From the sad irony department:I note that exactly zero US newspapers have mentioned Piper Alpha, by quite a margin the most deadly oil accident of all time, by a US company (Oxy) in UK waters.There was no record of US bashing at the time that I can find, nor attempts at unconstitutional shenanigans (retroactive legislation and bills of attainder)."The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday that Congress could retroactively impose a higher liability cap on BP Plc to pay for the damage from its growing oil spill, and the company would likely lose if it challenged the higher cap in court."andDemocratic 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.cf.US constitution, Article 9, Section I, para 3"No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."Pretty fundamental stuff, right after habeas corpus.Essentially the equivalent prohibition is also in all 50 state constitutions.(attainder is using legislation against a specific party to determine and punish guilt, instead of going through the courts)There is no doubt that it's an awful spill and the owners and responsibleparties should pay a whole lot of money to make a whole lot of people whole.If a competent court decides negligence then penalties are appropriate as well.But I look forward to the day that the reactions start to be based on evidence and rationality, or as a first baby step perhaps legality.Jim
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