Melancon’s breakdown and the liability cap

Democratic Louisiana Congressman Charlie Melancon choked up Thursday while speaking at a subcommittee meeting about the Gulf oil catastrophe. He looks and sounds like his constituents and Americans across the country feel. His frustration makes the case better than any words can do for fair protection from corporate abuse and disaster.

He chokes up at roughly the two-minute mark.

The progressive advocates at major national blogger site Firedoglake sent Michael Whitney to Louisiana to report from the oil-drenched coast. His response to the disaster has been to ask citizens to send a message to Washington that the liability for industrial catastrophe has to be made a larger and a fair part of the cost of doing business because too many lives and industries depend on it.

I’ve witnessed first hand that oil has begun to make its way ashore. I’ve picked up oil in my hands. Marshes and estuaries are drenched in toxic oil and dispersants. Workers I’ve talked to in the fishing and tourism industries tell me they are helpless as they watch their entire lives evaporate.

To think that any of the victims of this tragedy would be forced to bear the financial responsibility of this disaster is beyond unjust. It’s yet another example of our irresponsible corporations getting away with privatizing their profits and socializing the losses, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces.

If we allow our government to maintain the liability cap on companies that destroy American lives and property, BP gets away with only having to pay the first $75 million in damages. It’s time to end this madness and hold BP accountable for every last dime.

Take a stand against yet another corporate bailout. Sign out petition to the Senate to eliminate the liability cap and make BP pay in full for their crime.

It’s time to let the free market these big corporations have always defended run its course. Together we can make sure BP doesn’t leave the bill with us.

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