Brits Think We’re Being Too Tough on BP

By Yul

England’s Prime Minister David Cameron has come to BP’s defense, now that Obama finally took a couple of swings by telling Matt Lauer on The Today Show he’s finding out how “whose ass to kick” and that he wouldn’t have BP’s tactless CEO, Tony Hayward, working for him.

It’s easy to cry for BP from across the pond, so let’s help England cultivate a little empathy. How about we dump a few million gallons of BP’s oil into your Channel so it can coat everything with gooey slime and kill off tourism and every plant and living creature it touches — with slow suffocation?

Let’s fry some of your delicious fish and chips in crude. And how about a nice hot cup of “Texas Tea” with those scones?

Think you’ll still be feeling all warm and fuzzy toward BP after that?

This mess has nothing to do with BP’s home base or the execs’ accents, but everything to do with incompetence.

BP deliberately duped the American government (shame on us!) with 582 pages of a bogus Gulf contingency plan that included disconnected phone numbers, dead scientists, inactive Web sites, and concern for animals that don’t even live in the Gulf, like walruses and otters.

Thanks to the gross stupidity of everyone who was supposed to know what they were doing, it’s going to take the foot of God to stomp out that gusher because BP sure doesn’t seem up to the job.

And if I see Tony Hayward’s mug on TV one more time, claiming that BP has launched the “most massive cleanup in history,” he’s going to get a hairball right in the kisser.

Of COURSE you have! You’ve created the one of biggest MESSES in history!

Investors worry that BP will be forced into bankruptcy. I’m OK with that, after every last penny is squeezed out to make amends. Dissolution of the company would be a fitting punishment and keep it from committing another disaster.

Unfortunately, BP nor anybody anyone else has enough money to undo this mess, and the Gulf Coast may never fully recover.

PS:

The next time talking heads start throwing around barrels and gallons interchangeably so you can’t get a good handle on how much oil is out there, a barrel = 42 gallons. Now you can do the math.

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44 Responses to Brits Think We’re Being Too Tough on BP

  1. 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.

  2. MorganLF says:

    Here’s what I heard, that there is a Federal Law enacted in 1999 capping the liability of to $75 million for event for spills. It is rumored that doughebag Hayward spent $50 million on his image polishing ads.

    What’s 75 million to them? A drop in the bucket of the billions they make each year. Investors are feeling the pinch of the drop in stock prices especially pension funds but the company has endless coffers.

  3. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Nicholas. I hope you don’t mind me letting readers know that you are in the UK, and I’m glad you came.

    I can’t say that I totally disagree with what you’re saying. Halliburton and Transocean should be on the hook just as much as BP, but we all know why Halliburton isn’t. Nobody wants Dick Cheney crawling out of the ooze and getting involved in any way. Halliburton and Transocean have probably already bought enough American politicians to make sure they keep their skirts clean.

    I never said our government wasn’t corrupt. Congress could teach classes in organized crime to the mafia.

    So why doesn’t BP go after its partners and make them pay their fair share for the cleanup? Why is BP LETTING itself be cast as the only villian here?

    If Obama wants to “kick ass,” he could start with the jerks in HIS administration who didn’t fact-check BP’s Gulf contingency plan. Everyone involved in that fiasco should be fired immediately.

    I do stand by my belief that BP is not being singled out because it’s British. That would be totally dumb. Americans have no beef with the UK. Americans are upset that their president has seemed to stand on the sidelines for too long, while BP was saying the oil would never reach shore, its effects would be “minimal,” etc., although Obama says he’s been doing plenty behind the scenes. Unfortunately, whatever he’s doing doesn’t seem to be resulting in any tangible progress.

    Your point about Union Carbide is well taken. It just goes to prove that ALL big corporations are innately rotten at the core and don’t care who they kill as long as they preserve themselves. It’s not a geographical thing; it makes everyone on the planet a potential victim.

    Yes, the news has been showing the beautiful beaches of Florida getting slimed, like all Americans care about is swimming and having nice vacations. But we’re not just looking at some fish and birds dying. Certain species of wildlife may go extinct. This part of the country may end up a toxic dump where NOTHING can live for generations — human, plant, or animal.

