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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reich: Nationalize BP

Former Labor Secretary has the solution to the Gulf oil spill, nationalize British Petroleum.

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 will 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.

It's hard to know how Reich thinks this is constitutional. Then again, it's hard to know how TARP, TALF, the stimulus, health care reform, and the take over of GM and AIG were rooted in the constitution.

I guess this is the time we live when the answer to all problems seems to be to nationalize a company. It's important to note that BP is a multi national headquartered not in the US but Britain. How this plays into Reich's calculations is anyone's guess. BP is not dire financial trouble. So, taking them over wouldn't solve that.

Instead, Reich wants them taken over because he's unhappy with their response to the spill. Can anyone say slippery slope? If this is given serious consideration, then every company that charges too much can be a target for a take over.

Maybe, it's time to consider a government takeover of Toyota. After all, every car they design is a menace to the road. Maybe, Andrew Weiner will suggest a takeover of Goldline. After all, according to him, they are overcharging their clients.

Where will the nationalizations stop? If BP can be nationalized because they aren't handling this crisis well, then any company can be nationalized for any reason.


AG said...

I'm sure its entirely within the government's authority to step in where BP has failed repeatedly. That being said, there's no need to nationalize BP's US operations. If you really want to send them a message, just revoke their drilling permits.

mike volpe said...

The government can definitely take over but I think as Admiral Allen said, they aren't in a position to stop this any more than BP is. You are absolutely right about your last sentence.

United Citizens Council said...

They are communists at heart