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Time Says Oil Spill is Everyone’s Fault but Big Government

Sarah Knoploh
Business & Media Institute
June 14, 2010

The June 21 Time cover article told the sad stories of those affected by the BP oil spill and explored mistakes, mishaps and unfortunate events that have combined to compound the disaster. But in “The Gulf Disaster: Who’s Asses Need Kicking?” author Bryan Walsh went ultimately to spoiled American consumers both for refusing to grant government unlimited power over business, and for demanding mobility facilitated by inexpensive fuel.

“We accept the business argument that regulation is an evil that isn’t necessary, rather than a necessary evil, and then we’re surprised when a rig blows and disaster ensues,” Walsh tutted.

He called the current regulations “toothless” and explained that a current problem is, “the tendency of too many government overseers to get too friendly with the industry they’re supposed to be monitoring.”

But it wasn’t just the lack of regulation. Walsh declared that, “And all of us bear responsibility too for depending on and demanding cheap oil underwritten by risky drilling while showing again and again at the ballot box that we wouldn’t support a government that really regulated the industry.”

Walsh explained, “Of course, it’s our appetite for gas – cheap gas – that provides the hundreds of millions of dollars oil companies keep spending to drill offshore and the billions they make in profit. We buy gas-guzzling cars, resist the use of public transportation and howl at the ideal of carbon taxes or other measures that would bankroll research into alternative energy sources and make them more competitive once they reach the market.”

Anything that needs government subsidy to exist in the marketplace is, by definition, uncompetitive. And the big solutions proposed by environmentalists wouldn’t just inconvenience consumers, they would cripple the U.S. economy.

In 2009 Congress attempted to pass Cap-and-Trade, which would have created a trading market while attempting to cap carbon emissions.  The Heritage Foundation found that it would have cost not only a $9.6 billion in GDP loss, but over one million jobs by 2035.

During the 2008 campaign, then-Senator Obama received $71,000 worth of donations from BP. And Walsh did acknowledge that Obama was among those to blame. But he complained that president was “too slow to seize control.”

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