Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is BP Intentionally Stalling for It’s Own Good?

This morning, British Petroleum (BP) said it’s latest scheme to end the oil slick gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the past 12-weeks is on hold, because of a leaking pipe.

If it isn’t one thing, it is another – for 12-weeks – that’s over three-months – since the April 20 explosion which killed 11 people on the BP oil rig, and has been unleashing a torrent of toxic oil into ecosystems stretching thousands of kilometres.

The latest efforts to repair the deep drilled oil well – so deep even military divers can’t get down there, only robots can handle the pressures at those depths – was supposed to be “the” fix to finally stop the oil.

Less than 12-hours after it began, this fool-proof fix made fools of us all.

Or did it?

Granted, BP’s stock price has ridden the ups and downs of this fiasco, the company has had to shell out billions of dollars, and even took a very public dressing down from the most powerful man in the world – American President Barack Obama.

However, as the old saying goes, any press, is good press.

Despite the negative comments hurled at BP for creating the world’s worst human-caused environmental disaster – even when compared to the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 – BP has been consistently in the press for the past three-months.

That’s not all bad, because the more your name is out there, the more valuable your business is. Sure it isn’t good news, but that hasn’t stopped BP from making money.

And that’s why the question has been raised, that maybe BP is intentionally stalling it’s clean up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

What a horrible thing to say! To think that major, multinational company would intentionally do harm to the environment just to increase its value.

However it isn’t completely without basis, major multinational companies have gone to great lengths in the past to succeed, even when it means doing things not exactly kosher.

Just look at the Enron scandal, where the company intentionally mislead investors by over inflating it’s profits by $1 billion dollars in 2001. This lead to criminal convictions, suicides by executives, and the eventual failure of the company.

Or look at American Airlines, which has repeatedly delayed repairs ordered by the American government’s Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) regarding its fleet of aging MD-80 airliners. Some of these repairs could affect the lives of everyone on-board, as failing to repair cracks to pressure bulkheads could cause the cabin to depressurize, leading to the catastrophic loss of the plane.

Clearly, business ethics aren’t front and center in the hearts and minds of the world’s corporate elite.

So, is BP stalling to make the most of a bad situation?

Only the time will tell.

Meanwhile, the environment and those who live in the affected areas continue to suffer, due to BP’s continued negligence.

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