    If you were faced with writing off a big chunk of England’s southern coast for the next 100 years, you’d be grabbing at the nearest responsible party and screaming, “FIX IT!” too.

  4. Noel McWormald says:

    It’s more complicated than that. The Oil Spill LIability Trust Fund kicks in at some $75 million point, but the Fund doesn’t have anywhere near the $14 BILLION it’s likely to take to clean up the disaster. The big question is… why is there a CAP on clean up liability? It costs what it costs to clean up a mess and the company responsible should be held liable for the whole thing–and should NOT get a tax break on the clean up funds it puts out. That tax break basically charges the clean up back to American taxpayers…Surprise! Surprise! The company itself (and its shareholders) are off the hook–as we’ve already seen. These caps on liability for rich companies (and people) are nothing new. And Republicans ALWAYS support these caps— and the guilty just put their millions into Republican (and hedging their bets, into some Democratic) campaign coffers instead, knowing that the millions they contribute to elect corrupt politicians are a drop in the bucket compared to what their idiocy will unleash on an unsuspecting world. And yet the Joe the Plumbers out there support the Tea Party Movement–less government oversight!!!! Apparently they are okay with being raped and pillaged by Big Business… because they’re too stupid to know when they’re being had!

  5. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I can’t remember the exact chain of events, but it may have been right after one of the Congressional “investigations” that I read Transocean went to court to ensure that its liability would be limited to $75 million. That’s when the heads of Transocean should have been hauled off to jail.

    Obama has said he’s disturbed by the big PR campaign BP has launched, because the money would be better spent cleaning up the oil. Can’t disagree with that. I don’t want to see Hayward on TV apologizing and making promises. I want to see him in a Hazmat suit up to his waist in oil, rescuing suffocating birds.

  6. catsworking says:

    Noel, that’s a brilliant assessment! I had no idea you were watching this issue so closely.

    And you’re right. In the end, whether it’s through tax breaks to Big Oil or higher oil prices for fuel and heating, all Americans will end up paying for this disaster.

  7. Thanks Karen for your generous comments with which I mostly agree (mostly as I wouldn’t say ALL companies are the same or that we are ALL victims. Companies can evolve to be much more socially responsible and the public can become more empowered with less entitled-victimhood.).

    The US govt/media reaction would be a whole lot more honest if they had a track record of holding US companies operating overseas to a similarly high standard and if they strongly pursued those companies when they cause harm or injury.

    The increasingly hysterical reaction of the US against BP is looking to me like an alcoholic getting angry when the distillery blows up. Surely the bigger message of this leak is that the whole Industrialised world needs to heavily invest in renewable, green energy so that we can protect our environment AND stop haemorrhaging money to regimes and cultures which are hostile to our freedom and security.

  8. catsworking says:

    Nicholas, I can’t take credit for Yul’s response. He’s one of the other writers here and this whole oil spill thing has been very upsetting to him, although he usually is good about considering both sides of the issue.

    I do personally believe that at least 99.9% of large companies are rotten at the core because I worked for enough of them to see it, and which is why I wrote the book, How to Work Like a CAT. I’m an advocate of employee dignity and self-respect. How many times have you watched executives spouting the company line to save their wretched jobs, knowing full well they were lying and making themselves look reprehensible?

    I agree with you totally that this disaster should be THE wake-up call that gets all the “Drill, Baby, Drill!” politicians (including Virginia’s governor, who STILL wants to see rigs off our coast. Maybe he’ll change his tune when the tar balls hit Virginia Beach) to start seriously looking at renewable energy. As you said, the side benefit will be the cut-off of funds to countries that would rather see us all dead.

    But I’m afraid that until the leak is stopped and real progress can be made in the cleanup, the focus won’t be on the future. As you’ve seen, a lot of Americans have lost the capacity for deep thinking. They kept an idiot in the White House for 8 years, and are now looking to empty-headed Sarah Palin for all the answers. It’s truly frightening.

