Sometimes I read a ludicrous headline and I give my head a shake and then just get on with the business of living my life - at other times I need to "spill". This headline is one of those times - BP is going to pay for the cleanup? This is one of those catastrophes (man made) where hardly a soul on the planet goes without paying for the aftermath in someway. Men died and families are without son's, husbands, fathers and brothers - will BP be paying for the "clean up" there - it can't - money can't clean it up. What about the loss of animal, plant and sea life? That can't be bought either - there is no way anyone can "pay for" that kind of wreckage. And the families that are dependent on industries that are in turn dependent on all that is effected by this man made disaster - can BP clean up the mess of lost incomes, lost homes, children going without their basic needs being met? I think not. I just can't shake this one off and get on with the business of living my life - not without spilling!
I hear ya'! Everything you said is so true...There is no amount of money that can fix this. Humans are prone to accidents...I'm surprised this hasn't happened before...to this degree. (And then there is the loss of human life) Still...there should have been some fail safe protection...a remote operated valve control...or something. I am so sorry for our neighbors in Alabama and the LA. Delta. Yet, I know it will only be a matter of time before big remnants of this tragedy hit the Texas Coast...and all the wildlife preserve marshland areas...along there. Suddenly, hearing the phrase:"paying for the oil spill"...doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Just like Exxon Paid. They paid by fighting the judgment in court for 20 years until every last penny of punitive damages was overturned.
BP will fight ever single claim and the Federal Government will play a role in helping them.
Who is going to pay for the increased price of goods that can't move in and out of the shipping lanes? Who is going to pay for the little guys who are put out of business but don't have the money to hire attorneys to fight the Big Bad Oil company?
Saying that BP will "Pay" for the oil spill is like saying I just backed over your dog in the driveway... he's dead... but don't worry I'll pay for him.
A small native population in the Amozon has been fighting for years to get Texaco/Conaco to just "clean up" the mess they made there from drilling done YEARS ago. Even though people are dieing from cancers at alarming rates and at young ages, babies are covered with terrible rashes from being bathed in contaminated water, and other health issues, so far the oil giant refuses to even ADMITT any responsibility! To think BP will simply step up to the plate and do the right thing is a thought best regulated to a fairytale yet to be written. I read they already have representitives contacting local families to "sign on the dotted line" for a $5000 pittance, relieving BP from future lawsuits. This may or may not be true. But I certainly wouldn't be surprised. They know their butt is in a sling over this whole mess. And, naturally, to them it all boils down to dollars and cents. But don't just blame the CEO, or other hot shots from BP. Blame, too, the SHAREHOLDERS who are all about the bottom line. Most of them probably have hedge funds to keep them from going broke, while the planet may or may not recover from this terrible consequence of the greed. And blame us as a nation for our addiction to oil and other petroleum based products that we have grown too comfortable to live without.
I can't imagine what the folks down at the Gulf who depend on the sea for their livelyhood are going through. The personal suffering has just started for them, and who can predict how far it will go? This is the worse situation I have seen in my 53 years of living, and I fear there is much more to come.
"Just like Exxon Paid. They paid by fighting the judgment in court for 20 years until every last penny of punitive damages was overturned."
That is not true, no matter how many times you repeat it.
"That is not true, no matter how many times you repeat it."
The FACTS speak for themselves.
By a 5-3 vote, the high court ruled that the punitive damages award should be slashed to a maximum amount equal to the total relevant compensatory damages of $507.5 million.
The justices overturned a ruling by a U.S. Court of Appeals that had awarded the record punitive damages to about 32,000 commercial fishermen, Alaska natives, property owners and others harmed by the spill.
In the majority opinion, Justice David Souter concluded the $2.5 billion in punitive damages was excessive under federal maritime law, and should be cut to the amount of actual harm.
Soaring oil prices have propelled Exxon Mobil to previously unforeseen levels of profitability in recent years; the company posted earnings of $40.6 billion in 2007.
It took Exxon Mobil just under two days to bring in $2.5 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2007.
The Exxon Valdez supertanker ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound in March 1989, spilling about 11 million gallons of crude oil.
The spill spread oil to more than 1,200 miles of coastline, closed fisheries and killed thousands of marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of sea birds.
