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In Defense Of BP

August 5, 2010

OK - full disclosure. I don't own any stock or have any pecuniary interest at all in British Petroleum. So there.

Shepard Smith comes completely unhinged during every newscast about the "disaster" in the Gulf, and how the big corporation BP is just evil incarnate, especially its CEO Tony Hayward, and almost his entire focus is on how the evil corporation is screwing up the entire Gulf Coast. Really? So much for "fair and balanced". Let's take a look at reality.

1. Why was BP even in mile-deep water in the first place? After the Exxon-Valdez spill in 1989, the environmentalists were completely up in arms, so the Congress jumped (funny how a minuscule constituency such as environmentalist wackos can cause them to act, but when 70% of the "rest of us" didn't want the Health Care bill, they didn't even flinch). After intense negotiations, there was a deal struck between big government and oil companies: "We'll tell you where to drill, and in return we'll limit your liability". Fair enough. "By the way, oil company - you can't drill anywhere in shallow water. That might spoil the view of the millionaires who own ocean-front property, and we sure do want to protect the general public, don't we? So, go out in really deep water where we can't see you and drill there". Never mind it's inherently dangerous, and nobody really knows how to do this, "but if there's a problem, we've got your back". Yeah, right.

2. Research question: Who owned the oil platform? "BP", you say? Wrong, Bucko! It was owned by Transocean, and several other companies were involved in the operation, but BP was a major investor in the actual drilling project with 65% of the investment. Oh, and the evil corporation Halliburton was involved (you just knew George Bush and Dick Cheney had something to do with this, didn't you?). Here's something to keep in mind. Having been in business all of my adult life I can tell you one thing: When you sub-contract the work, you sub-contract part of the control as well. Heard anybody blaming Transocean lately? Now, this is really a minor point since BP was the major player, but it just shows how the talking heads always go after the big boy, and the guys on the ground who were actually there are ignored.

3. The clean-up was totally screwed up by our favorite Uncle, and once the Obama Administration became involved, decisions of any consequence had to go through 40 different approvals (a number I made up, by the way, and is probably too small) which made managing the crisis a committee affair. Know what a Jackass is? It's a horse designed by a committee. Our government turned this whole thing into a jackass.

4. What was more important to the government and the media? The fact that millions of gallons of oil spilled into the gulf harming defenseless fishies, or the fact that 11 people died on the platform when it exploded and sank? Do you even know the names of the families that lost a loved one, who happed also to be a valuable human being? I didn't think so. Wikipedia has 41 screenfulls (on my computer) about the event, and the deaths are mentioned once, pretty much in passing, and none of the names, ages, or their families are mentioned.

5. This was NOT the largest oil disaster in history - not even close. Can I give you an idea of worse disasters? The largest was World War II, where oil tankers were specifically targeted (90 were sunk in the Gulf of Mexico alone - hear anything about that from Shep?). WWI was probably next, followed, in no particular order, by Vietnam, Korea, Gulf 1, Gulf 2 - do I need to go on? Remember the burning oil wells Sadam left us as a present in Kuwait?? By the way, in WWII, it was not just the oil tankers, and not just the Gulf. Every time a ship was sunk of any kind, all the fuel and oil onboard went down as well. Oil still leaks up from the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. Based on coverage of the "BP" disaster, we should all have been destitute if not dead years ago because of all the oil that spilled in the latter half of the 20th century. Funny how that didn't happen. Oh, by the way...they're perplexed as to how the disaster they'd predicted as a result of the spill just didn't happen. Can you say "intelligent design"?

6. Was Tony Hayward insensitive? Probably. But he told the truth. He probably did want his life back. I'm sure he'd rather been anywhere than talking to a bunch of self-serving "journalists". But, you cannot tell the truth in today's world unless the answer is politically correct. Funny how nobody said anything about the 11 families who lost their loved ones until Tony wanted his life back. Talk about insensitive!

7. Did BP, and all the associated other companies screw the pooch on this one? Of course. Ever made a mistake yourself? Ever had to clean up someone else's mistake? At least you and I didn't have the entire Obama Administration and every news organization on earth breathing down our necks and second-guessing every move we made. I'd probably had to shoot someone. Maybe that's why the didn't call me to take over Tony's job.

So, how about this. Give BP a pass on this one. All in all, I think they did a pretty good job. The oil was cleaned up, the well is being capped, and the only damage done was by the Obama Administration who cost the jobs of every oil worker in the South, and by the Media who so over-hyped the problem that they drove visitors away in droves from the Gulf Coast.

Oh, and about those fishies? Guess what? They can smell the oil and swim the other way. Pelicans are just dumb, I guess. I really don't give a rat's a....


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