  9. Zappa says:

    Hi Yul and Cole and Adele
    Zappa here.I’ve missed you guys a lot.I’ve been vacationing at Grandma’s house in the country(all the way out in Alexandria,Virginia)while my mom has the kitchen redone.I didn’t need that headache!
    My solution to this environmental and economic disaster is very inexpensive and time-tested.My mom told me that Humans use kitty litter to soak up oil leaks on their driveways.Why don’t we all send our kitty litter to BP? Removing the,uh,used portion,is optional.I go through quite a bit of the stuff myself,and if we all donated we cats would have this problem licked.We must save our shrimp supply!

    Zappa

  10. catsworking says:

    Welcome back, Zappa! We hope the new kitchen has lots of nice shiny counter space for you to walk on.

    Speaking of counters, this morning, Karen left a bunch of stuff all over the counter, not realizing I was on top of the fridge. Then she went upstairs and heard this huge CRASH! She came running down, all confused because nothing seemed out of place. That noise was 17 lbs. of ME hitting the kitchen floor. With the counter blocked, I couldn’t get to my gentler route down, across the stove, to the table, to the windowsill, to the step stool, to the floor.

    I think your idea for cleaning up the oil is great! Why should all our used litter go to landfills when it could be soaking up oil? Sign us up for 25-30 lbs. a week here, and we’ll even throw in the poop! By now, it will probably taste better to the fish than tar balls.

  11. Zappa says:

    Ouch!! I hope you are ok! Karen really shouldn’t clutter your access areas like that! She needs to keep those things out of your way. By the way,the new kitchen counters are the perfect shade to show off black kitty hair.

    Zappa

  12. Joanaroo says:

    Hey Yul! I see the part that everyone keeps forgetting is that even though BP is a part-British/part-American company, alot of the anger here is not aimed directly at the British populace, but the fact it is a billion dollar corporation. Alot of people see Tony Hayward as a symbol of what is wrong with corporations in these days of the disappearing middle class and this couldn’t come at a worse time. He’s wealthy, has been aloof with information, seems to be more interested in money and PR than people. The families of the 11 men incinerated on the rig havent heard word one from BP or Transocean, although Transocean did have more interaction with the families than BP. BP gave them a handshake, one lady a hug, and 2 plants at the memorial service. And after the service, BPs people jumped in their dark-windowed SUVs and took off. The injured workers that weren’t as seriously injured had to go thru a 2-hour grilling before treatment-one man had a broken leg that was griled as to what he knew.

  13. Joanaroo says:

    The fishermen who are losing out on income during their peak season may never fish again. These men aren’t corporate men, they don’t set behind a desk, they work in their backyard and have to compete with seafood imports. Then hey, big business comes in and through negligence on their part, not only do 11 working men die, now a way of life here may be lost forever. In alot of people’s minds, the enemies are the oil company BP, politicians, and even the Coast Guard and NOAA because a big part of the problem is lack of transparency. People are afraid in the Gulf that they will lose everything and just like 2000-2008, fear was a big issue. People lost control and hearing you may lose your way of life there’s anger. People who work in the Gulf that didn’t know safety was a problem on that rig were living their lives on April 19, 2010. The next day changed all that.

  14. Joanaroo says:

    And you will find that many Americans have been against offshore drilling, big American corporations cheating, lying, poisoning and killing people and politicians turning the other way. Ask the people of Millville, LA being poisoned by 14 chemical companies bordering their town and because it’s not wealthy people, the companies-with American workers-don’t care they are poisoning Americans. I remember the Union Carbide Bhopal disaster. I was in college at the time and that has led to my negative feelings on corporations. More people should have been outraged and more should’ve been done against Union Carbide/Dow. I have not bought a product of theirs in 25 years. But that will not bring those poor, beautiful people of Bhopal back nor help punish the guilty who have no conscience.

  15. Joanaroo says:

    Sorry, Yul and Karen! I’m on a roll and I can’t shut up! But anyway, Nicholas, we aren’t angry at the British in general. Geez, mostly what I watch on TV is Britcoms, Agatha Christie mysteries, all the Masterpiece Mystery and Masterpiece Classic shows, British films and BBC America, BBC News, along with CNN and sports. Your programming is much more intelligent than alot of ours! But you’ll find anger a major issue with both political parties and constituents. We’ve become a more divided country since 2000 and some of us are for the little guy and unfortunately some are for things being in favor of the wealthy with no accountability and no ethics. I’m for alternative energy, civil and human rights, universal health care (you lucky Brits!), organic farming and against big corporations, unethical politics, political fearmongering and oppression. Unfortunately the days of Love Thy Neighbor seem to be long gone. Well, unless he’s your same political party!

