The Wall Street Journal reported that the well lacked a remote-control shutoff switch required by some oil producing countries, including Norway and Brazil. BP was at the forefront of recent lobbying of the US government against stronger safety controls for offshore drilling. Fund managers and analysts in the City of London said they were deeply worried about the financial cost to BP of the kind of legal action that could be taken in the US by those damaged by the accident. More than £13bn has been knocked off the oil company's stock market value since the rig caught fire.http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/30/oil-spill-bp
Under George Bush the need for lobbying muscle was minimal, but since the arrival of a new president in the White House, BP has poured millions into Washington, mainly through third-party lobby groups. Organisations such as the American Petroleum Institute, funded in part by BP, have done the company's dirty work for them. Supposedly spontaneous citizen demonstrations against climate legislation have sprung up around the US, before journalists revealed they were actually populated by employees of the oil companies themselves....What BP will never admit, among their glossy corporate brochures and extensive environmental assessments, is that its entire business model is predicated on an ever increasing demand for oil, decades into the future. These growth predictions rely on a world in which there is no collective action to tackle global emissions, no concerted effort to transfer clean technology to the developing world, and almost no chance of maintaining anything like a stable climate.The oil spill is washing up on Louisiana's shores amd destroying the fragile ecosystems there as I type - and fund managers are worried that BP will face legal actions!
Do we really want a world in which BP can profit? That would be a world in which democracy is subverted by lobbying - one where the developed world continues to hog most resources - and a world where no one does anything meaningful about climate change because fossil fuel extractors might not be able to make a profit.