BP, the Government and BS

 June 15, 2010

 As we approach the three-month mark since the disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico we still have not seen BP or the United States government contain the spill or adequately clean up the spill and protect our shorelines. BP CEO Tony Hayward is still gainfully employed and it the propaganda flowing from BP’s website would make one believe they have this all taken care of and that they really care. 

Criticism of BP and of the Obama administrations handling of the disaster have been sharply criticized, and for good reason. Barack Obama received nearly $80,000 in donations over the years (not just when running for President) from BP and many speculated that this caused the early feet dragging at the outset.[1] However, it appears that BP donates to everyone – and both parties had many members ready to pounce on the desire to increase offshore drilling to feed the nations lust for oil. The administration has also been criticized for allowing BP to run the show after the accident. The belief is that the federal government is not as well-equipped as BP to handle the disaster. BP is obviously running a public relations campaign of the highest magnitude in order to save its corporate neck –if that is even possible at this point – they make billions in profit annually but that may not be enough to save them from the cost of this disaster. 

A lot of the blame has to fall on BP and the technology that it was using to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. The safeguards were not in place and the system failed in epic proportions. CEO Tony Hayward’s handling of the crisis has been poor at best and inept and incompetent at worse. It is now known that BP has paid Google to redirect the search term “oil spill” away from BP and that Mr. Hayward snapped at a reporter that he wants his life back.[2] Got some news for you Tony – the world wants the Gulf of Mexico back – sans crude oil – and has no patience for the trouble that the company you are responsible for is having “no life” while you deal with it. What are the shareholders paying you for? It could not possibly be for leadership. 

BP has been blaming some of its partners in this project – Halliburton has been mentioned (doesn’t it seem like they are always in the mix?) Whether or not any one company’s part of the project is at fault you have to look to the company that is managing the project – every aspect of this project was signed off of and approved by BP. BP’s partners on the well have been involved in the clean up efforts and at least one of them is profiting from the disaster by charging BP for its “scooping up” efforts.[3] 

The US government claims that all of the hoops had been jumped through and the proper procedures had been followed. Apparently this is not so. Obama’s speech on June 15 from the Oval Office was well intentioned but short on any real news or action plan.[4] He hates that this happened (who doesn’t?) and wants it to go away – but to everyone who is observing the action has been very slow and very fractured. There has been a lack of quality leadership and management from both BP and the government. It may time for everyone to fess up that they are doing the best that they can, but that they really have not great ideas on how to do this – the size and scope of this project is far beyond anything anyone has ever dealt with before. I do not expect President Obama or Tony Hayward to know how to clean this up – but we do have the right to expect them to be able to assemble the team that can. The government and BP need to put someone in charge of this disaster clean up that may at the very least have a clue. 

The nation and the worlds thirst for fossil fuels have to change – we cannot afford these disasters and there are alternate ways to go. If all of the oil dried up tomorrow the planet would move on. Perhaps an alternative would be to encourage oil and energy companies to seriously invest in new fuels and energy sources. Wind, solar, water, nuclear – there are technologies out there and there are huge profits to be made – it does not all have to fall on oil. The citizenry of the world also needs to change – the appetite for oil must be curtailed. We can all do better – some day we will actually have to do better. Governments need to do a better job regulating and monitoring dangerous industries and of creating an economic climate that encourages business development for the future that will improve life, and avoid catastrophes on Earth. Lastly, the government in cases like the BP disaster need to begin seizing assets and protecting the nation against corporate greed and propaganda – BP says it is doing all it can, and it is telling us it will pay out billions – but are we protected if they decide to file bankruptcy?

[1] http://theweek.com/article/index/202679/Do_BPs_big_donations_to_Obama_matter

[2] http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/306996;_ylt=AloB1ZwOO4lzQ38teiLDpgWNe8UF;_ylu=X3oDMTJka2lnZHBxBGFzc2V0A2NzbS8yMDEwMDYwOS8zMDY5OTYEcG9zAzEEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDYnBidXlzMzlvaWxz

[3] http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0615/What-BP-s-partners-are-doing-in-Gulf-oil-spill-cleanup

[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/15/obamas-oil-spill-speech-w_n_613642.html


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4 Responses to “BP, the Government and BS”

  1. Kate Says:

    Short and sweet, very good, BP did approved every phase of the project, so they need to carry most of the burden, however I still think Halliburton and Transoceanica must share, if anything the blame… Thank you Mike… I always look forward your posts and love reading them!

  2. levelsofillusion Says:

    You are right on with this Mike, but, I fear the corporate monster already calls all the shots… and has for “donkey’s years”. Them with the gold makes the rules.

  3. Kate Says:

    Thank you Mike, again a geat piece. I will shre. Peace

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