The 'British Petroleum' disaster is actually a very American accomplishment. As Tony Hayward points out, 60% of BP employees are American. Much of their product is produced and consumed here. So, for starters, they're practically a British-owned American outfit these days. I couldn't swing a dead cat here without hitting one of their petrol stations.
(His comment 'I just want my life back' was a terrible PR gaffe on his part, no doubt due to sleep deprivation. Still, a major CEO ought to have others screen his words with more care, especially in times like these.)
We built and ran the platform and drilling equipment. We supposedly supervise offshore drilling here. Trying to work a mile underwater is a big leap forward, as the rig's name, Deepwater Horizon, directly indicates.
So, would it have been such a gigantic expense to at least test that blowout preventer and the maintenance robots first? Hook it up to a large tank and pressurize the tank with oil or some nontoxic substitute. See if it kicks in when the overhead pipe blows. See if the bots can shut it off. Find out about the icing problems. That test alone would have had multiple opportunities to make them stop and redesign the program and equipment. But, our developed world is a giant petroleum junkie. Gotta get that next fix now.
America elected a Chicago politician as President, and it's beginning to look like he's panning out to be one at the national level. Backroom deals and pay-to-play are the norm in Illinois, and in Chicago in particular. Just look at the stuff our nutter former governor, Rod Blagojevich, was into. Looks like America's getting a big dose of it now. Even as we charged off into mile deep water with little or no real testing, Obama was ready to sign us up for even more offshore drilling--a lot of it.
Our federal spin doctors just love that 'B' in 'BP', and will milk it for all it's worth. Time will tell who's really in the front seat here.
As you can see, this is how disaster-ready our nation has become in the wake of a previous Louisiana disaster, Hurricane Katrina. Spin doctors stand ready to swing into action to contain damage at a moment's notice. Otherwise, uhhh, anybody got any rags handy? And by the way, shrimp's high in cholesterol anyway.
Well, with BP having so much stake here, we really are paying for much of the cleanup ourselves, after a fashion. But I think this is still going to be an unfair hit on the British economy, not to mention the general disaster it is. After the spin dust settles, I think the US will owe Britain some reparations, to be honest. If we do pay up, it'll be done in typical American fashion, under the rug and out of sight, as we always do, correcting a booboo without admitting initial fault. It will be impossible to hide that much cash flow in funny expense account nonsense, so the spin doctors (on both sides of the Atlantic) will be busy again. Maybe we'll dress it up as 'balance of payments for the subprime mortgage crisis thingy'. Obama and Cameron will be waltzing together like drunks at a wedding reception, that much seems certain.
Lac lactis in primoris (milk in first).