  16. catsworking says:

    Zappa, good deal on the counters! Get to work!

    Actually, the counter being blocked was Cole’s fault. We have this kitty fountain in the living room, and he has this terrible habit of washing his paws in it right after he uses the litterbox! Karen sees the yukky kitty litter on the bottom and has to lug the fountain into the kitchen and take the whole thing apart to clean it. She was letting it air out and dry when I needed to get across the counter.

  17. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, you go girl!

    We agree that any sympathy for BP, Transocean, Halliburton, or the American government is sorely misplaced. They all conspired to put money ahead of people, and now look at the mess they’ve made.

    Hurricane Katrina was just wind and rain that eventually stopped and went away. OIL is never going away. And nobody seem to have any idea how much MORE damage the dispersant is causing, yet BP insists on pumping it into the water.

    The only solution to this nightmare is to PLUG THAT LEAK. Yet it’s been leaking for nearly TWO MONTHS. Meanwhile, all the corporate and govt. jerk-offs are collecting their regular paychecks just for showing up, while the little people in the Gulf who did NOTHING wrong are going bankrupt.

    There are so many instances of corporations, American and elsewhere, doing the WRONG thing in the aftermath of disaster, it’s impossible to believe any lying suit at the top. For example, how many times have we heard some CEO assure stockholders the company is “stronger than ever” the day before he lays off 5,000 people?

    How did mankind breed this utterly unscrupulous, greedy, self-serving race that rises to the top of companies, letting their poisonous nature trickle down through the ranks until the organization becomes a mindless, destructive beast that will let nothing stand between it and profit?

    I’m thinking right now of the supremely incompetent ex-CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina, running for political office. HP was lucky to survive her. She’s just one more example of sh*t rising to the top.

  18. It needs some political courage from our leaders and consumer courage from the rest of us to put our money where our mouth is- to invest heavily, as if it were a war, into renewable, clean, secure energy. As well as the environmental harm, there is a huge cultural harm in us being so dependent upon foreign energy. Essentially, the most advanced cultures with the most democracy, human rights, education etc are pouring vast amounts of resources into gangster-bully Russia, Islamo-fascist-mediaeval-imperialist Saudi Arabia, grandstander Chavez and all sorts of corrupt kleptocracies in Africa. It’s nuts. We’re paying for the reverse evolution of human culture. If we put the money we’ve wasted on Iraq and Afghanistan into clean energy (as well as water, education, internet for the poorest countries) then we’d be a lot safer, freer and more sustainable.

    Thanks very much for the pro-British comments to balance the others! Yes, our TV is better and we are very lucky to have socialised medicine & welfare, though we could run it a whole lot better. By the way, I am very pro-American. Its a great country and absolutely vital to our security, freedom and global evolution.

  19. catsworking says:

    Nicholas, now you’ve taken the gloves off! We think our readership is primarily American, but occasionally we do hear from people in other countries, which is always a good thing.

    You’re absolutely right that too much money is squandered on wars when we’ve go so many other pressing problems at home. We’d like to see every soldier out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re not going to change their fundamental nature, so why keep trying? If Americans are guilty of one thing, it’s never hesitating to jump in over their heads when it comes to thinking they can brainwash other cultures into believing ours is the BEST way of life. The media has turned the world into a very small place. Anybody with a TV or computer can turn it on and see myriad reasons why they would NOT want to live like Americans.

    Saturday night is “Britcom” night in this house. We don’t get the newest shows by far, but we still love them. The current lineup is: Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, My Family, and As Time Goes By.

    A few years ago, my sister got to know Clive Swift (KUA) while he was performing a one-man show in Edinburgh and, for my birthday, he wrote a full-page inscription to me on the companion book to his TV show.

