There's a giant oil gusher dumping millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killing wildlife, disrupting local economies, and destroying environmentally sensitive areas. Whose fault is it?
To assess fault, you start with the facts -- what caused the rupture? Do we know yet? No, we don't. And just why are we blaming BP? Hyundai Heavy Industries built the Deepwater Horizon platform. It was owned by Transocean, operated under the Marshalese flag of convenience, and leased to BP.
So, if we can't blame BP - yet - for the spill, we can blame them for the failure to clean it up, right?
Wrong. It turns out that BP can't do anything on its own. Herewith, our President, The One, on May 27:
[M]ake no mistake: BP is operating at our direction. Every key decision and action they take must be approved by us in advance. I've designated Admiral Thad Allen, who has nearly four decades of experience responding to such disasters, as the national incident commander. And if he orders BP to do something to respond to this disaster, they are legally bound to do it.
BP is not in charge of the cleanup -- the federal government is. Feeling better now? Reassured? President Bush was excoriated for not going to the Gulf for four days in the wake of Katrina, but The One took eleven days to get down there, stopping along the way to hang with Jay Leno and work on jokes for the White House Correspondents Dinner. Where's all the criticism?
The well in question was permitted and approved by The One's administration. The One is in complete control of the cleanup efforts. Let's boycott the federal government! How about we all stop paying our taxes until the feds get their act together, clean up the Gulf, and pay for all the damage they caused!
It may well be that, at some point, we discover the cause of the spill and we can place the blame squarely on BP or wherever it truly belongs. Maybe then, I'll stop going to BP. Until then, however, the rest of you can do whatever you want. If you boycott BP, that's fine with me. Lower demand results in lower prices, and fewer customers means no waiting at the pump.
To whoever started this silly "boycott BP" notion -- thanks! I won't be joining you because the whole idea is ridiculous, but don't let me stop you from making my life cheaper and easier!