Now is the time for big oil to step up and be the hero. Wait, you say, I thought oil was the villian! Well, they are, BP anyway. From what I have read, they have a long and sordid past history of uncharted violations, coverups, and punishment for whistleblowers. In no way should BP come out of this intact.
BP would have you point your finger elsewhere. They leased that defunct rig to drill for oil, they say. Well, if I rent a car and it has bad brakes and I smash someone, guess who is first to pony up the money for the crash? It's me. Oh sure, if I can prove it was bad brakes I might be able to claim that money back, but first I have to pay out. But BP doesn't have a history of manning up to responsibility, they have a history of covering up their mistakes like a child sweeping the dirt under the bed.
Some would have us boycott BP, watch it crumble into the quicksand of its ineptness. The problem is then, who cleans up the oil? Should we then have to band together, when the company is rightfully fractured, and pay to mop up its mess? That doesn't seem fair, either.
This is where the other oil companies, if they wanted to be the good guys for once, could step in. We break up BP, take the payout for cleaning the spills, and put the management of the cleanup under the care of the other oil companies. Were you aware Exxon (post its own nightmare of public relations) actually has an exemplary safety record? Seems someone was able to learn from past mistakes.
The oil is here. It is going to be here for quite some time. This will give the opportunity for each remaining oil company to have experience managing a sizable oil-related disaster...if we can get them to work together, if we can get them to help, if we can get them to be the good guys for once.
WashPost: Reports at BP over years find history of problems
For BP, a History of Spills and Safety