BP's Spill Is Oil Industry's Chill

For the sins of a few, all must be punished. It always happens.

I saw it myself when I was a kid in the eighth grade. We were on a field trip to some museum and another kid in the class stole something. I don't remember what, but it created a huge scene.

The next day, the teacher asks the class: Who's the thief? No one 'fessed up. So she threw the hammer down: No more field trips — nada, zippo, finito!

Fast forward to this oil drilling freeze the president announced for the arctic on Thursday. Bear with me, I have a point. And it's this: Every oil company must pay dearly for what one oil company screwed up royally.

British Petroleum's spill is the oil industry's chill.

So Royal Dutch Shell gets a royal kick in the you-know-what, for something it didn't do and safety violations it never had.

It's like Sarbanes-Oxley. Remember that legislation that forced all companies to have CEOs swear on a stack of Bibles their books were good, their numbers were true?

And all because of this guy at Tyco — Dennis Kozlowski — and his extravagant spending that prosecutors said came at company expense.

Dennis went to jail, but thousands of CEOs who did nothing wrong are the ones stuck with paperwork and regulations that run into the millions of dollars. Regulations designed to stop the next Dennis, but apparently not the next Bernie.

Bernie Madoff, remember him? Well, Sarbanes-Oxley didn't stop old Bernie.

Apparently, sinners still sin and the many more not guilty of a thing pay.

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