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Counting the Cost
The people vs BP
A look at the oil spill, property in Dubai, and the economic impact of the World Cup.
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2010 15:10 GMT

I don't think, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig went down in the Gulf of Mexico, that many of us thought we would still be talking about it two months later.

And yet here we are. 

There have been numerous, failed attempts to stop the flow of oil ... there have been numerous dressings-down from the Obama administration ... and there have been numerous falls in the fortunes and reputation of BP.

And yet here we are. 

Nothing is changing, arguably it is all getting worse, and people are wondering if the environment along the US Gulf Coast will ever be the same and if people's livelihoods will ever recover.

It is all quite astonishing really.

But I'm a business journalist, and so I tend to look at more than just the impact on (in this case) the people and the environmental damage. To that end I have even been criticised by colleagues for "taking the side of the corporations" which is not actually true. 

I just think that, as with anything, there are two sides to a story.

Yes, BP has been caught napping, it was not prepared for this ... and its response has been at times inept. 

But there you have a once proud company, its value halved in the space of eight weeks, and with the ire of the world on its shoulders.

The fact is this could have happened to any one of the Big Oil companies, and as such should serve as a wakeup call to all of them, not just BP.

You'll see that on our broadcast this week actually.

Representatives from all the big companies got an absolute blasting in a hearing on Capitol Hill ... that was before BP had its "day in court" as well as its audience with the President at the White House.

Probably not the audience it was looking for, but Barack Obama has been pretty tough throughout this whole thing and when he summons you to the Roosevelt Room, you get there pretty quick smart!

I'm reluctant to criticise him too much as well ... in the end, what can he do?

People talk about actions rather than words ... well isn't it up to BP in the end to come up with the action?

Short of pulling on a wetsuit and swimming down into the depths of the Gulf himself to sort that pesky leak out, I don't think there's much more President Obama could be doing.

So yes, lots of oil on this week's show ... including a word from the Iraqi oil minister. 

We will also look at more property problems in Dubai with Dan Nolan ... the economic impact on the everyman in South Africa one week into the World Cup with Haru Mutasa, and the curious story of the (apparently) huge mineral deposits in Afghanistan which could provide a huge new cash-flow for the country.

See you on the TV, and don't forget to follow up on Twitter too.

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2130; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0230, 1630; Monday: 0830.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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