  20. Joanaroo says:

    Oh my God, that’s so cool, Karen! I love Clive Swift! His reactions as Richard to Hyacynth are priceless! We have a Sat. night Britcom fest here with 2 PBS stations carrying them: WLEV carries 2 each of Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, Are You Being Served and Waiting For God from 8 to Mid. WNJS(NJN) has starting at 9 Last of the Summer Wine (my fave-cancelled after all this time!), Keeping Up Appearances, My Family and After You’ve Gone. It’s hard to decide which to watch but I love these shows! Tonight though both channels have on fundraisers and other shows. Sun. night at 6 and 6:30 and at 10 and 10:30 WHYY shows The Kumars At #42 and Ladies of Letters and at 11 Waiting For God. And at 10 tonight and 1 AM BBC America has on Graham Norton. God, I love him! I get to crying from laughing so hard at his show.

  21. MorganLF says:

    The Oil Spill liability Trust Fund, OSLTF was introduced in 1986 under the Republican deity, Ronald Regan then signed into law in 1990 under President Merkin, I mean Bush One. I think we have our answer.

    Limbaugh is glossing over this monumental eco-disaster by insisting there is regular occurring oil seepage on the ocean floor that disperses naturally and this event is little more than that.

    The crpto-Republican lynch mob is gearing up to point the finger at Obama as the Commander in Chief for not deploying the military to fix the spill. Apparently there is some secret cabal of Republicans who somehow “know” the military has the solution all along but the President has not given the order to deploy. Balls!! That’s just fucking nuts.

    The less government, less regulation tea party crew have their perfect scenario. It was lack of regulation, insured I may add, by the Republican gonzo big business mob that runs big oil that got us to this point!!!

  22. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, we had Waiting for God in the batch of show they aired. I LOVED it so much, I watched it all the way through at least 3 times. I also used to like a Britcom called One Foot in the Grave. I think it’s so great that the BBC doesn’t shirk from building shows around older characters.

    I never got into Last of the Summer Wine for some reason, and anything with Penelope Keith puts my teeth on edge. Can’t stand her! We had To the Manor Born running for a while and it drove me nuts.

    Another series I loved that hasn’t been on in quite a while was Ballykissangel (hope I spelled that right), which was about an English priest in a little Irish village.

    I know PBS needs to run those marathons, but I sure hate the way they screw up the schedule.

  23. catsworking says:

    Morgan, there’s no doubt our government’s laissez-faire attitude toward big business got us into this mess. All our chickens are coming home to roost at once. First the banks, now this. Yet the Republicans STILL insist that giving them free rein is the way to go.

    And WHERE would our military have ever gotten the training to deal with a deep-sea oil spill? While they were putting out oil fires in the Arab desert?

    I’m just waiting for BP to start wringing its hands over the lost income from all the oil that’s being “wasted” in the Gulf because it’s not going to the refineries, and how it’s going to kill them to do it, but they’ll just HAVE to jack up gas prices to record highs$5/gal. here to make up for the shortfall. And then in the following quarter, they’ll declare profits that break all previous records.

  24. Joanaroo says:

    Just reading some articles and one that is a possibly related post to one of yours, Yul, is from the New York Times mobile site, Imagining the Worst in BP’s Future http://mobile.nytimes.com/acomm?a=609264&f=23. The reason I mention this, and I’m not sure of Nicholas’s age but he may remember or even knew someone from this. One commenter mentioned the disaster back in 1988 when a rig owned and operated by an American company, the Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea failed due to safety and maintenance negligence and killed 167 men. That’s 16 times the amount killed in April. As soon as I read that I remembered that because there were so many fatalities. I want to look that up because I was trying to remember if that happened in winter and/or during a stormy season and I thought they said rescue and recovery were very difficult. I had read a post somewhere where someone said the UK never had a fatal incident on a rig. Well, they were wrong. Nicholas, if you remember this, do you remember how this turned out?

  25. Nicholas says:

    Well remembered Joanaroo! Well, I was 18 when Piper Alpha went off. I don’t remember the details from then, but this was brought up yesterday on the BBC. Apparently the British Government told the American Oil co, I think it was Exxon, that they could relax about the compensation- they would cap it or limit it in return for full, open disclosure of all the facts. The top priority was for the industry as a whole to learn the lessons of the disaster.

