Friday, June 11, 2010

U.S. Criticism of BP Over The Top?

BP's Gulf oil spill is an environmental disaster without parallel.  Eleven lives have been lost, and many more injured.  BP has a history of rushing things and cutting corners, apparently sometimes even on rig safety.  That said, BP has apologized, admitted its liability, and spent wads of money so far trying to cap that hole in the ocean floor and prevent the spread of the oil slick.  BP also has months of cleanup ahead that it has agreed to pay for, and years of litigation which will result in billions of dollars in damages.  BP will probably survive this mess, but there are knowledgeable voices who question its viability going forward.  Citizens of the Gulf area have every right to be upset and to demand compensation, but lately the BP flagellation seems to have gotten a bit out of hand.  Obama needs "to know whose ass to kick"?  BP company-specific legislation being considered?  U.S. politicians do have a responsibility to keep the pressure on BP and represent their constituents well - but they also have a responsibility to keep things in perspective, keep a lid on the rhetoric, and show some statesmanship.  This is the first time this sort of deep water spill containment has ever been attempted.  Aided by the best brains on land and at sea, BP has attempted every high-tech solution to the problem - and as expeditiously as possible as far as I'm concerned.  Yet Mr. Hayward  has been accused of not doing enough.  I suppose I shouldn't expect anything more of the Excited States of America - and perhaps the Brits might be a little too stiff-upper-lipped about the whole affair - but I think the politicians should back off a bit and not inflame the crazies.  It also might allow BP to spend every ounce of effort on the well instead of distractions.