Candidate Leming Says BP 'Privatized Profits and Socialized Risks' in the Gulf

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Congressional candidate and Marine veteran Ben Leming spoke out against what he called “irresponsible practices” by BP in the Gulf and called for common sense solutions to prevent future disasters.

Murfreesboro, TN – Congressional candidate and Marine veteran Ben Leming spoke out against what he called “irresponsible practices” by BP in the Gulf and called for common sense solutions to prevent future disasters.

Leming expressed outrage at what he called “privatized profits and socialized risks” in the oil industry. “This disaster in the Gulf is largely the result of a big oil company taking big risks to make huge profits – all the while knowing the American taxpayers would have to pick up the tab if anything went wrong, “ Leming stated.

“It’s not just the oil giants either. Just like the tragic explosion at the Massey Coal Mine in West Virginia, the collapse of AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns, and the abuses of Goldman Sachs, and the list goes on and on -- to save America we’ve got to draw a line that says you cannot privatize the profits and socialize the risk,” said Leming.

Leming urged BP to immediately set up an escrow account to set aside money to pay out claims made by the victims of the spill. He also called for a change of culture in Washington and corporate boardrooms that encourages unnecessarily risky behavior.

“I’m just the guy to do it. I’ve spent my whole life fighting for America and I won’t stop now,” said Leming.

Voters can visit http://www.benleming.com to view videos and learn more about Ben’s campaign.

Murfreesboro native Ben Leming, is a Marine Captain, Naval Academy graduate, and Iraq War helicopter combat veteran. He is a Democrat running for the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Bart Gordon in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District.

Contact: 615-417-7240

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Ben Leming’s Complete Remarks on Oil Spill and Aftermath

Dear Friends,

Like all of you I have watched in horror over the last two months as the spill caused by an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig continues to dump millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve thought long and hard about this disaster and what it all means. Who should be held responsible? What should we do to prevent another catastrophe? I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you my thoughts on what must be done.

This disaster in the Gulf is largely the result of a big oil company taking big risks to make huge profits – all the while knowing the American taxpayers would have to pick up the tab if anything went wrong.

It’s not just the oil giants either. Just like the tragic explosion at the Masey Coal Mine in West Virginia, the collapse of AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns, and the abuses of Goldman Sachs, and the list goes on and on -- to save America we’ve got to draw a line that says you cannot privatize the profits and socialize the risk.

It just stands to reason, you can’t put the money in your pocket when the gamble pays off and send the bill to the taxpayers when it doesn’t. That used to be common sense but it’s not so common anymore.

When I was a Marine in Iraq, we had to abide by a strict set of rules of engagement that regulated our behavior in combat. We could have cut corners but the bottom line then was those safeguards were put in place to protect the innocent. We had a solemn duty to protect people that could not protect themselves.

BP had the same solemn duty to protect the innocent civilians along the Gulf Coast and they failed. So, what should be done to ensure that BP pays for the expenses and claims associated with the clean up efforts while ensuring that future generations are protected from a similar disaster?

I want BP to set up real escrow accounts that are really accessible to the Americans whose lives are being ruined by bad corporate gambles. I want us to enforce sensible standards for offshore drilling. Like most Americans, I want us to do a lot of things -- but I especially want us to change the culture in Washington and in the corporate boardrooms across America and around the world who’s strategy is to gamble with taxpayer’s money, reap the rewards if they win, and heap their losses on the backs of everyday Americans when they lose.

That’s wrong. It’s not American capitalism. It’s just the opposite. Capitalism is about risk and reward. These so-called economic giants think they can change the rules but somebody’s got to tell them NO!

I’m just the guy to do it. I’ve spent my whole life fighting for America and I won’t stop now. Thank you all again for your continued support.

Semper Fidelis,
Ben Leming
Mission First!

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