BP puts the “slick” in oil slick. They’ve positioned themselves to raise oil prices, tie the hands of the government, and still have a chance to save their oil well for future use.
Did BP purposefully blow up their own offshore oil platform? Of course not. Are they still trying to turn disaster into dollars? Absolutely.
Now that the “top kill” method has failed, BP has been presented with a best case senario from their point of view. Rather than being forever frozen in a layer of concrete, the well-that won’t-die is still open for future business. According to the Washington Post, John Tesvich, head of the Mississippi State Oyster Task Force, wasn’t surprised the top kill tactic didn’t work:
For them to say that its success ratio was 60 to 70 percent, for a company that’s trying to spin everything as positive as it can, that probably means they knew it wasn’t likely to have an effect. And that’s what’s being borne out now. It now looks likely that this will be an ordeal — that the oil will be spewing most of the summer.
The people on the ground in Mississippi aren’t surprised, neither should we be.
How BP spells “relief”: Ka-ching
The only way to stop the spill? Drill a “relief well.” Poor BP. They’ll have to sink another well into the Gulf. Considering the drilling ban recently enacted by President Obama, BP must devastated with the prospect of another chance to tap into the Gulf’s oil reserves. The net result will be not one but two BP wells pumping side-by-side off the coast of Louisiana by the time this ordeal is over.
And a summer-long oil leak will be all that’s required to send oil and gasoline prices on an extended spike while BP and the rest of the oil industry cash in on the profits. This despite the fact that, as huge as this spill is, it represents a tiny fraction of the 81 million barrels of oil produced globally each year according to BP’s own 2009 statistical review.
Obama’s over a barrel
Meanwhile, Obama’s over a barrel. The American people want accountability for the disaster, but the government has neither the technical expertise to address the spill on their own nor the ability to threaten the powerful oil industry with economic ultimatums.
President Obama is not known as a man of action by either party. Teddy Roosevelt spoken softly and carried a big stick; President Obama prefers to speak sternly and carry a selection of tasty candy. But as his recent press conference on the fiasco demonstrated, Obama isn’t even speaking sternly this time.
Where are the massive fines for every day BP does not stop that well? You can’t tell me that if BP had to scratch a $2 million check for every day this spill goes on their team of scientists wouldn’t be a little more motivated. Interactive oil spill timeline here.
Somehow, BP has reduced the President of the United States to a sequence of “concerned thoughts” and “I-don’t-know-what-any-of-my-departments-are-doings.” All President Obama can do is sit in the Oval Office and watch the live video feed of oil bubbling up from the floor of the Gulf like the rest of us.
Now that’s slick, BP.
BP: Mild or Wild?
So where does all this put BP on the Wild-O-Meter? Well, you have to look at this from two sides.
On the Evil side, there’s the fudging numbers, greasing palms, half-hearted containment efforts, the ruining of fishermen’s livelihood, and the endangerment of miles of beautiful American coastline. That’s pretty evil. Evil generally gets a very low Wild-O-Meter reading.
But there’s also the Genius side. BP is turning disaster into dollars, putting slick moves on Obama and the Feds, and setting themselves up for expanding their business in the Gulf. And no one can stop them. Strategically, that’s just brilliant.
Evil+Genius = Evil Genius. That’s why the Wild-O-Meter gives BP’s handling of the oil mess in the Gulf…. 2.5 roaring kittens out of five.