May 25, 2010

Feds Start Helping With Oil Spill, Add Paperwork and Taxes

BARATARIA BAY, LA -- Since the British Petroleum oil rig explosion occurred on April 20, spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico, critics have been charging that the government hasn't been doing enough.  Government officials have fired back by noting three areas that the Federal Government has been using its wealth of expertise and manpower to help out: taxation, regulation, and grandstanding.

Congress is working on a bill tentatively called the "Oil Spill Prevention Act."  The legislation hasn't been released to the public for comment yet, but a person familiar with the proposal said "We have been working at warp speed, trying to get this bill passed as quickly as can be, before any more accidents happen.  We worked so quickly, we haven't even had a chance yet to put together a catchy name or acronym for the bill."  The legislation will rely on the time-tested truism first spoken by Daniel Webster that "the power to tax is the power to destroy", and will therefore levy huge taxes against oil spills in the future in hopes of preventing them altogether.  If successful, there are future plans to have similar taxes for airplane crashes and car accidents.

The Environmental Protection Agency has been contributing to the cleanup by overseeing and offering advice.  "We're going to do everything we know how to do" explained Milford Pilfer, moments before his helicopter took off to survey the oil spill in a 2 hour sightseeing trip that cost about $80,000 in fuel and personnel costs.  Upon his return, Mr. Pilfer appeared rejuvenated and reportedly had "dozens of new regulations in mind."

In addition, the President's staff has reported that Obama wanted to go to the gulf region and personally "organize some communities down there" but was convinced to stay in Washington instead.  "The President is going to be digging in - figuratively, of course - by appointing committees and investigations.  The hope is that by giving the cleanup crews and companies involved more problems to deal with, it will speed things up and make the cleanup more successful.  We'd like to replicate the successes of Federal involvement with the Hurricane Katrina cleanup."

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