Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BP CEO Inconvenienced by Spill

With the economy and environment of the Gulf Coast in peril, it's easy to forget the real victim of the oil spill, BP CEO Tony Hayward. Since the well began spewing about 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the ocean, it's been nothing but a headache for BP's long-suffering chief executive. "I'd like my life back," Hayward told reporters on Sunday.

Financially speaking, the oil disaster is no big deal for BP. Federal law limits the company's liability to $75 million, on average less than 3% of BP's annual profits. Senate Democrats are attempting to raise the liability cap, but James Inhofe*, an oil industry advocate who moonlights as a US senator, promises that Republicans will filibuster such attempts.

The real cost for BP is the horrible inconvenience that Hayward is suffering. It now appears that he will be forced to spend his entire summer in Louisiana, a state that no longer has any uncontaminated seafood he can eat or clean beaches he can lie out on. An aide close to the executive describes the effect on Hayward's summer vacation plans as "a tragic disaster."

*Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) has received over $1.2 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. He is the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

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