British Petroleum Issues Ultimatum in the Gulf (without actually issuing ultimatum)
British Petroleum wants new offshore drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico and if they don’t get them, the company is about to get all financial on your ass. On July 30th, the House of Representatives passed a drilling overhaul bill that barred any company from receiving new permits if more than ten deaths occurred on its facilities or if the company had been fined more than ten million dollars under the Clear Air or Clean Water act within a seven-year period. The bill, clearly aimed at BP, has not yet been approved by the Senate, nor has Barack Obama made public comment on the bill either way.
BP is leaning hard, to influence a “no” vote in the Senate.
Andrew Gowers, a BP spokesman: “We have committed to do a number of things that are not part of the formal agreement with the White House…we are not making a direct statement about anything we are committed to do. We are just expressing frustration that our commitments of good will have at least in some quarters been met with this kind of response,” and then he added, “I am not going to make a direct linkage to the $20 billion, but our ability to fund these assets and the cash coming from these assets that are securing these funds would be lost.”
Interesting…it’s not a direct statement, it’s frustration; it’s not a direct linkage, but if no leases are granted their ability to pay reparations is compromised…that seems quite direct.
Other programs mentioned in the article that have no direct linkage to the oil leases include:
– Gulf Coast restoration efforts.
– A pledge of $100 million dollars to support rig workers who’ve lost their jobs.
– A pledge of $500 million dollars for a 10 year research program to study the impacts of the spill.
– Tourism promotion in affected states.
– Any other “voluntary” funding requests such as Jindal’s seafood testing, certification and promotion program.
Seconding Mr. Gower’s statements, David Nagle, BP’s executive vice president for BP America said, “If we are unable to keep those fields going (in the Gulf), that is going to have a substantial impact on our cash flow.” That, he added, “makes it harder for us to fund things, fund these programs.”
Harder to fund…or impossible?
The provision in the bill that targets British Petroleum was written by Representative George Miller. His spokesman, Daniel Weiss dismissed BP’s warning that it might not be able to meet its financial obligations, “BP has substantial assets, whether they develop them or sell them,” he said. “If BP needs to sell assets to meet its financial obligations, that’s a decision they have to make.”
Still, BP would seem to suggest Congress is not playing fair, company executives have said that regulators in other countries have not tried to cut back their deepwater operations since the gulf accident.
This may be true, but something else to certainly consider: the BP Gulf of Mexico Catastraphuk isn’t the first time British Petroleum’s been involved in an accident that met the criteria in Rep Miller’s ban. On March 23rd, 2005, when BP’s Texas oil refinery exploded, 15 people died, 170 workers were injured and the company paid out well over ten million dollars in fines, so while other countries may be willing to allow BP access, America’s hesitation would certainly be understandable since British Petroleum has had horrible accidents in this country not once…but twice.
Its understandable British Petroleum is worried things are getting “harder,” resulting in “frustration,” and though there certainly are no “direct linkages” between their ability to profit and their ability to fund, please don’t come round here expecting any sympathy.
Your oil spill has resulted in death, environmental catastrophe, loss of jobs, increase in mental health problems, physical sickness, drilling moratoriums, bankrupted charities, closed fishing waters, tourism, loss of confidence in the $4 billion dollar fishing industry, a loss of faith in government, business and a cultural way of life for tens of thousands.
4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has led to suffering on an enormous scale and yes, that linkage is very direct.
You broke it, you bought it, you committed to it.
Do the right thing.
Read the article:
Have a nice day.