An Oily Mess

Remember when the executives from the former Big Three were sitting in front of the Congressional committee, you know, back when they were roundly chastised for taking the company planes rather than hopping on a Northwest flight? (Interestingly, not only are two of the three execs no longer with their companies and not only are the hangers that once housed their fleets absent the company jets, but Northwest has disappeared, too.) Chances are, executives from BP are going to wish that they were those guys.

Remember when the executives from the former Big Three were sitting in front of the Congressional committee, you know, back when they were roundly chastised for taking the company planes rather than hopping on a Northwest flight? (Interestingly, not only are two of the three execs no longer with their companies and not only are the hangers that once housed their fleets absent the company jets, but Northwest has disappeared, too.)

Chances are, executives from BP are going to wish that they were those guys.

Yesterday they announced “a commitment of up to $500 million to an open research program studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon incident, and its associated response, on the marine and shoreline environment of the Gulf of Mexico.”

This is to be “a 10-year research program.”

Among the topics to be examined are:

  • Where are the oil and dispersant going?
  • How do those fluids behave?
  • What are the effects of these things on organisms there about?
  • What will happen if tropical storms hit the fluid?

And here’s a good one, too good not to quote outright:

  • “How do accidental releases of oil compare to natural seepage from the seabed?”

We’re guessing that there are a whole lot of people in the Gulf area who would have an answer for that one.

 

T  

© BP p.l.c.

Let’s face it: This was an accident. A horrible one that has had a cost in the lives lost on the Deepwater Horizon platform, one that will have serious reverberations on the life and livelihoods of people in the Gulf region for probably decades to come.

But it is also, perhaps, another sign that just as the world’s car companies are getting more serious about alternative energy sources, so too must companies like BP. Sooner, rather than later.