We're all "Mom and Pop" Oil Companies Now!

CONFIDENTIAL MEMO

To: Oil Industry Executives

From: [Redacted name], Chief Executive Officer
[Redacted name] Oil Company

Date: May 18, 2010

Re: We're all "Mom and Pop" Oil Companies Now!

I know your shareholders have been pretty happy lately. With $6 billion in profits just this first quarter of 2010, I know ours have. (And if you have a compensation package anything like mine, well...) I know you want to scream this from the rafters because in this kind of economy, who's making that kinda dough?!

But SSHHHH! Really. Shhh! This is not the time. We're in a fight to keep that puny $75 million liability cap (I know!) on the books for our oil spills, and guess what? It's all those tiny mom and pop oil companies that are saving us! (Actually, I had no idea about them. Must have missed them at the last Minerals Management Service paintball party. By the way, anyone seen my goggles?)

Anywho, turns out whoever they are, they are having a huge impact protecting us. Just today, our buddy Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) stood up on the Senate floor to block these ridiculous attempts to make us pay people up to $10 billion when we have an accident. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) did the same marvelous thing last week. Imagine! Who doesn't spill something every once in awhile? The last thing we need are more regulations and more liability. How many times do we have to cry "nanny state, nanny state"? Thankfully, both senators Murkowski and Inhofe could point to all those small independent producers who might never find insurance to cover them if they actually had to pay for the damage they caused. I don't know about that. All I know is, we don't have insurance now and we don't wanna have to buy any. We can manage $75 million just fine on our own and that's what our limit should be! Everyone with me here?

But we really need to watch out for Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). He's not buying the whole mom and pop thing. He told NPR:

Well, you know, at some point there are a lot of smaller companies than BP, but they're not mom and pop companies as we would think of a mom and pop store on Main Street. Several of these independent operators are, you know, $40 billion in net worth. And lastly, the question begs the issue as a public policy, just because we want smaller operators to be able to operate, if they create the same risk would we simply say that the liability should now become that of the public and of all of the Gulf State residents, and of the federal government, because they're smaller?

Better watch out for this guy.

Anyway, none of this oil spill is anyone's fault except the Sierra Club. I heard it on Rush Limbaugh today. That's because "they've been driving oil producers off the land to 'way, way, way offshore.'" (Although I have to admit I am a bit confused by that. I thought those irrational enviros dislike drilling on land too, and support energy alternative that are so terrifying that an oil company might not be able to own them. The sun, the wind - it's chilling!)

Here's another idea. Let's say they're part of that Obama-Pelosi-Reid "secular-socialist machine" that Newt Gingrich says "represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did." Talk about good messaging! And add to that list all the groups that just signed onto this letter, urging Congress to lift that cap and suggesting - actually saying - that "there should be no liability cap at all [because] they allow companies like BP to avoid bearing responsibility for the full cost of damage it inflicts." Just like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says! Pay for our negligence? Are they nuts?

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) said today that he's gong to make us cry uncle. How do you make a mom and pop cry uncle? Weird. I don't think that's gonna happen. Besides, we may not have adequate safety systems in our oil rigs, but we do have back up plans where it really counts. Start siphoning off some of those mega-profits. November's just around the corner.