Skip to comments.Commentary: Where Does Obama Get the Authority to ‘Inform’ a Private Co. to Surrender Its Money?
Posted on 06/15/2010 8:59:29 PM PDT by Qbert
(CNSNews.com) - In his first-ever address from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama said he was going to inform the chairman of BP that he must surrender the companys money to an independent party that will distribute it to people and businesses determined to have been harmed by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The presidents declaration raises a serious constitutional question about his authority: Where does the president get the lawful power to order any private-sector companyBP or any otherthat it must surrender its money? Should not courts and normal legal proceedings determine who is responsible, who has been harmed, and who owes what to whom in regards to the Gulf oil spill? Leaving aside BP's relative popularity or lack of it today, if President Obama, on his own initiative, can tell a corporation to surrender its money because he has determined its culpability in an oil spill, under what other circumstances can Obama or any future American president tell a corporation or a private citizen to surrender money?
What rights do the stockholders in BP have to due process of law to protect their property? The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Does Obama think he can inform persons and corporations to surrender or exchange their property without due process of law?
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...
Funny, that’s exactly the question being asked around here!
There’s an echo!
Chavez has been to the White house...
He can’t. It’s unlawful taking of property. Unconstitutional, although he doesn’t give a rip.
Hussein thinks he’s Hitler reborn.
Thanks to Freeper Brett66 for the photoshop.
You DARE doubt the Great Obama? Constitutional law professor and total fool??? How dare you!
Pure dictatorship. This maniac must be stopped. What is the Supreme Court doing about these brazen abuses of power? Picking their noses?
You do realize he just nationalized them, right?
The voices in his crazed Communist head give him the authority!/s;)
EVERYONE should REBUKE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT IN CHIEF at every turn!
If FASCIST Obama says we must go in a certain direction, the WE MUST go 180 degrees in the other direction.
Obama is wrong on every issue!
The right of kings. The constitution is dead.
Head of BP must be laughing. “OK, I’ll give you 20 billion tomorrow. And by the way, I’ll shut down all operations to plug the hole, Daddy!”
Last I heard, laws originated in the Legislative Branch
but maybe that’s changed now?
BP will just put the money in Obama’s Stash, see, and then he’ll use it to pay for gas for peoples cars, and mortgages, and free beer and ice cream cones for everyone!
Revelation 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
lol...its called make up law as he goes...then lie cheat and steal.
Yeah, that was the first thing to pop into my pointy head when he said he was going to “direct” BP to set up a fund, not within its control.
I have the US Constitution & Amendments on my Kindle. I’d laugh if Hayward does, too, so when the Kenyan makes his demand, Hayward can produce it and say, “Sure Mr. President. You’re a world-famous Constitutional scholar, so this is a no-brainer. Just point to where it says in here you can make me.”
Only if BP acquiesces. I don't think that's a done deal, after the entire world saw how he treated Chrysler's and GM's bond holders.
I seem to recall hearing something like this on a dark night between street lamps on the south side of Chicago. I think the mugger used a few more “forceful/colorful” expletives, and had a gun but the gist was pretty much the same...
“Mugger in Chief” comes to mind...
Obama and BP are so in bed, they don’t mind being thrown under the bus.
The ends justify the means...
BP was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. As the nations largest producer of natural gas, BP saw many ways to profit from climate legislation, notably by persuading Congress to provide subsidies to coal-fired power plants that switched to gas.
BP signed off on Kerrys Senate climate bill...
BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels and solar energy...
The U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency, is currently financing a BP solar energy project in Argentina.
Ex-Im has also put up taxpayer cash to finance construction of the 1,094-mile Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan, Turkeyagain, profiting BP.
Lobbying records also show BP lobbying on Obamas stimulus bill
Paper-hanging son of a btch.
I love General Patton
“Last I heard, laws originated in the Legislative Branch”
You are Correct. He decides what should be Illegal ( Legislative Branch)
Then Judges them Guilty and renders a Verdict. (Judicial Branch)
It’s a Separation of Powers Violation.
Chris Chriti the present day Patton along with Jan Brewer, Sharron Angle, and Michele Bachmann.
Bill O’Reily said it was ok.
We just need to give Alvin Greene a chance too. /s
The teleprompter told him to say it, ((Bush’s fault!)/Sarc
This guy doesn’t have a clue!
Unfortunately, since the start of this administration, no one has had the balls to do it. Which says a lot about western business nowadays.
We saw it in Venezuela. At the beginning, had anyone stood up and called Hugo's bluff, he would've had to stop.
We saw it in pre-WWII Germany, too.
Someone has to be a big enough ‘jack@$$’ to publicly call Obama’s bluff in a completely humiliating manner. Which would egg Obama on, forcing him into a situation where he'd try to do something he can't... and then get beat down for it.
“Yet nobody has the guts to call him on any of his shreddings of the Constitution......or file suit in federal court, do they.”
I know! It’s really eerie. The guy uses his thugs to throw out bankruptcy laws for bondholders of the automakers, steamrolls over the auto dealerships, nationalizes everything he can get his greedy paws on, etc., etc.
When *are*people going to fight back legally?
Quite correct. The president has all the legal firepower he needs to grab BP assets. All it would take would be for the DOJ to seek an emergency court hearing, present evidence of a crime committed (ample in this case) and seek appointment of a federal receiver over selected BP assets. For starters: all BP's federal offshore leases. In which case, BP's best defense would be to pre-emptively file for Chapter 11 protection.
