It is interesting to see how Mr Obama is handling the Deepwater crisis. There has been a great deal of words, threats and bullying and not a great deal in the way of positive direction. The American President thinks that his job is to snarl and threaten BP, rather than make a positive contribution to sealing the oil leak. It is posturing of the worse kind and I rather hoped that Mr Obama was better than this; clearly he is not.
Mr Obama is taking the view that the problem has been caused by BP and it is up to BP to solve it, and he thinks that they can solve it best by him keeping his foot on BP’s throat. None of this makes sense to me.
First, there are three companies responsible for the Deepwater Crisis and one Government. The Government is the USA which granted permits and approved the safety plan for the drilling. The responsibility should properly be apportioned between the four of them.
Secondly, I do not understand how someone can solve any crisis with a foot on his neck.
Thirdly, the USA has tremendous indigenous technology and expertise; it should be directing the issue of the oil leak, not leaving direction to one of the businesses that caused it.
Fourthly … well I could go on, but I am sure that you will get my drift. Mr Obama should be working to solve the problem not threatening those he has permitted to solve it. It is the kind of American nonsense that seems to pervade every official strata of American society – the local Mayor who wastes the time of a police force by making threats that unless they catch a criminal there will be trouble.
In the United Kingdom people are whining about Mr Obama’s posturing. They are not whining because the oil is still leaking and the environment is being degraded, but because Mr Obama’s nonsense is affecting the share price of BP, and the threat to stop future dividends will affect BP’s shareholders many of whom are British pension funds. These complaints are as far off the mark as Mr Obama’s posturing. Of course, Mr Obama is also threatening the wealth of 38% of BP shareholders who are American.
If you pension fund has invested in BP or indeed any oil or nuclear energy company accidents will always happen. BP’s record of environmental destruction has been appalling. I wrote about its exploitation of the Canadian oil tars in http://robertkyriakides.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/o-canada-bp-stands-on-guard-for-thee/ and if pension funds chose to invest in a company undertaking such activities it shows poor or callous judgement on the part of the fund managers and it should come as no surprise that what goes around comes around.
We are now discovering that independent experts indicate that oil leak is twice as much as previously estimated by BP. No doubt BP will be forced to pay for cleanup operations but some of the costs claimed are just too remote to be justified. For example I fail to understand the legal basis for claiming that BP should pay salaries of oil engineers in deep water drilling who will no longer have jobs as a result of this accident, which should bring a halt to all deep water oil extraction.
As you will observe, I have no interest in promoting BP, but I am concerned about the environment and concerned that instead of concentrating his time on efforts to protect the environment Mr Obama is wasting time making threats and politically motivated statements.
The truth is that all parties should be concentrating on stopping the leak and cleaning the pollution; BP is big enough and rich enough for the money side to be sorted out when we know the final cost and blame can be apportioned independently, not by a President with the wrong motives.