11 June, 2010

We interrupt the usual programming...

Over coffee this morning, I read this. The (latest) estimate is that the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez (i.e. over 40 million liters) is being leaked into the Gulf of Mexico every eight to ten days. The spill is projected to continue into August. This below, this is what is happening at this very second.

And Tony Hayward, CEO BP (Mr. the-spill-is-"relatively tiny"-given-the-"big ocean")? Just like you, this guy below "wants his life back" (photo by Steve Riedel).

What are you going to do, dear reader? What do you think BP should do? Should the US government require BP to withhold payment to its shareholders until this mess has been cleaned and paid for?

PS: Since I wrote this last week, the estimate of oil leaked per day has doubled.


  1. The Brits are angry because the Americans are lashing against BP. Duh!
    Apparently, BP stocks are not doing well and lost 50 % of their value. I was watching "The View" yesterday; the girls were afraid that the american taxpayers were going to have to foot the bill for the cleanup (around $14 billion so far). UNBELIEVABLE!

  2. Hello Nadege,
    From the English people I know, and the news I follow here, there is no substantive British anger and/or rising in defence of BP (perhaps some pension fund managers are peeved because their high-risk investment is vanishing before their eyes, just as happened in the US)...I think the key is to require that BP financially cover this fully, and as quickly as possible. The problem is that the market is so sensitive, and their financial capacity to respond may be quickly diminished, which is how tax-payers may end up footing part of the bill. Unfair all around.

    Can you believe that after all this time Exxon is still being pursued through the court system for clean-up/damages costs incurred by the Valdez? We the people, through government, must make it so incredibly financially unnattractive for BP and other oil companies to take safety shortcuts. The risk of losing a lot of money is the only effective lever I can think of to reduce the risk of this sort of disaster in the future.

  3. Hi again, Nadege,
    I was reading the NYT and came across this article, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/business/11bp.html, which outlines what you are talking about. Haven't felt that reaction on this side of the Channel, but the article confirms that people whose pensions depend on average 12% on BP seem to be irked. I still think that US anger is not directed against the British but rather at a company formerly known as British Petroleum, which happens to also have very significant US holdings, as well, so anger at the US seems misdirected. I also still think consequences must be imposed for those who are guilty of dumping such filth into our oceans--at the least paying for the cost of cleaning up the mess.


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