Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html en-gb 30 Wed 30 Jul 2014 12:25:01 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html electric_ladyland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=99#comment117 http://www.propublica.org/article/bp-texas-refinery-had-huge-toxic-release-just-before-gulf-blowoutAre they going for a trifecta? :S Wed 14 Jul 2010 05:05:35 GMT+1 electric_ladyland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=98#comment116 http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100628&content_id=11680718&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlbAre they going for a trifecta? :S Wed 14 Jul 2010 04:56:23 GMT+1 nomdecomp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=97#comment115 I live by the Gulf of Mexico, and what's worse; I live by the Texas City BP refinery that keeps blowing up and killing people. No sincere effort has ever been made by BP to make this refinery safe, and they have obviously taken the position that it is cheaper to pay the fines, penalties, and civil settlements than it is to make the plant safe. It's not unusual for multinational companies, in any country, to consider the cost of human lives to be a cost of doing business.However; that legacy does not bode well for BP's current, and extremely tasteless, advertising campaign. They've purchased millions of dollars of commercial time during sports events and prime time. They have neglected to consider that doing so, in the country that invented "spin doctoring", and mass media manipulation of opinion - is so transparently sleazy that it only lessens the justifiably low opinion of their corporation. Mon 21 Jun 2010 00:11:16 GMT+1 Hugh Parker http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=96#comment114 "Can and should BP underpin the economy of the Gulf Coast for years to come?"The free-market economy works on the basis that companies and individuals respond to price signals. Oil companies will make decisions on whether or not to drill in any given place according to the potential costs and the potential rewards. Their rewards are obvious: pots of cash for barrels of oil. What about the costs? The economic and environmental cost of the deepwater horizon are all over the news at the moment, and it's vitally important that those costs fall to BP. It's important for the future that oil companies know that if they cause billions of dollars of damage, they'll have to pay every cent of it. Sun 20 Jun 2010 12:15:25 GMT+1 PursuitOfLove http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=95#comment113 Big_Steve_W #112: '"Regardless of the situation of teh "ass-kicking" comment it's just not appropriate for the president to talk about kicking the ass of anyone. Especially not at this time.... maybe instead of getting angry & throwing verbal punches at BP he should be trying to assist BP in fixing the leaking well."Yes we covered this ground already. I wasn't defending his comment in any way in my post #111, I was merely explaining how it came about. People have been acting (especially Britons) as though he's been swagaring around the nation like a George Bush on the eve of the Iraq war, only substituting BP for Iraq, and I was merely explaining that that wasn't/isn't true. He said it one time. He hasn't been going around repeating it over and over again.Regarding the comment itself, however, I completely agree with you that it was an unnecessary, unhelpfull, and unfairly harsh thing to say, and said as much on the '"Wreckless' BP and Obama's Battle Plan" thread at numbers 123 and 126 if you feel so inclined. But its over now, he meant no insult to the nation of Britain by it, Britain still exists, it is still showing us what adhereing to our constitution really looks like, still churning out fantastic musicians and actors and even better work thanks to its superb intelligence services and military. So can we talk about something else now? Please? Fri 18 Jun 2010 16:35:44 GMT+1 WolfiePeters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=94#comment112 #112, Big_Steve_W Good summary. I'd like to make one addition or change to your approach; it relates to more or less all these incidents. After everyone has worked together to resolve the mess, the emphasis should then be on (1) finding the specific series of decisions and events that went wrong and (2) generating a regulatory environment that stops it happening again. Fri 18 Jun 2010 12:47:15 GMT+1 Big_Steve_W http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=94#comment111 #109. At 9:11pm on 17 Jun 2010, WolfiePeters Very well put arguments that make a lot of sense. You are absolutely right in saying we should all learn from the past and therefore the various events mentioned here are entirely valid points. ----------------------------------------------------------#110. At 10:55pm on 17 Jun 2010, JMM_for_nowThere does seem to be incredible double standards when it comes to American politics and American business. Looking at these past events it does appear that American business does not like to face up to it's moral & ethical responsibilities when it is responsible for a disaster. I can understand America not wishing to extradite a citizen to a country if it is felt they won't recieve a fair trial or a proportionate sentence.... However, it seems that in those situations these companies are then allowed to "get away with it". They are not held accountable for the clean-up operation and cleary should be irrespective of whether their CEO is prosecuted or not. We see an entirely different response here from BP, and whilst they may havecuased this disaster tehy are not shying away from tehir responsibility to deal with it and should eb applauded for this. They are certainly doing far more than any american company has in similar situations and are doing more than teh American government is doing.