Regarding a recent Tribune story on the Los Osos CSD's settlement of the Taxpayer Watch's lawsuit, Ron Crawford wasted no time asking the Tribune one of his on-point, annoying questions. Over at http://www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com/ Awwww, and I thought we'd be able to get through one week without the hideous sewer wars commencing. Ah, well. The Tribune's coverage of all things sewerish have certainly been, uh, very, very curious, indeed.
The Tribune also reported that the federal bankruptcy judge approved the settlement of the TPW suit and the CSD's insurance company will pay "the bulk of the money." Some of the regular Sewer Wars Commenters on this blog have gleefully and adamently declared, of this lawsuit, that the CSD directors named would go to jail! The Tribune story doesn't mention that, which I know will come as a great disappoint to certain folks.
Left on the to-do list at the CSD is the breach of contract lawsuit with the state water board & etc. Now THAT'S the one I really, reeeeellly want to see persued because I'd reeeeeely, reeeeeely like to know exactly who (and when) breached that contract. I know, I know, that'll never happen. That info will be forever buried and the community forced to eat it all, or at least most of it. Too bad. That's the (almost) final and in many ways most interesting part of the whole Sewer Saga.
Oh, a reminder to some readers: mind your manners, now.
Meanwhile, Down In The Gulf
More interesting wrinkles coming to light on the gulf oil spill. One of the more interesting seems to be that if you are spilling X number of barrels, then chemical dispersment is the least harmful way to go. But, if you're spilling Y number of barrels, the least harmful is to leave it alone and get out the booms and start gathering it up -- that dispersment chemicals on Y is waaaaay more damaging.
In the case of BP, it appears that BP knew they were spilling Y number early on but since they would be fined on the amount of Y and if Y was allowed to remain visible (undispersed) the reality of this disaster would be manifest, so they low-balled the number they gave out to the public/government, used dispersment to hide and make it sort of disappear into an even more lethal, uncontainable, hidden (and unproveable-in-court?) cloud until it was too late.
If true, then BP's actions will result in a worse disaster than if they'd come clean in the first place and openly went ahead with best practices right off the bat. Why they didn't do that is likely because we have set up a system that rewards concealment and punishes honesty. We'll see the result of that system play out in the Gulf.
And, if true, maybe we need to think about changing that "system" into one that says, simply, if you lie to us and that lie causes more damage, then we'll take over your company and shut you down, seize all your assets and that's that. BUT, if you come clean right out of the box, you'll still be responsible for the clean up, but your company won't be seized. Would that apply sufficient "moral hazard" to companies to do the right -- smart -- thing?
Yeah, not likely. Sigh.