This prompted me to ask -- shouldn't Libertarians be in favor of suing the #$@! out of BP? In Libertarian theory, the fear of such private actions under traditional common law theories of nuisance and strict liability is what replaces regulation as the incentive to behave. Indeed, isn't the problem that the federal government may let BP off too lightly by allowing a captured federal government to abrogate or limit private claims?
Barton backed off the apology a few hours later.
The requirement to put money in escrow to cover future damages is hardly new or unusual -- especially if one is concerned that the responsible party may engage in all sorts of fun and games to avoid future payment (I fully expect BP to declare bankruptcy at some point as a means of evading claims against it).