  26. catsworking says:

    Nicholas, that’s very interesting. I don’t remember the Piper Alpha disaster at all. Even though 167 lives were lost, it was obviously a kinder-gentler time.

    I think what’s sending people over the edge here is the non-stop coverage of all the wildlife and aquatic life dying in oil. And when the Gulf is unable to harvest seafood many years and prices go through the roof or some things become unattainable, there’s going to be lingering resentment.

  27. Hmmmm. Well I feel that too very strongly. It’s sickening to see the poor wildlife injured and helpless, The public distress is very asymmetrical though. With Bhopal, I remember there was, and still is, very little US interest or people “going over the edge” with hundreds of thousands of poisoned HUMANS with respiratory distress, destitute people, thousands dead and hundreds of thousands injured- still to this day. In fact the US government and legal profession has done its very best to avoid responsibility, avoid compensation and, no doubt will have used the local backsheesh method of disempowering the local victims. Now the boot’s on the other foot, all hell breaks loose. It’s really not attractive to watch and very insincere. I’m sorry to repeat the point, but this matter of double standards is central.

    Now we’re getting truly global, we need to understand that all human life has equal value and that standards should be applied across the board, allowing for local culture and values. America is a fantastic country which is one of the key motors of the evolution of global civilisation. Let’s see the best in America stand up in this case.

    I’d like to know how it is that there is no great anger with Transocean which has allegedly been responsible for the majority of accidents in the Gulf (ref todays Mail on Sunday) or Halliburton which allegedly was doing the cementing when it all went wrong. Allegedly, Halliburton used it’s lobbying power to loosen the regulation on the parts/processes which went wrong. I say allegedly because I’m repeating what I read in the newspaper and don’t have direct knowledge.

    The US media and govt need to respond to this maturely and first focus on solving the problem rather than managing the scapegoating. Secondly, they need to bill the compensation fairly. Thirdly and BY FAR the more important, they need to commit to put the resources and policy behind a crusade to develop the technologies required for powering our lifestyle with clean, renewable technology sourced in our own countries and not funding those who wish us harm. Fourthly, they need to hold American companies to these same extremely high standards around the world.

  28. Joanaroo says:

    After I made comment #24 I looked up Piper Alpha on Wikipedia and found similarities to Deepwater Horizon as to how it happened. The link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Alpha gives a detailed description of what happened. In a nutshell, the Piper Alpha rig was a fixed platform on the Piper Oilfield 120 miles NE of Aberdeen, Scotland in 474 feet of water. The platform produced crude oil and natural gas from 24 wells. Safety and maintenance failures contributed to multiple explosions and a fire, and it occured July 6, 1988, not in winter as I thought. The rescue was hampered by the fire and one rescue boat was destroyed with crew members and rescued men killed. The fact was a gas condensate pump was started with the pressure safety valve removed and with a gas compression area being next to the control room, that also played a part in the disaster. The rig was operated by Occidental Petroleum headquarted in Los Angeles and operated as Occidental Petroleum, Ltd. (Caledonia) in the North Sea. Although Occidental was found guilty of negligence, no criminal charges were brought against them.

  29. catsworking says:

    Nicholas, you have pinpointed a serious, but true, disconnect in the American psyche. Many of us have a MUCH higher tolerance for human suffering and death than we do for animals’. I include myself. I can watch news stories of people being slaughtered on the other side of the world on a grand scale and feel a pang of remorse, but I go nuts over one dog or cat being abused. I know it’s totally out of whack and I’m not proud of it. I feel terrible for the people in the Gulf losing their livelihoods and being made sick by the oil, but it’s the stories about oil-covered birds and turtles I can’t stand to watch anymore.

    I think the underlying rationale is that people have some ability to fend for themselves (false as that is, because they don’t always), but animals are helpless and innocent.

    I know, it’s crazy.