“You do realize he just nationalized them, right?
—Only if BP acquiesces. I don’t think that’s a done deal, after the entire world saw how he treated Chrysler’s and GM’s bond holders.”
I don’t know what to think of this, honestly. BP seems somewhat hesitant, and yet they’ve had a hand in so much lobbying for Zero’s goals.
What *did* get my attention was when they started using the term “escrow account” this week - an escrow account, of course, was the same thing the administration used to make GM look like it was “doing really well” and “successfully paying off its loans”, when in fact it was just a sleight of hand using other Gov money.
Go ask the GM and Chrysler shareholders how that arcane argument worked out for them...
A further note: federal receivers are not required to follow the same mandates as bankruptcy judges. Their job is to make whole the government and taxpayers. Shareholders, bondholders and other trade creditors could be left in the dust by a receiver. BTW, shed no tears for the Brits. Since BP took over Amoco and ARCO in the 1990s, a majority of its shares have been held by US citizens or institutions.
He has jumped the shark.
Very simple. All muslims in power gets to be robber barons. It’s allah’s will.
He gets it from the brown stains in the rear of his shorts.
NOTE: The following text is a quote:
Home Briefing Room Statements & Releases
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 15, 2010
Statement by the Press Secretary on S. 3473
On Tuesday, June 15, 2010, the President signed into law:
S. 3473 - Amending the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to authorize advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The bill authorizes the Coast Guard to obtain multiple advances (up to $100 million each), with the total amount of all advances not to exceed the incident cap under current law ($1 billion), from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to underwrite Federal response activities with regard to the discharge of oil that began in connection with the explosion on, and sinking of, the mobile offshore oil unit Deepwater Horizon.
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Home Briefing Room Speeches & Remarks
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 15, 2010
Remarks by the President to the Nation on the BP Oil Spill
8:01 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al Qaeda wherever it exists. And tonight, Ive returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle were waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.
On April 20th, an explosion ripped through BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives. Seventeen others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water.
Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. Thats why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nations best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge — a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nations Secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.
As a result of these efforts, weve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. And in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer thats expected to stop the leak completely.
Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, its not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.
But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything weve got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatevers necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.
Tonight Id like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward: what were doing to clean up the oil, what were doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf, and what were doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.
First, the cleanup. From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nations history — an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost 40 years of experience responding to disasters. We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil. Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf. And Ive authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast. These servicemen and women are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore, theyre ready to help clean the beaches, train response workers, or even help with processing claims — and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.
Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming and other collection methods. Over five and a half million feet of boom has been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil. Weve approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try to stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and were working with Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines.
As the cleanup continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need. Now, a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new challenges will always arise. I saw and heard evidence of that during this trip. So if something isnt working, we want to hear about it. If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them.
But we have to recognize that despite our best efforts, oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. And sadly, no matter how effective our response is, there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done. Thats why the second thing were focused on is the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast.
You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water. That living is now in jeopardy. Ive talked to shrimpers and fishermen who dont know how theyre going to support their families this year. Ive seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers - even in areas where the beaches are not yet affected. Ive talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists might start coming back. The sadness and the anger they feel is not just about the money theyve lost. Its about a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost.
I refuse to let that happen. Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his companys recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent third party.
Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short term, its also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region. The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place thats already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats. And the region still hasnt recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Thats why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.
I make that commitment tonight. Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, who is also a former governor of Mississippi and a son of the Gulf Coast, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists and other Gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region.
The third part of our response plan is the steps were taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again. A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe - that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken.
That obviously was not the case in the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why. The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion — these families deserve to know why. And so Ive established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place. Already, Ive issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of their safety, and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue. And while I urge the Commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them to do that work thoroughly and impartially.
One place weve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service. Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility — a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.
When Ken Salazar became my Secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency. But its now clear that the problem there ran much deeper, and the pace of reform was just too slow. And so Secretary Salazar and I are bringing in new leadership at the agency — Michael Bromwich, who was a tough federal prosecutor and Inspector General. And his charge over the next few months is to build an organization that acts as the oil industrys watchdog — not its partner.
So one of the lessons weve learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the worlds oil, but have less than 2 percent of the worlds oil reserves. And thats part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean — because were running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.
For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, weve talked and talked about the need to end Americas century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked — not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.
The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.
We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash Americas innovation and seize control of our own destiny.
This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year and a half, weve already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry. As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries.
Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs - but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation - workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.
When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill - a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for Americas businesses.
Now, there are costs associated with this transition. And there are some who believe that we cant afford those costs right now. I say we cant afford not to change how we produce and use energy - because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.
So Im happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party - as long they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels. Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings like we did in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power. Others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development - and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development.
All of these approaches have merit, and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead. But the one approach I will not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet. You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon. And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom. Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny - our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if were unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we dont yet know precisely how were going to get there. We know well get there.
Its a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now.
Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the regions fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe. Its called The Blessing of the Fleet, and today its a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea - some for weeks at a time.
The ceremony goes on in good times and in bad. It took place after Katrina, and it took place a few weeks ago - at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced.
And still, they came and they prayed. For as a priest and former fisherman once said of the tradition, The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with us always, a blessing thats granted even in the midst of the storm.
The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again. What sees us through - what has always seen us through - is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it.
Tonight, we pray for that courage. We pray for the people of the Gulf. And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
8:18 P.M. EDT