>Who Thinks BP Will Pay?


Wonder if there’s any truth to this:

BP hides assets from potential oil spill lawsuits


Internal sources confirmed last night that the company is seeking shelter by transferring assets off the books of BP North America, a fully owned subsidiary of BP plc, to other entities that fall outside of any US jurisdiction.

Such action means that claimants or any US court issued order for full payment and restitution cannot be applied to those hidden and transferred assets. It was already previously reported that BP was seeking ways to protect itself from large liabilities and it was confirmed that a bankruptcy filing was being worked on by their legal department.</blockquote

Still think BP will pay?


I’ve been sort of stunned at the reaction various people have when I ask why there haven’t been telethons and benefits to help those affected by the Gulf oil spill. I get a swift almost visceral “make BP pay!” reaction from folks, and it’s not a liberal/conservative thing, because plenty of liberals have told me that as well.

I guess I”m the biggest cynic on the planet because I don’t think BP will pay for everything — they can’t. We don’t even know what “everything” is right now.

Yes they will pay for some things. I’d love to stick it to them where it hurts as much as the next person. But come on, people. We don’t even know the full extent of the damage here. This is going to be with us for decades. Oil is still vomiting out of the seabed, now they say it will be gushing until fall. The Exxon Valdez was a comparatively small 11 million gallons and oil still washes up on the rocks of Prince William Sound to this day, after 21 years. The fish there have not returned.

People on the beaches of Louisiana know the tourist industry is gone, not just for this summer but for good:

Expensive flood insurance bills are due for many residents this month. At least one home was put up for sale because of the spill, a broker said, but it was unclear if anyone would buy it now.

The only “person” who is going to buy that house is BP. Think they will? I’m guessing … no.

And it’s not just people on the Gulf who are impacted. Now there are fears the oil spill will affect Mississippi River shipping lanes, which farmers in the Midwest use to transport agricultural products to overseas markets. This might affect how an Iowa farmer ships his soybeans to wherever we send soybeans.

I am thinking the magnitude of this disaster is lost on people. I don’t think we are getting it. Hell, I’ve been saying we aren’t getting for a month now. I don’t think Washington gets it and I don’t think the media gets it. This is not just a tragedy for the Gulf Coast. This is a tragedy for the entire nation.

And let’s take a minute and look at BP. I thought we as a nation were supposedly reeling from the repeated failure of our major institutions? Maybe I’m the only one. You really think BP will pay, knowing Exxon Mobil, the most profitable corporation in the history of human enterprise, appealed their judgment all the way to the United States Supreme Court, dragging the case out for 20 years and spending millions on lawyers so they wouldn’t have to pay? Why do you think they did that? Because they couldn’t afford the settlement? Bullshit. They did it because they knew this day was coming. They knew someday there would be a massive oil spill that would make the Valdez look like your kid brother pissing in the swimming pool. They did it for the precedent. And here it is.

Look, I’m just being realistic here. Who thinks BP is going to pay? I don’t. Oh sure, they’ll pay some. They’ll pay a lot. But they won’t pay it all. Have we learned nothing from past corporate failures? Nothing at all?


Filed under Gulf oil spill

10 responses to “>Who Thinks BP Will Pay?

  1. >After watching the news last night and seeing a bunch of Louisianans crying in their beer about the decision to *stop* offshore drilling for a measly six months, whining about how a moratorium on drilling will adversely affect their 'way of life' etc…its pretty clear this news cycle is being crafted by BP and the US Govt to roll back the idea of regulations, controls, oversight and especially a moratorium or even god forbid an outright ban on offshore drilling. Sure the saps on camera are being manipulated if not outright paid off to say that stuff but still, the Big Mo here is for 'getting things back to normal'.. you know, unlimited unregulated offshore drilling. I fully expect National Security to be invoked any day now.. "we have to drill drill drill or the sky will fall in"This propaganda blitz is having an effect.. people are being swayed, persuaded to BP's outlook. Maybe that has a bearing on the absence of sympathy in the form of donations, telethons etc. One thing for sure.. there are *trillions* of dollars at stake here and you can bet Big Money will bring out the Biggest Baddest Guns they've got to defuse our outrage.

  2. >From the beginning of the incident I've been waiting for BP's American subsidiary to start talking bankruptcy. It's the corporate move that is used to cut liability, abrogate contracts, you name it. Corporations like to use it as the problem solver and take them out of the picture as much as possible. Look at how airlines ditched pension plans, seniority rules, how conservatives wanted auto workers pension and health plans changed… through bankruptcy.

