Tuesday, May 04, 2010

BP-- archenemy of the people?

Is BP the archenemy of the American people? From the rhetoric coming out of the White House you would think that BP had committed an act just short of terrorism.

Whatever happened to trigger the fire, etc. on the oil rig we can assume at least for now that it was an accident. BP is indeed taking responsibility and, to my knowledge, has agreed from the beginning to pay for the cleanup.
So what is with this "keeping a boot to the throat" talk coming from the President? "Boot to the throat??" Like BP is some kind of corporate thug that needs to be violently coerced to honor its responsibility? This is just so reminiscent of 60s shallow, ignorant, emotional, rebelliousness. Big business is, of course, presumed to be evil and oil companies the worst of the worst. I expect more intelligence from the federal government. Of course, these expectations have not been met since the new administration took office.

Additionally, how do we know that terrorism was not a part of this accident? Nearly a mile deep in the ocean. Clearly, the cause of the accident is going to be hard to determine. Until we know for sure the cause, why is there a presumption of guilt on the part of BP? If this was a terrorist act then it could be argued that BP is not financially responsible for the clean-up. Are businesses responsible for acts of war that result in massive damage if there is no negligence on the part of the business?

You know what I think of BP? I'm happy for the cheap gas they have for sale around the corner from my house. Should they pay for the cleanup of the spill? Of course, if it is their fault.

But I don't see how this inflammatory rhetoric ("boot to the throat") will aid in the cleanup efforts. Wouldn't it be better to join arms in cooperation than to throw out words that can only breed antagonism?


Suzanne said...

I've been strongly feeling this is a story darker than we know..once again...I am with you, here, Rosemary!

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

This article seems relevant: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article7114087.ece

Believe me we're watching this closely..and not much impressed by anyone, federal, state, or corporate. Given the article I linked though, I think raising the spectre of terrorism does a disservice to the people affected who need real answers.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Kate, thank you for commenting. Your perspective in New Orleans is indeed up close and personal. I appreciate the link. I read the entire article and all the comments, some of which were very interesting...particularly those from people with technical knowledge of how these systems work. I still think "boot to the throat" is entirely unnecessary and inflammatory language. As the article points out there are subcontractors involved who may bear as much or more blame than BP. Their names, however, are not as easily recognized as an oil company.

I'm just playing devil's advocate because we all know that the reason for this accident is not yet known.

Yes, it appears there was a system that could have prevented this that BP initiated complaints about. But from the media you would think that that complaint was about this particular rig last month. Instead, it was on a different rig and it was 10 years ago. Presumably, that problem on that other rig was fixed 10 years ago. Did it happen again on this rig undetected? Maybe. What I don't like is this attitude from the administration of presumption of BP's guilt.

As the wife of an engineer I know that there is a lot that can go wrong in an engineering project and he who hires a subcontractor is still responsible (legally, but not always morally) for the subcontractor's work, in spite of the fact that it is impossible to confirm that every last detail of what you have been told is accurate.

I don't see how raising the spectre of terrorism does a disservice to the people affected. I guess you think that is not in the realm of possibility? I'm even more concerned after reading those comments from people who know how these rigs work.

It is also disturbing that of all those comments, most of which are badmouthing BP without any facts whatsoever, only one commenter mentioned that 11 lives were lost. I realize that the mess is enormous and the lack of end in sight very alarming....but the loss of 11 human lives is an infinite loss to those who loved them.

Thanks again for the link, Kate. And our prayers are with you and yours who are in the vicinity.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Suzanne, we always think alike.

Maman A Droit said...

It's so frustrating to hear that kind of rhetoric from the White House. Especially because when a corporation like BP "pays" for something, that usually gets passed to the American consumers who buy gas to drive to work and school (and showers and weddings and plays!) But I suppose the alternative is for us all to pay it out of our taxes, which I'd be more opposed to (if it's BP's fault that is)

and is it just me or does it seem like the government isn't doing anything to clean it up?

Lynz said...

I do agree. Big business isn't automatically evil.

I haven't thought about if BP should be responsible for clean-up if it was an act of terror. Good thought from all.

Kate said...

If it was an act of terrorism...it would still be BP/the subcontractor's fault. They establish who has or does not have clearance for their rigs, and it's not like it's the sort of thing you can just walk up to. But it doubt it was terrorism, simply because of Occam's razor (the principle that points to the simplest solution as the best) - and BP's safety record (which is NOT stellar).

Crying 'terrorism' with no proof or even any probably indication that it is a possibility does a disservice to people on the coast bc it distracts from the necessity of thoroughly examining oil rig safety to ensure this sort of thing doesn't happen again. It would be like claiming that the trapped/killed virginia coal miners were possibly victims of a terrorist act - it lets us put off blame/culpability to some unknown bad guy 'out there' instead of looking fairly at the risks we as a society accept.