It’s outrageous. BP’s broken pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico is gushing up to a million gallons of oil a day into the sea. Oil companies around the globe have a responsibility to protect mankind from environmental disasters caused by their carelessness, and the fact that a global oil giant like BP can’t come up with anything better than golf balls, tyres, mud and concrete is nothing short of a global disgrace.
Since the leak first started billowing on April 20th this year, it has poured around forty million gallons of crude oil into the water, creating a catastrophe which may take years to get over. At present the latest leak comes second to the 1979 Ixtoc leak which poured around 125,000,000 gallons of crude oil in the ten months before it was finally capped.
But BP’s leak could easily overtake this to take infamous first place, since the current pipeline is kinked, thereby restricting the flow of the leaking oil. The repair now proposed by BP – the “Lower Marine Riser Package Cap” – would involve cutting off the pipe, enabling a much bigger quantity to escape.
I wonder whether confiscating a larger percentage of BP’s profits might wake the company up a little. With last year’s profits at around fourteen billion dollars, there’s probably enough to repair the leak with banknotes and still leave enough for healthy executive bonuses.