Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ron DeSantis signs bill protecting Elon Musk if his rocket explodes and kills workers


Just a day after Elon Musk and David Sachs hosted Ron DeSantis for a special and devastating Following the president’s announcement, the governor of Florida signed a bill to shield Musk’s SpaceX from liability if workers are killed after his rocket explodes (something Musk apparently wants to do with everything from Tesla cars to up to rocketships, up to presidential campaigns is very adept at doing).

spaceflight entity liability bill Expands legal immunity that shields private space companies, such as Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, from legal liability when workers are hurt or even killed. At its core, the bill expands on what these companies “exempt from liability for injury or death of crew as a result of spaceflight activities.”

And Musk made sure his presence was known throughout the bill’s process. While the bill was moving through both the State House and Senate, a SpaceX lobbyist, Jeffrey Sharkey, appeared at practically every single committee meeting related to it—at least five different ones on five different State House committees. Represented the members on different occasions. Other lobbyists from Boeing, Space Florida and Florida Rising also made an appearance—but not to the extent of SpaceX.

While tycoons fantasize about a future of taking their fellow fat cats into space, these billionaire-plathing rockets Keep Exploding, The temptation to make a business out of something that isn’t safe—nor is it needed at this point in time, because we can’t even Take care The planet we live on—helps explain the origin of the bill. An analysis by the Florida State Senate believe in All this quite plainly: “This bill has the potential to limit litigation costs for businesses engaged in spaceflight activities.”

The bill mandates “crew” and participants have similar exemptions that give space companies legal immunity in cases of injury or death.

In addition, the bill expands the definition of “spaceflight entity” to include any entity authorized to conduct spaceflight activities, beyond those associated only with the United States Federal Aviation Administration, which entities in the broader industry are expanded. would qualify for immunity. The bill also cuts language describing liability for spaceflight entities for damages resulting from “inherent risks” of spaceflight activity; Instead, the bill broadens the scope of liability immunity to include all spaceflight activities.

Finally, the Bill also amends language that mandates entities to be liable for injury if they had, or reasonably should have, actual knowledge of the risks. The new language only mandates legal liability for “Real knowledge of the risks”, meaning that there is no longer an expectation for companies to be responsible for damages caused by risks of which they “should have been reasonably aware”.

Bill DeSantis’ announcement comes after both — where hand-picked guests spent more time cheering Musk like a god than asking DeSantis questions — and DeSantis’ own campaign issued a bizarre post launch video Which shows Musk as much (if not more) as DeSantis.

En route to DeSantis’ desk, bolstered by a heavy lobbyist presence, the bill passed the state Senate 39–0 and the state House 107–5. The wildly bipartisan effort to give special legal immunity to the richest people in the world’s pet projects is partly a result of how much money these companies have pumped into both sides.

Musk’s SpaceX has Spent Donated some $8 million in lobbying efforts since 2020 and $1 million to members of both parties during the 2022 election cycle alone. Bezos Has Blue Origins Spent Some $6.3 million in lobbying efforts through 2020, while just over half a million dollars were sent to members of both parties during 2022.

This post has been updated.