Someone who I will not name suggested that I should go back to work, and post something. I groaned, even bloggers need downtime and vacations. The entire production did manage to instill a guilt reaction within myself, so I decided I had better forward this Post. It reminds that environmental economists can be as stupid as regular people, and any method of evaluating damage costs will induce hysteria. One has to identify willful avoidance of Safety to assess true liability, else the outcomes are only normal industrial accidents. The cost of such accidents cannot be entirely attributable to the participating business, but to the industry as a Whole; which is only responding to a Customer matrix–themselves liable to some degree. The Courts need a criteria to adjudge How Much blame should adhere to the participating company in such hazards, and How Much should be a communal cost.
The problem with the above Statement consists of two parts: the establishment of a socially acceptable business practice; and the demeanor necessary to ascertain safe operation within that social acceptance. The former necessitates some Up or Down Vote by a political establishment of some kind, determining if a form of business activity is acceptable to the body politic; where they outline the boundaries within which business must operate. The later requires a Board or Commission to write guidelines under which business must operate under dangerous circumstance. Both elements generate great lobbyist pressure, while the later will always incite great argument, leading to Court litigation anyway.
A more solvent solution could be a precision excise tax on the industry as a Whole, while leaving the offending business organization to pick up the cost of the industrial recovery. Explained in common terms concerning the Gulf Oil Spill, BP is stuck with the Cost of capping the Spill, while there would be a $.05 surtax on every gallon of Gas and Diesel sold in the United States for a specified period of time as originally outlined within the legislation. It is a lot more sensible than massive Court litigation under Contest. lgl