Oil Spill Disaster means big bills for BP
As the environmental and social impact of the disastrous U.S. Gulf Shore oil spill continues to intensify, BP is rushing to seal the well head leak and to address cleanup and compensation claims. For President Obama and the U.S. public, it’s not fast enough.
The noisome slick is threatening wildlife, shoreline environments, and one of the United States’ most productive commercial fishing areas. It has already reached the Mississippi-Louisiana shoreline and beyond and is now slipping inexorably towards Alabama and Florida.
BP CEO Tony Hayward readily admits that it is the London-based company’s responsibility to shoulder all costs associated with the spill and to do what is necessary to rectify an increasingly horrifying situation. This includes compensation claims for immediate needs and longer-term claims and for cleanup. Some estimate the final cost will be in excess of $1billion.
There is an even higher social cost as the Gulf provides the only means of economic sustenance to thousands of shrimpers and fishermen. Some are from families that have depended on the Gulf’s bounty for generations. As late as Friday, area residents were quickly buying up whatever catches of seafood they could – for their own tables. Some fear the Gulf will be poisoned beyond repair.