July 2, 2010
ATLANTA—Georgia State University College of Law Professor Jack Williams has provided expert commentary to the media this week on the increase in bankruptcy filings on the Gulf Coast and U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar's efforts to reconfigure the moratorium on deep-water oil drilling.
Salazar could base a second ban on different criteria, Williams said in a story published by Bloomberg and BusinessWeek. According to the story, written by Margaret Cronin Fisk and Laurel Brubaker Calkins, government lawyers have repeatedly cited the industry’s inadequate ability to respond to the current oil spill, much less a second one, in court filings and at hearings. Still, the U.S. didn't bring up that point in documents supporting the original moratorium, the article stated.
"If they can prove the U.S. and the industry are completely tapped beyond their capacity to respond, that might be something" Salazar could use to justify a new suspension, Williams said.
Williams also was quoted in The Wall Street Journal in a story on the toll the BP oil spill is taking on Gulf Coast businesses as evidenced by a rise in bankruptcy filings.
In the wake of disasters, all kinds of businesses often get dragged down, writer Rachel Feintzeig reported. As soon as one directly affected company can’t pay its suppliers or its workers, a whole constellation of interconnected players in the local economy could run into trouble. Small businesses are especially susceptible to these financial hardships, since they’re often operating on a tight margin with sparse cash reserves and no insurance to fall back on.
"These businesses are going to be hurt," Williams said. "Some will be devastated to the extent that they rely on the Gulf as a natural resource."
The full article is available online to WSJ subscribers only.
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