Neither political party really cares about offshore drilling. The biggest concern has always been to appeal to the voters – either under the guise of cheaper oil or the assurance of no environmental damage to coastlines.
The oil companies have been negligent – collectively they have not invested in adequate research to prevent or respond to environmental damage due to unforeseen disasters. At times it seems like the potential of disasters has been secondary to profits. In addition, our government agencies have not exercised due diligence in evaluating promises made by big oil in acquiring rights for offshore drilling.
Now, with the disaster in the Gulf at hand, the “new” concern is over a potential financial crisis in Great Britain. Imagine, BP being required to put aside funds to pay for all the damage being done to our coastline. The risk now is that BP might go bankrupt and that might adversely affect retirees in Great Britain.
Trust me, that is not the real concern. The issue not being discusses is that many big funds have invested in big oil for years and they have been enjoying dividends that would not have been there if the oil industry had put aside funds for potential disasters – disasters like the one that occurred in Alaska and now the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, many rich Americans and British citizens are heavily invested in BP stock and have enjoyed its dividends for years. It would truly be a shame for these rich individuals to have their dividends reduced or halted to help B.P. pay for its cleanup efforts. My heart bleeds for the rich that might lose a dividend check or two.
The problem is that the U. S. Government now says it would not be fair to Great Britain and to the citizens of Great Britain who depend on dividends – nor would it be fair to the value of BP stock. The other pathetic justification is that Great Britain has been the U. S.’s staunchest supporter in the Iraq and Afghan wars.
To that, I say “Big Woop”.
The biggest group of supporters in our collective effort in both wars has been United States citizens and the U. S. Military. Please consider the thousands of U. S. military who have died, the tens of thousands who have come back with physical and mental injuries, and the millions of relatives and friends who have been there to support the troops – mostly because of the saber rattling and the constant thirst for war by numerous U. S. Administrations.
Many of these good citizens who have supported our war effort reside in the Gulf coastline area and other areas in the Southeast and up the east coast, which are expected to be in the path of oil that is in the Gulf’s loop current. These are the individuals who stand to lose the most.
Our primary responsibility is to OUR taxpayers FIRST – after all, they are the one’s who pay the taxes.
Anyone in our government who puts British citizens ahead of ours should be voted out of office – no questions asked, regardless of party affiliation. It is bad enough that our government puts Wall Street and big business in general ahead of its citizens.
Fund managers voluntarily choose which stocks to invest in. There is a risk involved and if they make bad choices they will have to suffer the consequences. The fund will under perform and the fund manager might get fired due to making risky choices.
I personally feel the pending B.P. dividend payout should be reassessed and some of it should be immediately diverted to a clean-up fund. If that action results in big oil stocks declining in value, then so be it.
Many citizens of the Gulf area are going to lose their livelihood, their businesses, their homes, and their lifestyle, as they now know it. It might be decades before they are adequately compensated – if that ever happens.
The head of B. P. said he wants his life back – to that I say, he should resign, sign over any stock he is personally in possession of, and he should personally apologize for his poor leadership – especially the shortcuts and bad decisions that resulted in this disaster.
Years ago, people were tarred and feathered and run out of town. Well, we sure have a lot of tar available in the Gulf and I am sure many of our damaged feathered friends would donate some of their feathers so Tony Hayward can be adequately tarred and feathered and sent on his way. President Obama could then say “Nice job, Tony”.