A federal jury in Alaska awarded $5 billion in punitive damages in 1994. A federal judge later reduced the punitive damages to $4.5 billion, and the appeals court further cut it to $2.5 billion.
Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. company by market capitalization, then appealed to the Supreme Court.
'SLAP ON THE WRIST'
In Alaska, Tim Joyce, mayor of the Prince William Sound town of Cordova, where most of the area's fishing fleet is concentrated, said, "Instead of taking a large corporation to the woodshed, they just gave them a slap on the wrist."
Compared to Exxon's billions of dollars of quarterly profit, "$500 million, that's lost in the rounding," he said. "A lot of people had their whole lives ruined because of this."
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin also denounced the ruling and said, "The court gutted the jury's decision on punitive damages."
A joint statement from Alaska's congressional delegation said, "Today's ruling adds insult to injury to the fishermen, communities and Alaska natives who have been waiting nearly 20 years for proper compensation following the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history."
Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said: "This is good news for companies concerned about reining in excessive punitive damages." The business group said the ruling could have an impact far beyond federal maritime law.
$507.5 million is just a wee bit more than "every last penny," isn't it?
The Supreme Court reduced the punitive damages, ruling that they were out of proportion with the compensatory damages. Punitive damages were set at a one to one ratio with the compensatory damages.
Exxon has already paid more than $3 billion in fines, cleanup expenses, and other costs.
There is still an open legal challege related to the captain of the vessel.
11 million gallons of crude oil in total versus 8 million gallons A DAY for weeks. All the money in the world cannot put this one right! There are globs of oil the size of softballs showing up in the New Orleans marshlands - this is bigger than any man made disaster we have ever, as humankind, faced before. This earth is our home, our collective home and collectively we are all responsible as guardians and we are so out of integrity in that role that we are like a seething mass of unruly children wreaking havoc without conscious and without regard to the consequences of our actions or lack thereof. I think it is high time we all grew up and started caring for and about each other, the planet and the other life forms upon it! So far we have horribly missed the mark. And this is the legacy our generation leaves. Arguing dollars and sense is just a distraction in my view - money is not the problem here - we are the problem and we are the solution!
"$507.5 million is just a wee bit more than "every last penny," isn't it?"
It's next to nothing for a company that pulls in $40 Billion plus per year in pure profit. A company that instead of doing the right thing and just taking care of the problem chose instead to fight the mess they created in court for 20 years.
But sure if you want to side with Oil Companies destroying the planet and using the Courts to get out of paying for the mess then that's your prerogative.
BP will do the exact same thing. Americans sill pay, the environment will pay, BP will just raise the price of gasoline. That's how big business works.
As mentioned above if you want a clearer picture you can read what Texaco did to South America before declaring bankruptcy and being sucked up by Chevron.
Big deal. NV is right on the money in his sentiments.
That is exactly how business operates and anytime money is the motivating factor, you have immoral behavior.
Lust for money is the root of all evil.
You know who the best workers, inventors, business-people etc are?
The ones who do it for the love of it, or the thrill of it, or the challenge of it.
Not the ones who do it to make money.
AGREED - It is do what you love and the money will follow not lust for the money and the love will follow!
Isn't all the money everyone keeps talking about here basically fiat money anyway? So forget the money for a moment, please, and look at the actual problem. The earth, like the human body, is about 75% salt water. How much crude oil could a human body take in and still be healthy? That's how I see this problem. Of course tar balls are washing up. Of course wildlife is dieing. And the oil is STILL GUSHING OUT! I'm scared. Scared for the health of this planet. No amount of money can buy us another Earth!
So, you think this particular accident is going to destroy the earth?
No, I don't think this will destroy the earth. I think it will cause certain areas of the earth to be VERY unhealthy. And since the food chain is so closely and directly connected to the sea, it is a very scarey situation to me. And since the economy of our nation has suffered so much in recent years... (decades), and since the greed involved in the risky offshore drilling has compounded, I expect the situation at the Gulf will not be resolved quickly, and the environment AND economy will suffer even more. The key players in this mess, BP, Transocean, and Haliburton, have began finger pointing, and it is likely that will continue. No one wants to "take the blame", which will delay whatever clean up efforts need funding. Eventually tax payers will be footing the bill, while years and years of court battles try to settle the money end of it. And no matter how much money, from whatever source in thrown into the mix, the damage has been done, and contunues to be done, as long as the oil keeps gushing out. So in my humble opinion, this disaster has destroyed many aspects of different lives.
