May 26 2010

Why Did We Ever Give the Benefit of the Doubt to Oil Companies?

It’s safe to assume that the vast majority of people, who are not closely involved with the offshore oil drilling industry, sort of thought that these multi-billion dollar companies had the expertise and resources to plug a leak if something went wrong with their pipeline.

Boy, were we ever wrong.

Nice business model: “We’re going to get this product out of the ground and sell it for many billions of dollars every day. But if there is a catastrophic failure, well… we’ll improvise a solution if that happens. We’re not in the business of crossing our bridges until we come to them, you know? Why set aside significant resources for safety features that will cost huge dollars when our legal liability will be limited to a small fraction of the damage?”

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Why Did We Ever Give the Benefit of the Doubt to Oil Companies?”

  1. real conservativeon 26 May 2010 at 10:03 am

    What is really scary about the whole deal is the the company drilling the original well has a contract with BP where they have no responsibility whatsoever for what happens?? Unbelievable if you ask me. Apparently, the rig went down and was insured for double of its value, thus the drilling company made money on the deal?? Was it sabotage? You have to wonder.

  2. Hassan Arshadon 30 May 2010 at 11:17 pm

    This is another industry that was allowed to regulate itself. Who in their right minds would think that a company, whose sole function is to make a profit, should be able to tell the government that it doesn’t need regulation. This is the whole point of government. To make sure people who use public land and resources are forced to show how they are being responsible. Generally speaking, social responsibility and profit do not mix.

    What the U.S. Congress should be asking itself is what did former Vice President Cheney discuss and say in his secret energy meetings. It seems fairly important to learn now what was said so we can see what other industry or company has been allowed to do or not do. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/17/AR2007071701987.html

    Hopefully some good will come from this, the President can make the case that it is time to learn that companies cannot be allowed to regulate themselves and the government is going to be increasing regulation like never before.

  3. jnarveyon 30 May 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Well said, Hassan. And it looks like there’s going to be much more robust action required from the US government. BP announced today they may not have a solution in place until sometime in August.

    Clearly, BP’s failed at cleaning up it’s own mess. They’ve been loathe to go to other companies for help, but Obama doesn’t need to be so choosy. They ought to bid for contracts, get this thing plugged and stick BP with the bill.

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