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17 June 2010

Republican Tom Price Stands Up For His BP Oil Buddies [UPDATE]

The oil spill off the gulf coast can only be described as one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. And blame for this epic environmental disaster should lay solely on the culprits: British Petroleum.

"We ask that members of both parties repudiate Mr. Price’s offensive comments. He does not stand with the hard-working middle-class families that have been irreparably damaged by this environmental tragedy," Georgia Democratic Party chairman Jane Kidd said Thursday afternoon.

BP should pay its fair share to clean up the mess they made in the Gulf of Mexico; and yesterday the oil company took a good first step towards being a good corporate citizen [Associated Press (2010-6-16). BP OKs $20 billion escrow fund, halts dividend . MSNBC. Retrieved on 2010-6-17.].

Sadly though, we have members of Congress who appear not to want BP to clean up its mess or to compensate those individuals whose livelihoods are threatened by this calamitous oil spill.

MSNBC is reporting that Georgia Republican Tom Price is describing the $20 billion escrow account set up by BP as a "brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics."

“We all agree that BP should be held fully responsible for its complicity in the oil tragedy in the Gulf,” Price said. "However, in an administration that appears not to respect fundamental American principles, it is important to note that there is no legal authority for the president to compel a private company to set up or contribute to an escrow account."

Price added, “BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics. These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration’s drive for greater power and control."

Murray, Mark (2010-6-17). Price, Barton criticize BP escrow account. First Read (MSNBC). Retrieved on 2010-6-17.

These comments from Tom Price are shameful. It's shameful that a member of Congress representing a state with coastal lands would object to an oil company setting $20 billion aside to pay for its mess. But for the grace of God, Georgia could easily be affected by this oil spill. Then what?

What would Tom Price say then? What would Tom Price say if the oil spill was off the coast of Georgia? Would he continue his defense of his BP oil buddies, or would he be calling on BP to clean up its mess and pay up?

These are all legitimate questions that need to be answered by the newly-minted Congressman from the British Petroleum corporation.

[UPDATE]: State Democratic Party chairman Jane Kidd released the following statement - "Congressman Price is siding with BP on this issue. All Americans should be shocked by a sitting member of Congress that calls restitution for the oil spill a shakedown."

"We ask that members of both parties repudiate Mr. Price’s offensive comments. He does not stand with the hard-working middle-class families that have been irreparably damaged by this environmental tragedy.
"