BP DISASTER: Vessels work to capture oil.

  • Deepwater Horizon Response
  • BP DISASTER: Vessels work to capture oil.

Strange bedfellows. A Tim Griffin news release today cites an Arkansas Blog post in defense of the 2nd District Republican’s position on BP’s obligations in the Gulf oil disaster.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has criticized Griffin, based on the same statement to us.

On the jump, you’ll find 1) Griffin’s statement, and 2) the DCCC’s statement, both issued today.

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I think this is a fair summary:

Griffin wants BP held responsible for the entire cost of the CLEANUP, my emphasis. His campaign news release omits that important word in a restatement of what he told us last week.

That is not the same thing as being responsible for all damages — lost wages, damage to fisheries and more. On that issue, Griffin said clearly that the current $75 million liability limit for drilling disasters is too low (and probably moot), but he said there should be a damages cap of an unspecified amount because it “encourages investment and competition.”

This is a key point. Griffin is on the record as saying business shouldn’t be held responsible for all the damage they might cause. It’s a worthy and familiar point of business-consumer political debate.

The DCCC is off-base in heading its news release as saying Griffin supports House Minority Leader Boehner’s “BP bailout.” For one thing, Boehner has backed off earlier supportive comments about BP. Democrats are busy holding him to his newfound accountability credentials. Still … Griffin’s position, if friendlier to the oil industry than other Arkansas candidates we questioned, was somewhere short of a bailout proposal. But still not good enough, I should add. I say if you cut somebody’s legs off, it’s not enough to pay for one artifical replacement.