  3. >37North:Did you see Bill Maher last night talking about the oil workers? He said basically what I did earlier this week, though he wasn't as kind as me: FIND ANOTHER JOB BUILDING WINDMILLS.Yes this news cycle is being crafted by the oil industry. Not just BP but the OIL INDUSTRY. Offshore is the future of the entire industry, don't think for a moment that Russia, Mexico, Norway, and every other nation which drills offshore and has hopes of tapping the ultra-deep seabeds isn't quaking in their boots right now.

  4. >On a semi-personal note, a friend of a friend had the paperwork in with the bank to buy a condo on the Alabama beachfront. It was considered a done deal, everything was going smoothly and then the bank called and cancelled the deal, citing the oil disaster. Luckiest day of her life, luckiest phone call of her life. The ramifications of this mess are like a tornado, sucking up everything in its path.

  5. >Wow hadn't thought about that. Banks aren't willing to make loans in the Gulf Coast, yeah that makes sense. It's completely over down there. Move. Just, move. It's a dead zone now, in every regard.

  6. >Another note from the front… a friend who operates an airplane towing an advertising banner along the Alabama beaches has seen his business evaporate. His pregnant wife had to go live inland to escape the stench/petroleum gasses at their beach house residence. This has strange echoes of the formaldehyde trailer episode of Katrina. Anyway, he's applying for compensation from BP.

  7. >the "response" to this disaster by "our" govt is proof of just how far from democracy and informed debate we've come, as a nation. it is the result of what happens when the Overton Window is pushed and pushed to the right, and information is substituted with rhetoric in our political discourse. people like me, who had the immediate response of "freeze all BP's assets, bring in the Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, *all* of them, and pass emergency legislation/executive orders to get unemployed americans on the job containing this" are considered marginal, irrational and/or unSerious by our decision makers. but as the disaster unfolds, it's pretty clear we're going to have to realize just what SoBe is writing: that this will take decades to absorb as a nation and culture, and that the environmental damage is permanent. i really hate Villagers. their iron clad rule of "We don't talk about that," whatever "that" is from gay rights to alt energy to ending govt sponsored torture and war… it makes me insane. this shit about "reigning in the deficit" during times of Depression is another one; i want to slap people silly who claim that this is some burning desire in a majority of the electorate. but if you read the SCLM, you'd think everyone was talking about it, instead of the disaster or unemployment or a million other things that truly matter to most. and no, BP won't pay much at all. define "pay a lot." hundreds of millions is not exactly 'nothing' to them, but trust me, as i like to say of my rich friends, "they can afford it." and hundreds of millions spent on ineffectual efforts and ass-covering will not begin to address the smallest reality of the disaster. what are we really talking about when we say "BP should pay?" they should be eliminated as a corporation in the US, banned from ever doing business here, and their assets seized by the government. none of that will happen here, i promise you. in terms of proportion of income/wealth of holdings, my bet is that BP will pay less for this than Exxon did in AK.

  8. >What Chicago Dyke said about "Villagers" is borne out, endlessly, by all sorts of folks.I was out till late friday and most of yesterday, photographing two charity events; one for cancer, one for hospice volunteers. I stopped by a local watering hole on the way home and was actually drinking water when I got into an exchange with a gent who is a nuclear safety training officer at one of our three nuclear power plants (this place would make Mr. Burns drool). Things were fine until he started whining about "smokers rights" and the "fact" that "lots of studies PROVE that second hand smoke doesn't cause cancer". I was willing to let that go. Then he started in on the "liberal" states that ban smoking in public buildings. I asked him if he meant states like my home state of Nebraska, where smoking is banned in most public/commercial buildings. Of course he decided to use California as his whipping boy. After that he moved into the Obamacommiemedicine schtick–equating universal health care coverage with socialized medicine (which, btw, we ALREADY have), at which point I lost my temper and told him (rather too loudly) that having a "discussion" with someone who willingly tells lies is impossible. As I was turning to leave I noticed one of the bouncers moving in my direction and stepped around him–fortunately, 'cuz he woulda kicked my ass. Arguing with people who want to defend the "Bigs"–Oil, Tobacco, Pharma, Energy–who are fucking them just as much as they are fucking those of us who attack their rapacious stupidity is a complete waste of time. I'm not sure, however, that there are any alternatives that are any better.BP's lawyers went to work on "stopping the bleeding" long before the engineers and other "experts" did.

  9. >Nothing, but nothing, defines the real powerlessness of the United States as the governments response to this catastrophe. Unwilling to stand up for its own citizens against a rogue corporation & unable to marshal power to deal with the problem on our own. The inner spirit of America is spent.

  10. >I agree, 37N. Again, it's not just BP: it's Big Oil. It rules the world, it is the true "empire" and our government (as well as the British government) is merely a tool.