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PaulS's picture

BP spill, Dr Cable and Gazprom

Here are a few very pertinent comments on BP and its future, which so bound up with the future of most of us, whether we realise it or not:

What can I say about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? It’s not Katrina, it’s way worse than that. It’s a government failure like none else. Obama has a great spin team, doh, but there’s no spinning your way through mayhem like this. Former US Environmental Protection Agency boss Eric Schaeffer says about the spill: 'It's Going To Blow The Record Books Up'. Have I ever told you anything else? Not that I could be sure, but the threat was there from the first moment. And a certain someone who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue completely failed to see that, and is now trying to play catch-up. Unfortunately for him, catch-up in the face of disaster is the wrong idea.

I know various people have differing ideas on how it's all playing out, but I’d say that at the very least Obama’s performance is not Oscar-worthy. Michael Bloomberg may chime in with "BP CEO Tony Hayward didn’t personally spring the leak ", but then again, no-one said he did, and it’s therefore an utterly irrelevant statement that merely puts the New York City mayor's credibility in question.

What does matter, unlike Bloomberg's braindeadness, is that BP has an awful record when it comes to preventing calamities [sic]. And that BP, according to everything I read that’s not White House propaganda, BP is still in charge of just about all operations related to clean-up and solutions in the Deepwater Gulf theater. On top of that, there are increasingly questions about how much, when and how BP will settle the claims of the people and communities whose livelihoods, living environment and, let’s call that spade for what it is, entire lives have now been destroyed irrevocably.

And we're just getting started, don’t forget that. As a politician, you can screw over Louisiana and Alabama a whole lot easier than you can Miami, Myrtle Beach or Chesapeake Bay. The former are pretty desperately poor communities, the latter are certainly not. So expect the real political fall-out about 10-15 days from now, when Atlantic beaches start being closed.

Holding BP’s entire planned $10 billion dividend pay-out in escrow for the victims (state governments will be elbowing to be first in line, before their citizens) seems like the very least that can be done. Yeah, even if it leaves Scottish widows in the cold.

Do you begin to grasp the magnitude of it all? It’s either/or for the poor, and business as usual for executives. Why don’t you do something about it? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the rich their spoils, but I do draw the line at drawing people unnecessarily (to an extent, I know) into hunger and despair,

Best line of the day, finally, comes from the Times of London, which reports that UK Business Secretary Vince Cable won’t rescue weakened BP if foreign predator attempts takeover, and says:

"[..] Dr Cable — a former chief economist at Shell — is unwilling to draw up plans that would protect BP should an overseas group such as Gazprom try to seize control".

Isn’t that the greatest idea? That Vladimir Putin seizes control of the formerly fourth-largest enterprise on the planet? Britain would depend for all its energy on the late KGB.... Hey, say what you will, but I think that’s comedy material. Moreover, Gazprom may well be the only party that can afford BP’s assets.

The comments come from a blog http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/, which I find very persuasive and mind blowing at the same time - but judge for yourselves.