"since the greed involved in the risky offshore drilling has compounded"
What do you mean by that multi-loaded statement?
compound - adj. having more than one part; n. something made by combining parts, a mixture; v. mix, combine
greed - n. wanting more than one's share, extreme or excessive desire
- what part of "the greed involved in the risky offshore drilling has compounded" do you not understand?
Mining for coal is risky, working at a nuclear plant is risky, building a windmill in your garden is pointless. There is risk involved in certain endeavors and the nation - and the world - will not run on you desire that this fact be different. Greed - if you have a problem with capitalism that should be the topic of another thread entirely.
greed is one of the seven deadly sins - and to sin is to miss the mark - and we as humankind have definitely missed the mark on this one. Calculated risk - yes, blind risk without thought to consequences - no!
However did you arrive at Greed = Capitalism?
Greed and capitalism are two entirely different aspects of commerce. The guy who, for example, runs small store A, and gives people the correct change after their purchase, is working in the commerce of captitalism. The guy who runs small store B, and "short changes" kids who come to him to but candy bars is working in the commerce of greed. Can I even hope you will see the difference?
History shows how the oil companies are notoriously NOT willing to step up to the plate and pay for the damage they have done. They have to be forced, through the court system to "do the right thing", and then after appeals, and long running battles, they still come out on top. So please forgive me if I don't cry buckets of tears for the oil companies. Especially since prices were manipulated recently, by spectulators to increase their PROFITS.
And, as I mentioned in my very first post on this thread, we ALL share the greedy blame.
When offshore drilling first began, there were no wells drilled at the extrordainary depths that are drilled today. Do YOU think the deeper and deeper wells would be drilled if profit weren't a motivating factor?
There are 55 MMS, (Mineral Management Service), inspectors to birddog over 30,000 rigs and platforms in the Gulf today. Eash rig is SUPPOSE to be inspected monthly, each platform yearly. Deepwater Horizon had at least 16 FEWER inspections by MMS than are required! MMS in a federal agency, that not only regulates, and inspects safety performance in the industry, but also recieves billions in royalities from the industry. (Kind of like letting the bank robber oversee the bank security, don't you think)?
Of course greed is involved in the risk of allowing wells to be drilled at these extream depts while current technology has no way of fixing huge problems, like the one now going on in the Gulf, occur. And it is compounded by the bottom line of shareholders who want to see profits in their stock, and by a greedy public who wants to "fill up" and drive their cars, and drink their water from plastic bottles, and bring their groceries home in plastic bags.
If you can't understand the greed that has compounded the risks that are being taken in offshore drilling , I can't help you.
Look... I worked in the natural gas industry for years. Many of the same practices, and princepals apply as do in the oil industry. I saw first hand shortcuts that were taken to save money, safety violations included. Not to save lives, but, I repeat, to save MONEY. I quit the industry because of the moral issues I had over safety issues, and the environmental impact. I made more money in that industry than in any other pursuit I have ever endeavored. No one is in oil, or gas to lose money.
Also it was reported that BP was sending out reps to get folks in coastal areas of the Gulf to "sign on the dotted line" for a mere $5000, with the understanding no future lawsuits would be filed. Do you think BP was being benevolent, or were they simply hedging their bets in a greedy bid to NOT pay for the personal costs to individuals, and families that will no doubt be effected by this mess?
P.S. You said in an above comment that Exxon has paid over $3 billion in fines, cleanup expenses, and other costs. So what? Why shouldn't they have? But fines and clean ups costs doesn't fix problems such as years of not being able to support a family with the livilyhood so many people depend on from the sea. Or the wildlife lost in these kinds of disasters. But when large regions of a country are effected with disaster, the whole nation suffers. If you don't believe it, research the effects of the Dust Bowl to this country. To individuals, families, and to the national economy.
If I had more than two thumbs I'd be holding them all up - way to go Cathi!!!!!!! Well done!
Thank you raisingme.
The truth is, I get just almost inflamed over the petty nit picking I've heard since this terrible disaster has happened, and continues to happen!
Especially since the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 EXEMPTIONS from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico, SINCE the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded! Can you believe that?
