In defense of BP (sort of)

I’m sure this wins me little sympathy but I want to be clear about what I’m defending.

First and foremost, this is BP’s responsibility to cleanup the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, nobody is denying that. When you venture into offshore drilling, you also accept responsibility for any accidents related to it. This is similar to other major industries where public trust and acceptance of great responsibility is inherent.

However, what sickens me is the Obama administration’s constant berating of BP as if they are some evil villain in this case. A few questions I’d like answered before labeling BP as “evil”:

  • Did BP act negligent with regard to safety on this particular oil rig?
  • Did BP downplay the initial disaster in press reports?

I have seen no evidence or answers to either of these questions, only instantaneous claims from the Obama administration in an attempt to shift any blame off their inadequate response. Please post links and correct me if I am wrong.

Without definitive answers to both of those questions, this is nothing more than a tragic environmental accident which BP has agreed to cleanup. Let us also not forget the 11 men who have most likely perished as a result of the accident.

Aside from that, I get so sick and tired of politicians who jump at anything to demonize corporations, especially oil companies for anything they do. Exxon-Mobil was the old “evil corporation” liberals used to decry. As a proud former Exxon stockholder, that irritated me also.

BP is one of a few companies providing energy for America. They do so at incredible risk and incredible profit. They help keep our energy sources available and provide a service almost every American relies on. When we go to the gas station, we expect fuel to fill our cars without thinking about the difficulty and complexity involved in actually drilling for and extracting oil. Even if you never visit a BP gas station, you have probably used BP gas. Each oil company puts some gas in the lines which flow all over the country. At that point they take an equal amount out wherever they need it. There may be some different additives which are put in after they take it out but it is a mixture from numerous companies when they take it out of the pipeline.

Americans want this oil spill cleaned up and we want someone held accountable if there is evidence someone was negligent in doing their job. This includes BP and/or the Obama administration.

What is also a requirement right now, especially given Obama’s dismal economy, is to keep gas prices low which means we have to continue allowing for the expansion of offshore drilling. We cannot put an end to this form of energy exploration as it is one of the handful of ways we can reduce a dependence on foreign oil.

Finally, we must all remember that it is in BP’s best financial interest to avoid any accidents on any scale. This is the best policeman of corporate responsibility.