Friday, June 18, 2010

Whip It Good!

The spectacle of BP CEO Tony Hayward being grilled by a panel of self-important mediocrities leads Tunku Varadarajan to almost feel sorry for the guy.

I say let 'em take his lumps. He's paid well enough to do that.

Meanwhile, the idea that he be held personally responsible for the accident seems ridiculous to me. He says he wasn't involvled in the decision-making process that led to the accident. That seems believable enough to me. That the BP has admitted culpability as a corporation, that it says it will pay all economic damages to parties affected by the disaster, hardly suggests the company is trying to avoid its responsibilities.

Under political pressure it is ponying up $20 billion, to be held in an escrow account and controlled by an agent for the U.S. government, though it is under no legal obligation to do so. It seems undeniable at this point that negligence was involved on the part of some of the actors in this drama. Investigations should be thorough and are ongoing. Past that, this gusher of outrage, both real and feigned, is polluting the waters of reason and common sense. It could take weeks or months but the hole in the gulf will be plugged. The oil will be cleaned up, as it always is, and drilling will resume.

Why? Because we need the oil.

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