Het is een hoopgevende zaak dat een krant als de NRC dit durfde te publiceren. Vooral omdat de essentie niet alleen de Amerikaanse, maar ook de Nederlandse/Vlaamse overheid in gelijksoortige gevallen schuld hebben. (Bvb “war on drugs”) Doen alsof het bescherming is maar wat in werkelijkheid zeer negatieve resultaten oplevert. Het laat ook blijken dat in een vrije maatschappij dergelijke rampen mogelijk veel minder of veel kleiner zullen zijn.
Het artikel in de NRC is “Amerikaans toezicht deelt schuld voor olieramp”
Interessant is in verband hiermee een brief die door de stichting “Downsizer” gestuurd is aan het Amerikaans Congress
Deze geeft duidelijk aan dat zelfs zogenaamde overheidsbescherming (net als alle overheidsbemoeienis) averechts werkt, en dat er veel beter een vrije maatschappij kan zijn waarin iedereen en ieder bedrijf verantwoordelijk is voor zijn eigen daden.
De essentie van de Brief:
The BP oil spill is another example of the destructive nature of government guarantees and bailouts.
I know that BP has agreed to pay more of the clean-up costs, beyond the government-provided liability cap. I also know that they’ve been threatened by Congress and the Administration if they don’t. But this is hypocritical, because Congress created the liability cap and the clean up fund in the first place!
In 1990, Congress passed a law that . . .
* capped oil company liability for spills at $75 million
* set up a fund, paid for by the oil companies, to pay for the rest of the clean-up
In effect, this is a government-run oil spill insurance program, but without the risk management incentives provided by real insurance companies. This whole scheme was a terrible idea from the start, and has been used to bail out companies that cause oil spills a whopping
Because of the liability cap, BP may have been less cautious than it would have been if its own money had been at risk.
In addition, a lack of regulation has been blamed for the BP spill.
But government regulators . . .
* don’t have the profit and loss incentive that private insurance companies do; they don’t go out of business for their mistakes
* tend to impose one-size-fits all rules that don’t work as well as the site-specific requirements that insurance companies impose
* and often act as partners in the industry they regulate, not as watchdogs http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/tgif/bp-spill/
But imagine if we had a free market in energy . . .
* Oil companies would be liable for ALL the damage they cause
* And this would compel them to seek liability insurance in the private market
In turn, insurance companies would . . .
* demand the strictest standards to prevent accidents and spills because, unlike government regulators, they would be financially responsible for any mishaps
* and, if the risks are too great, they would deny coverage
If off-shore drilling is too risky, that means no one in a free market will invest in it, and entrepreneurs would then have a huge incentive to develop less-risky energy alternatives. This would be a good thing! This is what you politicians claim to want!
This means that a true free market in energy would actually reduce accidents and CREATE A CLEANER ENVIRONMENT.
I therefore demand that you put an end to government meddling in energy production.
1) Instead of raising the liability cap for oil spills, remove all government liability caps on all forms of energy production
2) Instead of inefficient and counter-productive government regulations, allow private insurance to set requirements for off-shore oil drilling and other forms of energy production, such as nuclear, which is also currently protected by government liability limits
3) Get rid of all subsidies, tax breaks, and tax penalties so that we can benefit from free and fair competition among all energy producers
Once these three market-based policies are in place, energy companies will bear the true capital expense of their projects — instead of the taxpayers. Risky and dangerous projects will flop. But profitable projects should be allowed to proceed — including drilling for oil.