Friday, May 28, 2010

Letters to editor, etc.

[I sent letters to the editor and did media website and blog postings in the form of the below composition on the subject of the 2010 elections and the oil disaster in the Gulf.]

Subj: 2010 elections and Gulf of Mexico oil disaster

Dear ______,

The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is going to have devastating consequences for years to come.

We Alabamians can wish we did not have to think about them.

We have to think about them, however.

There has already begun the work of government, charity and the law to deal with what has happened in the Gulf.

Candidates in this year's elections have reacted and have enunciated campaign positions concerning whether offshore drilling should be limited, whether increased regulation of oil industry operations is needed, and whether a federal law that limits the liability of oil companies should be changed.

Exercising my citizen's rights, I have had email correspondence with many candidates (in Alabama and outside of Alabama) about the oil disaster. In this correspondence, I advocated that, regardless of what the policy outcomes are regarding offshore drilling, regulation of the oil industry, and the federal law limiting liability, there is, in my view, one thing that is very wrong related to the oil disaster for which Congress is responsible.

I think it is very wrong that hundreds of millions or billions of dollars is going to be paid to plaintiffs' lawyers (and defense lawyers) related to the determination and finalization of BP's liability and to whom the liability is owing.

I don't think it should cost more than $50,000,000 to determine the amount of the liability and to whom it is owed. Hundreds of millions or billions of dollars should not have to be paid to lawyers for their role, and most of those amounts would be much better spent by society as part of the compensation paid to persons who suffer losses from the oil disaster. The moneys could also be better spent by not being paid at all and being available for use by BP and other companies who had the misfortune of contributing to the happening of the accident, in order that those parties can continue their legitimate business of producing oil for the benefit of the county, providing jobs, and paying dividends to hundreds of thousands of stockholders, big and small, including retirement plans, who are dependent on and deserving of financial returns from their investments.

Recovery from the oil disaster is going to be very onerous. I hope the candidates and the public will debate in the 2010 elections whether plaintiffs' lawyers should get paid hundreds of millions or billions of dollars as a result, or whether there is better use for the money in how our society recovers.


Rob Shattuck
Birmingham, AL

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