works. Google it.
When that bill passes, the PPS of BP will drop like a rock (and it will pass, can you imagine a single Senator or Congressman not voting for it? The US public are furious and want BP to pay. )
White House pushes to lift BP's liability limit for Gulf Coast oil spill
By The Associated Press
May 04, 2010, 6:22PM
WASHINGTON -- The White House is pushing to lift the limit on how much BP pays for the Gulf Coast oil spill.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday the administration wants to work with Congress to change a law that caps at $75 million BP's liability for economic damages like lost wages or dwindling tourist dollars.
BP PLC is responsible for all cleanup costs under the Oil Pollution Act, but Gibbs said that other costs could easily top $75 million.
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is co-sponsoring a measure that would raise the liability limit to $10 billion. Menendez also wants it to be made retroactive so it can apply to the huge spill that began after an oil rig exploded in the Gulf on April 20.
Gibbs said the administration supported Menendez's attempts to raise the limit retroactively. He also noted that if BP is found to have acted negligently or violated the law, the cap would not be in effect. The Oil Pollution Act was passed in 1990 in response to the Exxon Valdez spill.
Menendez said he was confident that the liability measure could be applied retroactively. He cited the 30-year-old Superfund law that has forced companies to pay for previously polluted hazardous waste sites.
"This is about making Big Oil responsible for its excesses," Menendez said.
"I don't trust Big Oil," added Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., another one of the bill's co-sponsors.
BP CEO Tony Hayward declined to comment on the bill.
"We won't be entering into that legislative discussion," Hayward said at a news conference Tuesday.
Asked whether the company expected to spend money beyond the $75 million limit, Hayward said the cap was largely irrelevant.
"It's got nothing to do with caps. All legitimate claims ... will be honored," he said.
BP says on its website that it is committed to paying "all necessary and appropriate cleanup costs" as well as "legitimate and objectively verifiable claims for other loss and damage caused by the spill."
Hayward said the company was also providing $25 million block grants to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to help them respond to the incident.
The federal government also maintains an Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund supported by industry fees. It can make a total of $1 billion in payouts per incident to individuals, businesses and governments.
Roughly 2.6 million or more gallons has spilled into the Gulf since the April 20 blast that sunk an oil rig and killed 11 workers.
President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that taxpayers will not be on the hook for the massive oil spill, which threatens the Gulf Coast. But prior to Tuesday the administration hadn't staked out a position on how the liability limit might be dealt with.
Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the "responsible party," BP, is liable for the total of all removal costs (i.e., "costs of removal that are incurred after a discharge of oil has occurred or, in any case in which there is a substantial threat of a discharge of oil, the costs to prevent, minimize, or mitigate oil pollution from such an incident"), plus up to $75,000,000 in other damages covered damages (i.e., damages to natural resources, real or personal property, subsistence use of resources, loss of revenues, profits and earning capacity and losses to public services. In addition, BP may be additionally liable for claims arising under state law causes of action."
"BP has indicated that it will not be invoking the $75 million cap on third-party damage claims."
While you are right that an ex post factor law would not survive scrutiny there are so many loopholes in that law that one could manuever an oil tanker through them...to start
graft and corruption
etc etc etc. There are arguements that any of these would void the treaty