What is the future of offshore drilling?
by Peter Stern
British Petroleum’s response [physically and verbally] to the Gulf oil spill has been inadequate and ineffective. The causes of the tragic gas explosion and oil spill on British Petroleum’s (BP's) leased Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico have not yet been fully determined, but various pieces of fail-safe equipment did not function as designed. Furthermore, 11 rig personnel were killed by the blast and so far the spillage has not been contained although BP has tried several options to do so. Despite BP's response, the company’s actions in the face of the explosion and spill are facing unprecedented scrutiny, thanks to a long history of legal and ethical violations that strongly suggests that the London-based company places profits above the safety of its personnel and the environment.
Will the third largest oil and gas company in the world be forced to assume responsibility? Will BP be adequately punished for its ongoing avoidance of appropriate safety consciousness and enforcement? Why can’t the company stop the oil leak, which has continued for more than one month? Americans will be watching the Gulf spill, BP and the government investigation and result very carefully and should cause enough concern to reconsider the future of offshore drilling.