Monday, January 22nd 2018
 

BP Oil Spill: Drilling Past Terminology, into Company’s Responsibilities

I was recently scrolling through Twitter when I came across this tweet from CNN breaking news: “BP abandons use of diamond saw, will return to using cutter on robotic arm.”

Wait a minute, I thought to myself. What? It took me a moment to realize the terminology was referring to the recent devastation in the gulf and not some perfect newly cut diamond ring or a national robotics convention.

For over a month now, after the BP oil spill began on April 20, the media has provided lists of solutions and methods to stop the oil in the gulf. But with the focus on words like “top kill” “junk shot” and “top hat”, many people in search of answers have been left with nothing more than confusion. Caught up on the newest solution being attempted (and the complex names) most failed to see the bigger picture.

With the BP oil spill now the largest offshore spill in U.S. history, the media and the U.S. government have turned their attention to question BP’s liability. But with something of this never before seen magnitude, where does responsibility fall? As a company, what liabilities does BP face? While everyone may have their favorite oil spill solution (BP received 8,000 suggestions from people worldwide) the clean-up jargon is the least of BP’s worries.

On June 1, the Justice Department announced a criminal investigation into the spill. The federal government says it is looking deeply into the incident to see if any laws were broken, including violations of the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Whatever they may find, they are ready to hold BP liable.

But with still no permanent solution in sight, who’s to blame? Is it true that BP might forever stand as “Biggest Polluter”? Should all those “Drill Baby Drill” supporters report to the gulf to help clean up? Although there seems to be no end to the blame game, 76 percent of Americans say they disapprove of the way BP is handling the oil spill, leaving BP in quite a sticky situation, both literally and metaphorically.

The first thing BP needs is to find a fast and effective solution to stop the ongoing leak. Although several preventive efforts have been attempted, the longer it takes to find a permanent solution the more anger, resentment and ultimate destruction will result. Secondly, if laws were broken, BP should come forward with full honesty and admit their mistakes. It makes no sense to try and cover up evidence or information when it will certainly get out anyway. BP must comply with all investigations to find out what really went wrong – and how we can prevent it from happening again. Lastly, they must take financial responsibility for both the environmental and economical damages to the region, some of which will be left completely devastated.

There is no question that the oil spill itself is a great tragedy. Lives have been lost, hundreds of animals and wildlife have been killed, and miles upon miles of ocean have been contaminated. Only time will tell if BP will step up to the plate and take on their full responsibilities as a company. This situation not only has the possibility to hurt BP’s public image but also land them with criminal charges. What do you think BP’s next move should be?

Posted by Rachel on June 7, 2010 at 2:15pm.

One Response to “BP Oil Spill: Drilling Past Terminology, into Company’s Responsibilities”

  1. avatar Ilyse Klavir says:

    The magnitude of the BP oil spill is still a staggering tragedy. I am cautiously optimistic about hearing that perhaps the well head might finally be capped, but it has taken far to long and the damage has been done. BP should be held to full account civilly for their negligence however I think a criminal prosecution is a stretch absent more information.

    BP needs to take full responsibility for its actions and speak candidly about the technical reasons why the spill occurred in the first place. My concern is that if criminal investigations are pending critical information necessary for a broader review of deep oil drilling in the gulf will never be forthcoming.

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