    All the points you’ve made are excellent and I agree with you. It’s too bad we don’t have more rational thinkers in our government like you. Americans seem to be becoming more immature by the minute. I think we’re long past the day when the world should look to us as the example or leaders of anything. It’s embarrassing.

    Joanaroo, thanks for researching that other spill. It sounds like it didn’t have much, or any effect on Scotland’s coast or wildlife. It was purely a human disaster, right?

  30. Joanaroo says:

    I looked up Occidental Petroleum in Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occidental_Petroleum and they had been guilty of problems in Colombia as well. I couldn’t find info. though of the effects of the oil and gas on the North Sea but that may be in BBC coverage of that time. As we mourn the deaths of our 11 (9 of whom were Transocean employees), we should remember these 167 as well, with the 22nd anniversary coming up soon. There is the human side of the story covered in BBC On This Day: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/…/6/newsid_3017000/3017294.stm

  31. Yes I agree on the animal-human thing. Animals really are purely innocent and, when covered in oil, helpless so it’s very distressing to see those pictures. I suppose it’s like how we experience unconditional love from and to dogs, where it’s not so easy to do it with people.

  32. Joanaroo says:

    Aw, shoot, the BBC link gave me a 401 message. Sorry about that! I have a more poignant link about the Piper Alpha with reminiscences by survivors of the tragedy and I tested the link. It’s The Night The Sea Caught Fire:Remembering Piper Alpha. It’s http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/spectrum/The-night-the-sea-caught.4184800.jp I will see if I can get a better link on the BBC story. I will comment a little later on the points brought up by Karen and Nicholas, which I agree with. Very stimulating conversation! It’s to hit 90 degrees with thunderstorms so I’m going to the store now! Love ya all and be back soon! Joan

  33. deb says:

    Having just returned from the Gulf of Mexico, I couldn’t help but just stare out at the ocean and its gorgeous sunsets each day thinking that in a matter of weeks, the oil will have washed upon these shores, too.
    For every Southern alive, we have always vacationed on the Gulf. My children have grown up in the waters of Destin and Panama City. My heart is aching for these people who make their living in these waters and those that rely on the tourism.
    BP should be ashamed and damn the Brits for thinking otherwise. I wasn’t fooled by the change of units…gallons then barrels…do you think as are all brain dead?
    I want my grandchildren to be able to swim in these waters. I want my grandchildren to see the dolphins frolic and the manatees lumber in the waters.
    And until such time that this damn oil is capped and ZERO drops are flowing, I will not, did you hear me BP, I will not put your gasoline into a car or a lawn mower or anything.
    You make me sick!

    Sorry…I had to vent! Thanks for the vehicle!

  34. MorganLF says:

    Nicholas- as you can see the reactions are visceral. To all your points about the US past mistakes and accountability issues, that does not nothing to ameliorate the impact of this disaster.

    Yes we can be reminded that BP is a global company that is a vital part of the American energy infrastructure with about one third American ownership, but so what, THEY FUCKED UP.

  35. catsworking says:

    Nicholas, I allow all points of view here unless they get really obscene, so deb’s opinion is as good as any with me.

    deb, in case you haven’t read all the comments before you checked in, Nicholas weighed in on this post from the UK and we discussed the whole Brit-hating thing.

    deb, I hear you. I’ve never been to the Gulf, but I’d feel the same way if the spill were happening somewhere I hold dear.

    The nearest gas station to be BP, but their gas is always more expensive than the Texaco where I usually fill up, so I only go there in a pinch. Now, every time I drive by the place and see that green daisy logo, my stomach hurts.

    I had an Exxon credit card when that spill happened in Alaska, and I cut it up and sent it back to them. Did nothing to hurt their bottom line, but made me feel good, and I have NEVER put Exxon gas in my car again. I’ll probably be the same way with BP unless there’s some major breakthrough soon and they stop that oil flow. But it’s not looking good.

