Is BP bashing getting out of hand? The latest salvos from US legislators are over BP’s involvement in the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
David Cameron, the British prime minister, has defended BP saying the decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was the Scottish governments alone.
But it’s a bit rich for a nation that has the biggest lobbying industry in the world, that regularly waters down legislation and strong arms other nations into buying American, to be questioning the motive of others.
It’s not just me that thinks the US is being hypocritical in its handling of this crisis.
Bloomberg columnist Matthew Lynn under the headline, “BP Needs to Tell Whining Americans to Take a Hike”, says the
US is guilty of crazy double standards. [BP Chief Executive Tony] Hayward should go on TV and say: “Excuse me, which country is the biggest oil consumer on the planet? Who refused to do anything about climate change, or even to put sensible taxes on gas? Heck, your president even flies around in a 747 when a modest Gulfstream jet would get him there just as fast. So of course the oil companies have to drill in more and more dangerous places. If you insist on being addicted to cheap oil, you have to recognise there are risks attached. So grow up, and stop acting like children.”
Jon Snow, a presenter for Channel 4 News in the UK, compares BP with Union Carbide. The US company was responsible for probably the worst-ever environmental disaster in Bophal, India.
At least 3,000 people died immediately, some 15,000 are estimated to have died since as a results of ingesting the fumes… Beyond the 11 people killed on the exploding oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico no one has yet died from the consequent oil spill. Yet an American president is now at war with a British multinational and all political guns are blazing.”
Snow also points out an arrest warrant has been issued for the Warren Anderson, the former Union Carbide chief executive, but no action has been taken.
Wouldn’t it be better if Barack Obama, the US president, stood up told US companies to cough up for their environmental disasters globally?
He may want to start with Chevron, which is on the hook for $27 billion, for dumping 56 billon litres of toxic waste in the Amzon rainforest of Ecuador. Chevron claims it’s done its bit and the rest is up Petro Ecuador.