November 8, 2010
Right! The President covered for the oil company for months. They restricted press access to the affected waters. The declined the recommendations of their own scientists. They underestimated the amount of oil leaking from the disaster.
We already know that BP was drilling deeper than they were supposed to. We know they had accumulated an awesome number of violations of regulations and had violated the regulations on a regular basis. We know their conduct in the 2002 gas explosion and their maintenance of the Alaska pipeline were disastrous. We know that they had good reason to believe their cement was substandard, this cement being one of the causes of the incident.
In short, the White House has a strong interest in giving British Petroleum a clean bill of health.
We also know that considering BP’s conduct that such a clean bill of health is not credible.
I am far more interested in the outcome of the lawsuits by the states and individuals harmed by this disaster.
The tragedy is that these findings may not be public for at least seven years. By that time, the heat on the government and that corporation will have long dissipated.
Whatever, you may think of the finding, in the long term it will be effective in blunting criticism and, more important, buying time.
Cynicism is merited.
July 30, 2010
That’s right! British Petroleum has found a new way to make money. They have taken a perfectly legal tax deduction for their losses caused by the oil spill enabling them to evade $10,000,000,000 of taxes.
That’s ten billion dollars the federal government has to get somewhere else. Goodness Gracious, who might the burden of taxes fall on without BP paying its share? I wonder.
Loren Steffy writing for the Houston Chronicle is all over this. Steffy points out that considering these kinds of tax benefits, claiming that corporations pay too much taxes is disingenuous, since very often they pay none at all.
The feds could have figured this into their 20 billion dollar escrow fund but didn’t, so essentially BP is only on the hook for ten billion of it. The rest we pay for.
June 9, 2010
Professor MacDonald has an interesting post today (It’s dated June 9th.).
Here is an excerpt -
Professor Chris MacDonald
… there’s the fact that a boycott of BP gas stations won’t actually hurt the organization you’re trying to hurt. In practice, “boycotting BP” means boycotting BP-branded retail outlets. And as an editorial in the LA Times pointed out, “BP stations are independently owned, so a boycott hurts individual retailers more than London-based BP.” So, sure, boycott BP stations — that is, if your goal is to hurt a bunch of small businesses already operating on razor-thin profit margins. Put a few minimum-wage gas jockeys and cashiers out of work. The difference simply will not be felt at BP’s head office. (The same naturally goes for vandalism of BP stations, which is both unethical and criminal.)
I wanted to do something to hurt the company’s profits. But MacDonald is quite right. A boycott would be ineffective.
His reasoned argument is better than my emotional response but isn’t that the way it always is, reason defeats emotion if given time?
I can add to his argument, that Loren Steffy of the Houston Chronicle business page has been suggesting in his last three blog posts that British Petroleum is likely to wind up in bankruptcy or acquired by another company. What effect will a boycott have on that situation? None as far as I can tell. Not to mention that the enormous losses arising out of the current disaster are far more economically damaging then anything a boycott could approach. It seems likely that the company will perish on its own.