----------------------------------------------------------#111. At 04:43am on 18 Jun 2010, PursuitOfLoveRegardless of the situation of teh "ass-kicking" comment it's just not appropriate for the president to talk about kicking the ass of anyone. Especially not at this time.... maybe instead of getting angry & throwing verbal punches at BP he should be trying to assist BP in fixing the leaking well.----------------------------------------------------------As for the various comments regarding whose responsible (i.e. BP, Halliburton, US government agencies, etc....), this sort of argument should be had AFTER they have WORKED TOGETHER to find a solution. The more people work together the more we can achieve, so stop the bickering & finger pointing and get on with the job in hand. There will be plenty of time afterwards for placing blame, which I would suggest will come out of an investigation and a report explaining how & why this happened.Lets face it, some people are going to look a little daft if an investigation concludes the reason it failed was due to something unforseen that could not be mitigated against. If it is found that it was due to negligence (and I suspect this may be the case) then the appropriate prosecutions will follow. Fri 18 Jun 2010 09:45:37 GMT+1 PursuitOfLove http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=93#comment110 WolfiePeters #96. . .Thanks for the kind remarks. I reiterate, that I think it deplorable that both our corporations didn't offer to fund/carry out the clean-up of the Bhopal and Piper Alpha disasters, as well as compansate their victims. And not only that, but (I don't know if he did,) but if he didn't, then I think it rude for president Reagan not to have called the Indian and British (Scottish?) governments and offer to do everything within his power to assist in those efforts as Cameron has done. But as you said, the fact that we continue to ignore the need for clean-up, despite the fact that poison is still seaping into the water in the Bhopal case is even more astounding.#109: '"The British generally expect their PM to stay cool and not talk of ‘kicking asses’."I think this statement has been over dramatized and overexaggerated. Since the outset of this crisis, Obama was - in true (in my opinion) admerable British fashon, being his traditional calm, cool and collected self and working behind the scenes quietly getting things done. But his lack of being seen on the gulf coast talking with the locals, hearing their stories, in other words, listening to the American people's needs by the wider American public gave them the impression that he was a younger more charismatic George Bush in what appeared to be an unfolding hurricane Katrina of a different sourt. The media, in its inadvertent ability to sometimes make mountains out of mole hils, pressed the White House to explain whether he was angry, what that anger was like etc. The American people didn't want/need to see that, they just wanted to see that he had a firm grasp and command of the situation. But under increasing pressure and haunted by the prospect of being seen as another Bush, he made the "ass kicking" remark during an interview with Matt Lower of the Today show. But that was not until several weeks into the disaster, when it became clear that the oil corporations involved - and the residents of the gulf coast - would need the government's involvement to solve this crisis/colamity. Fri 18 Jun 2010 03:43:36 GMT+1 JMM_for_now http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=92#comment109 35. At 09:04am on 17 Jun 2010, neil wrote: “Well all this talk about BP having to pay is a bit rich the usa have a very selective view of the world.oil disasters in africa,gas plant in india were the ceo ran back to the usa and has avoided prossecution as they will not send him back to face indian justice.”Nor will the US send its citizens to Russia for Russian “justice,” nor china for Chinese “Justice”Etc., etc. Would you prefer the protections of the US constitution or the capricious “justice” of many of the world’s countries?The long prosecution time, light sentences for the Indians in responsible positions and the fairly well documented customs in Indian politics and courts do not strike me as being preferable to the justice available in the US, UK and Europe.As said above not a few times by various posters, our constitutional safeguards require requests for extradition to meet US standards. India’s did not.While I agree that Bhopal is a symptom of bad corporate practice. While I agree that this BP caused [yes and Haliburton and other companies, too] disaster cries out for better regulation and international controls as well; as things stand now the US has no jurisdiction in India, Indian law is not up to US standards [at least in so far as proof required for extradition] and the Bhopal matter is not germane to the thread.Bhopal, BP's record, Nigeria, China and other problem areas are a great danger to the planet and the population that shares it. Instead of focusing on our own pet peeves, even on our own local disasters, we need to cooperate to prevent further destruction. Thu 17 Jun 2010 21:55:53 GMT+1 WolfiePeters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=91#comment108 97, BienvenueEnLouisiana put some important questions“Who are all these people talking about the Bhopal disaster? I've never seen them post before, and they seem so fixated on it.”