So we're getting enough "lip service" and empty promises from the "powers that be" while they quitely go on with business as usual! We don't need unimformed BULL or nit picking from fellow Hubbers who choose to ignore the very real consequences of this huge disaster.
Consequences never dealt with before, and at this point, not being dealt with effectively!
Also, even though people tend constantly compare this disaster to the Exxon Valdez, there is really no comparison. Not just because of volume, but the oil on the Valdez "spilled" at surface level, and was a different kind of oil from the crude gushing into the gulf. So now we have a MILE deep flow, from source to surface, then a hugely more massive "slick" on the surface, consisting of a different kind of oil. Also to be considered are variables in water temps, currents, and seasonal aspects.
I'm so scared for our beautiful planet. This will, I believe, prove to be much more environmentally far reaching than anything we have ever experienced before.
I think that in the case of offshore drilling that the oil isn't the only thing that is "slick" - I think there were some pretty slick moves made before it even went ahead and I hope to hell they are not slick enough to talk their way out of this mess!
"When offshore drilling first began, there were no wells drilled at the extrordainary depths that are drilled today. Do YOU think the deeper and deeper wells would be drilled? "
Because regulations were put in place about drilling closer to shore and because the readily accessible deposits there had already been exploited.
Sab Oh, Deepwater Horizon recieved 6 "incidents of noncompliance", which means CITATIONS, durning it's working history. These included citations for problems with the BLOWOUT PREVENTOR. So... the blowout preventor, didn't prevent the blowout that is now causing the horrible disaster in the Gulf!
For the last 64 months, 25% of the monthly required inspections, WERE NOT PERFORMED on the Deepwater Horizon rig. And the numbers, in fact, represent a 59% shortfall in the number of inspections that should have been preformed.
So regulations are only as good as they are inforced.
In your above comment you use the word, exploited. And EXPLOITED is the perfect word to use! Because due to the exploitation of the nautral oil reserves in the Gulf, (not to be confused with UTILIZING, or simply TAPPING INTO), this terrible situation has come upon a basically trusting and un-informed public, including yourself.
It's your right to nit pick whatever sentences I write, to white wash the problem that has been created. But the simple fact is, there is a problem. And the solution is so far, illusive.
I seriously doubt car manufactors would be allowed to put their products on the road with brake systems not in place. But these deep, deep, drilling rigs are already in place, with no prior, workable plan to fix the problem, and ABSOLUTE safety issues that have now brought us to the terrible situation in the Gulf.
I don't know... maybe you think it's all okay. Maybe you just don't care about what has happened. I don't understand what your deal is. But know this: I'm finished wasting MY time addressing your bullsh*t. Do you understand me? Go frolic in the land of denial if that makes you feel good.
I do think if you HAVE an opinion, you might state it, rather than playing these silly word games. But, since you seem to prefer the games, like I said, I quit.
Ditto on the "I quit" on the "silly word games". That being said I am grateful for them in that I learned a lot from what you posted in response! Thank YOU!
"I don't understand what your deal is. But know this: I'm finished wasting MY time addressing your bullsh*t. Do you understand me?"
No, I don't. Could you explain it a bit more carefully?
" maybe you think it's all okay. Maybe you just don't care about what has happened. "
When did I say that? I think you are a little over excited.
BP saying they will pay for the cleanup is no big deal. Current law currently stipulates they must.
Wherever globs of oil show up, they will be removed and BP will pay. Whatever government resourses are deployed, a bill will be prepared and BP will pay.
However current law limits the payout for DAMAGES to 75 million. So if the shrimp industry is wiped out, tourism in Florida clobbered, when damages hit 75 million - it's oh well, sorry about that. There are moves in Congress to raise the cap retroactively to 10 Billion. Guess which party is opposed.
We might lose the only living coral reef in the USA. I hear that oil underwater, if it gets to that part of the Keys, will just paint the coral and kill it. What price do you put on that? They are using a chemical dispersant on the surface oil, which attaches to the surface slick and takes it to the bottom of the Gulf. That will reduce what shows up on the beach and wetlands, but the effect to the underwater ecology is unknown (and incalculable, which has to make the BP lawyers happy).
It will be years before the American public will know the full extent of the damage to tourism, wildlife, the fishing, prawning and oyster industries etc. Not sure if BP sees itself liable for all this damage or just liable for the clean up.
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