I am no advocate for BP, a company however which is learning and teaching hard lessons about corporate responsibility and complacency. Many people involved in similar lucrative but potentially risky businesses will be thinking, in the wake of the Gulf oil leak, "There but for the grace of God go I".
It is such a pity that the blame game continues. BP is doing what it can now to rectify a situation for which it was only partially responsible, even to the extent of paying whatever compensation is demanded however justified or not. It is a time for everybody concerned to work together in a spirit of co-operation, saving post-mortems for later. Instead, BP has been judged and found guilty before all the facts were known, and the vituperative Congressional hearings on the matter have been based largely on prejudice, assumption and for American public consumption.
Yes, it is likely that BP's oil strategy was flawed and potentially dangerous but they are paying for the consequences now, in every sense. Meanwhile, as more knives of blame point towards the corporation, the people of the United States and elsewhere could do well to remember other major oil spills and environmental disasters caused by wholly owned American companies which were not dealt with in the present spirit of responsibility.
Do you remember Bhopal, said to be the world's worst industrial catastrophe ever when many thousands of people died from a chemical leak caused by Union Carbide, now owned by Dow Chemical? The land and waters are still contaminated more than thirty years on. The company denied responsibility, fought compensation claims and left India as soon as possible. The families and individuals who were victims have received only pennies, and those were given grudgingly.
How quickly, or conveniently, memories fade.