BP危機 ~ The BP Disaster
The BP Disaster
Author: James Smyth
Editor: Chen Liang-yu
Because the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year was the worst in history, British Petroleum received criticism not only from environmental protection organizations but also from the general public all over the world. Environmental groups believe that all oil companies should be more strictly regulated to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The President of the United States said that BP was responsible for the disaster. After Obama met with the company, it announced that it would create a $20 billion ($645 billion NTD) compensation fund. Several industries were damaged by the crisis, including fishing and tourism businesses which depend on the Gulf for their livelihood. Some economists think even $20 billion will not cover damages.
I agree that British Petroleum bears most of the responsibility for the disaster, but the United States Government is also at fault because its inspections were not thorough enough.
From an environmental perspective, this shows that though large-scale projects have good qualities, they are also dangerous because so many unrelated parties are damaged by accidents. America is just one of the countries affected by the oil leak.
How can we keep this disaster from happening again? I believe that citizens and small businesses have to put pressure on big businesses and the government. Those who suffer the most in crises are not corporations but common people. Journalists need to champion transparency and broadcast examples of wrongdoing. In order to save money, BP omitted several safety checks. Other companies that are so careless should pay full damages to those who suffer on their behalf.
The general public must be skeptical of business and government. BP’s logo is a green and yellow sun, which makes it look like a “green company.” The oil spill displayed the contradiction between image and reality. The compensation fund announced in June was praised by many victims then, but it is now criticized by applicants. They say the processing is too slow, and the repayments are too small. The American government must make sure BP honors its June agreement.
Left wing or right wing, people should strive to make businesses work for the good of the people. Ordinary citizens don’t have many ways to pressure companies or the government, but some Americans have provided an example by boycotting BP gasoline.