The British Petroleum Company, popularly known as BP, has found itself wallowing in an oil spill seemingly beyond its ability to control. What started out as a burning oil rig with 11 dead persons over 50 days ago, has now become a major economical and ecological crisis with far-reaching consequences—some of which goes beyond an analyst’s ability to predict.
BP is currently the third largest energy company in the world. It traces its history back to the May 26, 1908 discovery of oil in Masjed Soleiman, Iran, by explorer George Reynolds—whose expedition was funded by William Knox D’Arcy. The discovery brought about the creation of a company called the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) in 1909, with Burmah Oil as the parent company. APOC was re-named the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) in 1935, and the British Petroleum Company in 1954.
Throughout its history, and possibly today, BP had always maintain a strong connection with political entities. Even its very name, “British Petroleum,” was acquired through the British Government’s seizure of a German firm’s asset in Britain during World War I. The British sold the name to APOC in 1917. Other then the British, BP has been linked to the Iranian and the American governments, and even the CIA.
Though it is the one who is primarily responsible for the cleanup–due to the fact that it has the technology and the research to back it up–BP is starting to lose the spotlight to another. In comes president Barack Obama who is now the target of a frustrated public’s oily tipped arrows. They are not angry because they sense a lack of awareness on his part of the magnitude of the spill, but because he doesn’t display enough anger about it. They want to see the president get mad.
To be fair to Mr. Obama, I think the public is exhibiting a lack of comprehension concerning personality types. We can’t expect everybody to react the same way. A friend of mine, and I suspect that many have thought of this, believes that if Mr. Obama was to show any anger he would then be classified as the typical “angry black male.” It would be viewed as political capital by the Republicans, who would then launch an assault so menacing, that Mr. Obama won’t know what hit him until he wakes up the day after he looses his bid for re-election.
On the other hand, whether we want to admit it or not, politics involves a great deal of emotions. In order to win the people you must capture their hearts. In fact, any position dealing with the public will require medium to high level display of emotions. I’m not suggesting that it should be like this, but simply stating that this is how it is. In America, anyone can get up and speak, but the one that finds a way to connect his/her emotions to the listeners, becomes the new poster child of the republic.
With all that being said, Mr. Obama is already in office. We shouldn’t be concerned about the amount of emotions that he displays but the work that he gets done. Save the emotion debate for another time. We have an ecological disaster in our hands. I’m obliged to say that there is a cancer ravishing the cells of the American press and it has caused it to lose its ability to prioritize issues. How can emotions take precedence over the oil covered animals in the gulf of Mexico? Somewhere along the way a few marbles have been lost.
The pressure needs to stay on BP. We need to know how do they plan to deal with the environment that they are destroying. Paying the fisherman and local area businesses compensation for their loss is one aspect of what is necessary. But what is BP’s plans for the pelicans, the fishes, and all the other creatures in the area–the wildlife and the environment. The food chain has been disrupted and it’s only a matter of time before humans feel the impact of that disruption. Sometimes, what you destroy can’t be replaced.
*The image featured on the home page and on top of this article is taken from here.
New World Encyclopedia http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Anglo-Iranian_Oil_Company
BP History 1901-1908 http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9014440&contentId=7027520
BP History 1909-1924 http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9014441&contentId=7027521