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These Guys are Slick


BP, one of the world’s largest companies, has a toxic problem on their greasy hands… And I’m not just talking about their spicy chicken sandwich and other “food items” they vend at their gas stations.

Here’s just a few of their lowlights in the past few years:

  • Mother Jones magazine twice named BP as one of the “ten worst corporations” based on environmental and human rights issues.
  • In their best year, BP was responsible for 104 oil spills.
  • In 2005, BP’s Texas City refinery exploded and killed 15 workers. Investigators deemed “mismanagement” at the plant as the cause. OSHA imposed a record $87 million fine.
  • July 2006 – BP closed the last of 57 oil wells in Alaska that leaked 5,000 barrels… of course that’s nothing.  The current spill is leaking that much per day!
  • In 2007, the U.S. Justice Department announced a fine of $303 million against BP for “massive manipulation” of energy markets in 2004.
  • There are also several accusations of “human rights” breaches in their global operations, including theft of oil rights in the Mediterranean, collusion with the government in Columbia, where BP is accused of spilling not oil, but blood of local farmers. Then there is the environmental rape in their Canadian Oil Sands endeavors, where their drilling releases 4 times more pollutants than conventional drilling.

These are just the incidents we know about.  When their rigs are hundreds of miles off coast, who’s to say what disasters were averted only by the press.  (BTW, that’s a beauty about a blog versus journalism.  I can make wild accusations like this with impunity).

Now they are really in Deepwater. This Deepwater Horizon drilling is of epic (and OPEC) proportions.  The spill covers a surface area of at least 2,500 square miles and is gushing 5,000 barrels a day. In the understatement of the year, the Obama administration labels it “an event of national significance.”  Yeah, thousands of fisherman, not to mention fish and other wild life are being put out of business and the gulf coast ecosystem will be irreparably changed.  Of course oil companies have a law on the books that limits liability claims to $75 million.

The biggest fallout could come from us as consumers.  BP is this huge corporation known by only two letters.  How does one put a face on such an evil operation?  That theory is easy; you tie them to their ubiquitous brands ARCO, AM/PM and Castrol Oil.  But will shoppers boycott the cheapest gas in Southern California?  The practice is not as simple: My guess the line at the ARCO on Imperial and Associated will be no less unruly.

BP is said to lose up to $44 billion in stockholder equity over this, which leads to yet  another completely unfounded theory of mine.  Execs at Goldman Sachs caused the spill so their shorts on BP stock would come through (tongue rooted in cheek on this one).

But  like Toyota and the Wall Street crooks, British Petroleum is going to be fine.  We’re the ones that will suffer.  Watch the prices at the pump this summer and see if this wild theory of mine holds up.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn permalink
    05/04/2010 8:13 am

    Unbelievable. Great research. I wish you would send to print media and others

  2. 05/04/2010 8:32 am

    If I sent sent it to the media, I’d have to confirm, or worse, confound my “theories.”

  3. 05/04/2010 10:16 am

    By the way, this worst oil spill in history comes off a year where BP’s CEO received a 40% pay increase, and when the Q1 ’10 profit was $5.6 billion, up 135% from last year.

  4. 05/05/2010 10:40 am

    This is all writery-ish and everything. You really should send this to the editor at The Register. Might make the opinion page……..

  5. 06/11/2010 11:26 am

    I’m getting increasingly uncomfortable seeing the way the US government and media are treating BP. The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is obviously a terrible environmental accident. It’s entirely understandable that the people and authorities are upset and want those who made the mistake to put it right. But it is increasingly looking like the US government is deliberately trying to make political capital out of scapegoating a British company and opportunistically running it down for the benefit of American companies.

    Why are they not equally holding responsible other parties- the American Drilling company, Halliburton and the US regulatory authorities?

    Why do they not let all hell break loose when it is an American company causing an environmental disaster in another country? Do you remember Union Carbide’s killing and disabling hundreds of thousands of people in Bhopal, India? They did their very best to wriggle out of responsibility as much as they could- frankly because they didn’t value Indian lives as much as Americans and because India was a weaker country. So how does that compare to their extreme attacks on BP? American beaches and fish are worth much more than hundreds of thousands of Indian humans. Sad but true.

    Will the US be aggressively running down their own companies in future overseas accidents? I doubt it.

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