Government Control of BP
As a limited government type of guy, I'm very concerned with how much influence the Feds think they have (or are attempting to exert) with BP.
From today's Wall Street Journal:
1. "But ever-harsher rhetoric from the U.S. administration is worrying investors. There is immense political pressure for BP to halt dividend payments; the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it is investigating the company's dividend plans."
Is BP now a government-run company? How the F can our government dictate whether BP should continue to issue a dividend? I understand the rationale - the feds want to be sure that BP has enough money to pay for the cleanup, but that doesn't give them the right to dictate how a publicly traded company manages their dividend. If BP is forced to eliminate their dividend, the stock will crater more than it already has, and people (and funds) that are relying on the dividends will be impacted.
2. "The Obama administration also demanded that BP pay millions of dollars in salaries to oil-industry workers laid off because of the federal moratorium on deepwater drilling."
Again, how is this the role of government? Just because something seems to be a compassionate solution at some level of the government doesn't mean that it should (or can) be implemented by diktat. The fact that we have oil fouling our natural resources makes me sick, but the feds power grab is sickening to me as well.