Asleep at the Wheel: What BP, Goldman Sachs and Massey Have in Common

May 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Posted in Shareholder Advocacy | Leave a comment

By Dale Wannen

With an array of disasters occurring around the world as we speak, it is tempting to take a step back and think about how we have ended up in such a lovely state. Ah yes, the delight of disaster due to corporate greed. Robert Reich’s recent article “Bring Back Regulation” does a great job demonstrating how all of these problems are mainly due to the lack of regulation by big brother who was supposed to be keeping an eye on things. Well, it seems as if big brother was out on one too many smoke breaks recently.

BP’s dirty oil
Every 10 years we face a major oil spill of some kind. The current spill, courtesy of BP, could be the worst ever as thousands of barrels of oil continue to spill into the Gulf every day. The Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service was supposed to be the big brother in this case. Clearly it hasn’t done its job as there isn’t even a technology known that can stop oil from leaking at 5,000 feet below the surface (though in the last day we have learned quickly). Keep in mind this is the same federal service that takes in about $10 billion in royalties every year and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue besides taxes.  With all of that said, BP will be slapped with a billion dollar bill on this one, but for a $160 billion dollar company, that’s hardly a drop in the bucket.
 

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