- Too true. I learned about it a few years ago in trying in trying to understand more about human attitudes to risk and safety and how human error leads to accidents. Once you’ve read little about it, it haunts you.“That disaster is not relevant to this discussion.”- It’s relevant in as much as it’s history and what else do we have to learn from. So are the Columbia, Piper Alpha, the losses from tankers etc.“If y'all want to do something about it take it up with the Indian Government; after all, it took place over there in their jurisdiction....”- You are absolutely right. In terms of learning something from the event, this is a big point. It is the responsibility of government to maintain ensure safety before and after the event: speed limits on highways don’t mean much unless there’s some patrol system to enforce them. Human nature is such that if we do something a few times and nothing happens, we start feeling that it’s safe. It might not be. That’s why, though we don’t always like it, we need an effective regulatory system, whether it’s MMS, HSE or a policeman with a radar gun. The regulator is there to ensure the rest of us follow good practices and, when we want to go beyond the norm, we perform the necessary studies of probabilities of failure and risk – the sort of stuff that came out of the enquiry after Columbia. Since you are 'BienvenueEnLouisiana', it’s also the way the Dutch design their coastal defences... “...it took place over there ...in 1984 - 26 years ago!”- Yes, it started a long time ago, but it’s still going on.“And if you think it's somehow an example of 'American hypocrisy' then you don't know the definition of hypocrisy or understand international law.”- IMO, hypocrisy is a human weakness spread pretty well uniformly across all nations. Some groups, maybe politicians, have more opportunity to show it off. And I know nothing about international law. I do believe that the justice system should protect the less strong from those more powerful. “As for the "little people" comment, I'm more stunned by the incompetence of BP's PR than mad; I also figure it has more to do with English being his second language than anything else.”- I agree. Having lived in a different countries, and it’s too easy for that sort of thing to happen. Hasn't Schwarzeneger used it meaning those without a big voice, power, bags of money?“Lastly, this aggravating talk of Americans being anti-British continues in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”- I’m British. I’ve lived a long time in America and worked in different parts of the world in groups composed of British and Americans. They get on better than average. Like every other population, they each have about the same small fraction who basically are anti-anyone they get an excuse to anti. “Yes, we Americans are pissed off, but at BP, not at the UK.”- I can’t argue. If BP had done their job better, even if that’s a matter of controlling their contractors, all this might well have been avoided. On the other hand, based on what I said about learning from previous disasters, you should be even more ‘pissed off’ with MMS and the Federal Government. Human nature is such that for safety issues, we need external regulators.“Many of y'all seem to think we're overreacting, but y'all should be able to recognize by now that this reaction is entirely within our character,...”- This is not a small event. Public reaction is to be expected. It’s not a big deal. The British generally expect their PM to stay cool and not talk of ‘kicking asses’. If I were him, the ‘asses’ I’d have in mind would be the MMS and previous administrations. Why? Because, even if this time had gone OK, when regulation isn’t working, the same thing would happen to somebody's well sooner or later. That’s something the British learned from Piper Alpha. “...or have y'all forgotten about our little overreaction over 200 years ago?”