  36. Joanaroo says:

    Oh my God, it’s stinking hot outside! It’s 89 with a 72 degree dewpoint, and 72 is high for PA. The Weather Channel showed a heat index of 96! No wonder it feels like a sauna! Anyway, I know I just hope the oil spill can be stopped before it does turn the Gulf into a service station. If only a plan had been made mandatory for expectation of something like this, more regulation had been kept on, inspections had been regularly done, and so on. It’s unimaginable that a system was never sat up to combat this type of thing. I live 5 mi. from the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant, 35 mi. from the Peach Bottom (Lancaster, PA) plant and 65 mi. from Three Mile Island in Harrisburg, PA. The difference is there is a Nuclear Regulatory Commission and there is not an industry being affected by the plants, although there almost was a meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. But with Deepwater Horizon there was chaos and it looks like negligence won the day.

  37. Joanaroo says:

    We’ve been using gas from the convenience store Wawa and the grocery store Giant but I’ll have to check who they get it from. I don’t even know if there is a BP in the Pottstown-Limerick area. I have a Honda scooter I need to get repaired so I can use it. It has an 80cc engine and gets 100 miles to a gallon so while it’s warm weather I can make trips to the store with it. Our area is expanding and new stores are coming in so we don’t have to travel far to certain stores anymore. Talking about animals, I think we’re bothered by them in distress because we expect them to be treated better than us in a way, and someone, I think Gandhi said the measure of man’s worth is how he treats animals. I hate to see animal abuse too, which is why here my sister and I have rescued cats for years.

  38. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, it’s hot as hell in Virginia, too. I went to buy groceries and was soaking wet by the time I drove a mile to Food Lion. I bought raw chicken and was afraid it would turn to poison by the time I could get it home and into the fridge.

  39. Joanaroo says:

    I have Accu-Weather Premium on my phone that has the Doppler radar on it and just looking I saw a big storm heading this way. Not that it will do much good. It’s a weak cold front. Looked earlier and near Central America there’s a tropical wave they said may become a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Alex. I said, Oh no. That’s all we need with the Gulf the way it is.

  40. Joanaroo says:

    Nicholas, I think one problem BP execs have is they seem to need to put their foot in their mouth before they say anything. Today the head honcho, Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg had to open his cakehole and say he was going to do the right thing for the small people. All he had to do is substitute Gulf for small in his head before it hit the tongue. I may be nitpicking to the Brits, but when BP had an explosion at their Texas City Refinery that caused fatalities, e-mails sent by the PR department, of all people hinted that coverage of the Terri Schaivo case (where Republicans found the strength to meet overnight to interfere in the husband’s business of disconnecting her life support) would draw attention away from the refinery deaths and the fact it was a holiday weekend would, ahem, help BP. This is the kind of stuff that gets Americans mad AT BP. Texas City was found to be caused by lapses and negligence as well.

  41. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, in BP’s defense (I know, that seems strange), their spin on covering their tracks was no worse than what ANY U.S. corporate PR department would have done.

  42. Joanaroo says:

    Yeah, that’s true, still anything being blamed on negligence that kills employees should not be just cast aside as Oh, people died. Too bad. Let’s go enjoy our holiday. I’m just so damn sick of this whole thing. The loss of human life, animals, future health problems, watershed damage. I know it goes on here too as I mentioned above with Millville, LA. Thank goodness for my cats to keep me going. Although I can say I’m glad I’m not a kid growing up in this decade. Geezus, what kind of future are they going to have? Yes, man’s inhumanity to man.

  43. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, the images of what’s happening in the Gulf right now are enough to turn anyone’s stomach, but I’m wondering, like you, what the lasting effects of this will be. Years from now, will people be getting all sorts of horrible cancers from their exposure to the oil? How many species of animals won’t be able to survive at all?

    I just see the whole area becoming a barren, toxic dump where nothing can survive, and the economy of the whole country taking a major shift to make up for all that will be lost.

    Makes me glad I don’t have any kittens.

  44. Tuxi says:

    Yeah, same here, Karen, but only because I like pummeling Bev’s kittens! Her 3 love their Aunt Tuxi and Socks the male wants to make kittens with me but we’re all fixed. I know Mom is beyond wondering why these political fools don’t do something. Gulf cats will get ill from this and shit I hope Gulf people don’t start abandoning and surrendering cats because of hardship. Our species went thru hell with Katrina. One disaster like that is enough! Nope, can’t understand these humans at all!

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