Who is Paying for Clearing the Oil Spill Mess?
At first, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was not significant, now President Barack Obama is stepping up the government’s response to the spill, which has become a matter of “national significance.” The oil slick is now expected to hit the shore in the Mississippi Delta region by late Friday.
BP’s chief operating officer Doug Suttles had discounted the initial government estimate as overblown and indicated that BP was fully capable of dealing with the situation. They now accept that the leak may be as bad as the government had predicted, and has reversed the company’s position of not to seek outside help.
The original estimate of leakage from just one well has now been revised to show a five fold increase at nearly 5,000 barrels a day. If the leaks cannot be stopped quickly an estimated 4.2 million gallon oils could spill before crews can reduce pressure in the leaking wells. This compares to the 11 million gallons oil spill into Alaska’s water in 1989 from the Exxon Valdez leakage.
Where are the proponents of drill baby drill now? Who is going to pay for clearing the mess? US government officials have stated that BP must pay for the clean up since they operate the well. Will they?
Local businesses are facing a grim future. Louisiana has declared early opening of shrimp season so that they can take the advantage of a few days before the spill takes it toll. Nevertheless, the hotels, tourism industry and small local businesses will suffer. Who is going to compensate them?
While the current administration has not shown keen interest in creating jobs in the public sector, it has shown eerie eagerness to bail out big businesses. Are we going to see a repeat of that?
Is anyone asking these questions?