- The Lousiana purchase? That was a brilliant move by America and France, but not the British. Thu 17 Jun 2010 20:11:27 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=90#comment107 At LucyJ (98):Hmmm.... maybe yes. Maybe no. You've got a lot of ifs. And, call me crazy, but I kinda think that the BP folks might have honestly underestimated the spill... at first.Now, I agree that there was a serious SNAFU that allowed the oil to come ashore. I also think that more could have been done to scramble initial clean-up.But... Neither Obama Nor Bush have crystal balls. I know Bush loves oil and would hate to see so much black gold go to waste, but no one was telling them magical secrets about the great mysteries of the deep. I just figure the mantra that "Bush = good; Obama = bad" is... strange.So, have another cuppa' joe on me. Extra-light and sweet if you like. But have you actually had a good spot of tea lately? It's actually quite good when properly steeped, especially with just a bit cream and a cube or two of sugar... (though personally, I prefer locally harvested honey.)BTW: congratulations with the Blackhawks. The Flyers may have lost in overtime, but it was good game. And, our 76ers are an embarrassment. I realize this. So, enjoy your Celtics. *HangsHeadInShame* Thu 17 Jun 2010 19:59:06 GMT+1 TJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=89#comment106 For those interested in finding out what happens to all the oil that gets leaked both accidentally by us and from natural occurring seeps I found this site informative:http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=57272I live just up the coast from Santa Barbara where oil seeps naturally and continuously into the ocean. In fact I've heard it said that more oil would seep naturally if we did not take some and relieve the pressure.Also adjacent to this area is one of the protected areas of the ocean which is abundant with rich life.This oil spill is more an inconvenience to use and we only have ourselves to blame. In the long term nature appears to be able to handle it and flourish, as she does with all the other massive destructions that she causes. Thu 17 Jun 2010 19:49:07 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=88#comment105 Here is a link to the Oxford (British) definition of hypocrisy:hypocrisy noun ...It is the same as (correct) American usage.The term "American hypocrisy" is meaningless. Only an individual (or a group acting in concert) can be a hypocrite. There is no such thing as hypocrisy of a group of people acting independent of one another, and the American population is 300 million people each with their own standards and beliefs and conduct.If you want to call someone (with justification) a hypocrite, you should:1. identify the individual person, or a group acting as one,2. give an accurate quote (preferably with a link to support it) amounting to a claim of superior standards or beliefs,3. document actions of the individual (or group) which prove that the individual's (or group's) standards or beliefs are not, in fact, superior.Here is a concrete example:President Obama has used the term "reckless" to describe the actions of BP on the Deepwater Horizon. If you can prove that Obama is directing operations on another drilling platform in the Gulf, and the crew is taking similar actions with Obama's knowledge and approval, then you will have shown him to be a hypocrite.I'm not going to wait up for anyone to show that. Thu 17 Jun 2010 19:40:30 GMT+1 falmaid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=88#comment104 Quite frankly I don't think the Congressional Committee would have happy unless Tony Hayward had shot himself on live TV. This is an appalling environmental disaster that needs to be understood in detail, cleaned up, proper compensation given and above all every assistance given to those families who lost their loved ones. I believe BP are trying to do this. Mark, you might think Tony Hayward's performance before the Committee has not gone down well in America. Perhaps you have been in the USA for too long. Mr Hayward's performance for most British people is one of quiet dignity and the fact that America's administration clearly does not like him is evidence only of a deepening cultural and intellectual divide between America and Britain that started a long time ago. I never thought I would say this but I really do think Britain's future is with our European partners! Thu 17 Jun 2010 19:34:00 GMT+1 TedInDenver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=87#comment103 99. At 6:34pm on 17 Jun 2010, cirvine11 wrote:In reality-when all is said and done-the US taxpayer will be paying a majority of the bill. Get used to that idea.100% agree, and the UK will no longer own 40% of the worlds 4th largest corporation due to it's (BP's) culture of poor safety procedures. I've said before, this is a lose/lose. Thu 17 Jun 2010 19:18:06 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=86#comment102 38. The Toothbrush Man wrote:"Question :- Would there be anything like this fuss of the company had been American? Would there have been this kind of fuss if the company at fault hadn't the word "British" in its acronym?"Probably not. After all those years of "Bush-Men, Big-Oil and Friends" on Capitol Hill... I figure that a lot of folks on Capitol Hill are rather cozy with our own dear and beloved Crude Energy People. Alas. Don't take it so personally! Hey - it's perfectly understandable. It's a big country, and someone has to fuel it. Right? Of COURSE our powerful people will deal closely with our power-producing people. Right?Sry BP. You are a most unfortunate sacrificial lamb. We cast our mottled gas-addict sins upon you and send you out of the camp, hoping that we shall then become, perhaps, a little bit cleaner in the future. Thu 17 Jun 2010 18:25:41 GMT+1 AgeTheGod http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=85#comment101 97. At 6:21pm on 17 Jun 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:"And if you think it's somehow