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Tom Donohue, President of the US Chamber of Commerce, thinks BP is getting a bad rap and wants the government to lay off already.

“I was astounded yesterday that the president took full responsibility for this and said it was the federal government, and not BP, that was running the cleanup,” Donohue said at a breakfast for reporters. “Well, it was interesting to hear the admiral from the Coast Guard say, ‘We have no capacity to do this cleanup.’

“They’ve already broken up the regulatory body into more regulators. They’ve already got people retiring or being fired. This is the idea that we have to cover our political ass in our very, very difficult time. By the way, both parties do this kind of thing,” Donohue added.

There’s a “mentality in this Congress and this administration that the more regulation, the better,” Donohue said.

“I’m not too much of an advocate of doing the surgery before the diagnosis. Nor am I an advocate of grounding all the aircraft if there’s an aircraft accident, stopping all the trains if there’s a train accident,” Donohue said. “When you overregulate, you under-job.” […]

Donohue said a better tack might be for the government to adopt a “calm resolve” to “A) stop the oil, B) clean it up and C) figure out what happened and [how we are] going to deal with it.”

Ah yes, that’s the ticket. The solution to a massive failure of government regulators to enforce existing regulations is to just wait, and then “figure out what happened.” But don’t do anything once you figure out what happened! Cause that’s regulation, and that’s bad.

It’s definitely clear that there were significant regulatory gaps that need to be filled to make sure oil companies can’t continue to skirt the law. But it’s also clear existing regulations need to be enforced – something Donohue conveniently ignores.

By the way – anyone have a guess for what “under-job” means?


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Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.