BP’s gonna be okay…coastal residents? Umm, not so much, not yet
The Associated Press reports British Petroleum will survive the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
Cleanup, government fines, lawsuits, legal fees and damage claims will likely exceed the $40 billion that BP has publicly estimated, according to an Associated Press analysis. But they’ll be far below the highest estimates made over the summer by legal experts and prominent Wall Street banks, such as Goldman Sachs, which said costs could near $200 billion.
Among the reasons given why British Petroleum will be able to survive is the company has little debt, its global business operations are forecast to earn $26 billion next year, the environmental impact isn’t as bad as once thought and the government would appear unlikely to ban BP from future offshore drilling in the Gulf. And whereas that is certainly good news for the company and its investors, the news for residents of the Gulf Coast isn’t so good…since the oil spill, residents have much more debt with homes sliding into foreclosure. Businesses in the region aren’t generating income with many going bankrupt. Whereas the Associated Press can claim the environmental impact isn’t as severe as it could have been, to all the dead wildlife, the fisherman nervous about eating their own catch, the continued effects of the oil in the water and health effects from dispersant and crude exposure its plenty bad enough, and while the fishing waters have reopened, many are skeptical about Gulf Coast seafood and government and independent scientists continue to battle it out over whether the seafood is safe.
In an interview on Gosztola Blog with Elizabeth Cook, a Gulf Coast resident and lead organizer of a group called Stop the Gulf Oil Disaster, she states that the long-term implications of the emotional, cultural and financial devastation wrought upon the region are that many Gulf Coast residents are considering whether they should leave the region. She cites the many conspiracy theories that abound, from continued spraying of Corexit to government downplaying the amount of oil still washing up on the beaches.
And in a recent article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, stories abound to display the hardship in the Gulf:
– Daniel Lee, a representative of Boat People SOS states, “I have seen people picking up aluminum cans to supplement their incomes…people have sold their furniture, their TVs, so they can buy food and pay their bills and feed their children. People came out in hundreds waiting in line for the food drive which we organized with the Bay Area Food Bank.”
– Maryal Mewherter, a spokeswoman for Bayou Interfaith Community Organizing, said indigenous people like the Houma Nation members “were left with an uncertainty about being able to return to work, sell their catch or being able to eat any of the seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.”
– In regards to tourism, Keith Overton, chairmen of the board of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, speaks of the uncertainty overwhelming his industry, “We don’t know how long it’s going to take to restore confidence in people that the Gulf of Mexico is safe.”
– From Louis Skrmetta, owner of a ferry business in Mississippi: “They continue to find oil every day on the barrier islands,” Skrmetta said, and he said that does not bode well for the future of tourism.
But relax everyone because British Petroleum is going to be okay.
Their stock price has risen 63 percent from its post disaster low in June and the investors are returning, confident in its continued climb. Blackrock Investment Management, Managed Account Advisors and Rydex Security Global Investors have more than doubled their holdings in BP stock since this past July and with BP’s assets sales and a predicted return from Feinberg’s managed $20 billion dollar escrow fund…things are looking good and they plan to begin issuing stock dividends again next year.
So again, British Petroleum is going to be just swell…
Tony Hayward got his life back and Bob Dudley is the toast of BP. Wall Street investors have again become comfortable and the national press has gone away so what America don’t know, can’t hurt them and the importance of that cannot be stressed enough.
After all, ecosystems and people come and go, but big business is forever.
Have a nice day.