an example of 'American hypocrisy' then you don't know the definition of hypocrisy or understand international law."Actually it is an example of hypocrisy in the British-English definition of the word in common usage over here. I'm sure there's an equivalent word in American-English to describe people or organisations that apply different standards of behaviour depending on whether they are the beneficiaries or victims of that behaviour. Also this isn’t a matter of law - international or otherwise. If it was then BP would have just paid the $75M liability for clean-up costs and left it at that until the courts sorted it out in 20 years time. Instead it's a matter of moral and ethical responsibility for the consequences of ones actions - in that respect BP have stepped up to the plate and Union Carbide didn't.I do however agree that it's probably too late to do anything properly about it - Dow Chemicals weren't responsible and certainly should not be liable and any claims should be against the shareholders that sold Un ion Carbide to Dow Chemicals and trousered the profits. Certainly the "ordinary Joe" American isn’t to blame in any way and should resist any claims to the contrary.However I expect that the next time a US corporation makes a significant industrial mistake anywhere in the world then whichever national government it is will shout "Deepwater Horizon!" and come down on them like a tonne of bricks. That's the problem with setting precedence - once set they apply to everyone. Thu 17 Jun 2010 18:14:53 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=84#comment100 BienvenueLouisiana (#97): "And if you think it's somehow an example of 'American hypocrisy' then you don't know the definition of hypocrisy or understand international law."I agree, having made those very points myself. There ought to be a site somewhere for people who are so inclined to discuss it to their heart's content. Thu 17 Jun 2010 18:14:38 GMT+1 willa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=83#comment99 A few thoughts:Assuming BP can ever stop the gushing oil spill…… Affected residents (it is not polite to refer to them as ‘small’ people) are entitled to be compensated for BP inflicted damages every year (based on pre-spill declared income (per tax returns) plus an additional % yearly after that), for however long it takes BP to stop the gush and clean up the enormous mess in our beaches and surrounding gulf waters. Once BP cleans up the environment, birds and fish will stop dying, tourism and businesses should pick up, and so should local economies. BP should now commit all its resources to restoring the environment to its original state and making those resident's livelihoods viable again, no matter how much time, money, and effort it takes. Alas…that would be the lowest price to pay for all the misery and havoc that they have caused. Thu 17 Jun 2010 18:09:36 GMT+1 cirvine11 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=83#comment98 Simply put-this is a tragedy. Millions of livelihoods have been and will be destroyed. The environmental destruction is extreme... perhaps literally priceless. BP has no hope of paying 100 cents on the dollar for all of the ongoing damage. As some have writen here, there is even a chance the well may not be capped... for a very long time... if at all. So we are left with a key set of questions; 1) How much can BP possibly pay and still be a viable entity? 2) Who is going to pay the costs beyond that point? 3) What effects will this have on US/UK relations if/when UK stockholders are effected? 4) What effect will this have on perceptions of the risks to international buisness's that operate under US jurisdiction?In reality-when all is said and done-the US taxpayer will be paying a majority of the bill. Get used to that idea. Thu 17 Jun 2010 17:34:33 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=82#comment97 Yes, I do believe that.The British govt. is the type that would have reacted immediatly to an oil spill. Obama has so many things going on that when they told him it would be solved quickly and was no big deal, he believed them rather than having someone independently look into it right away. If that would have happened, they would have realized it was much worse. Is Obama psychic? Of course not. But you cannot believe a corporations' word without independently checking it out.I also believe former President Bush might be able to help us, for once. President Obama doesn't even have to make it public, if he doesn't want. I believe Bush is smarter than he looks. And he loves oil. No kool-aid. Only coffee with a lot of creamer.Go Blackhawks!!!Go Celtics!!! Thu 17 Jun 2010 17:32:46 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=81#comment96 Who are all these people talking about the Bhopal disaster? I've never seen them post before, and they seem so fixated on it. That disaster is not relevant to this discussion. If y'all want to do something about it take it up with the Indian Government; after all, it took place over there in their jurisdiction in 1984 - 26 years ago! And if you think it's somehow an example of 'American hypocrisy' then you don't know the definition of hypocrisy or understand international law.As for the "little people" comment, I'm more stunned by the incompetence of BP's PR than mad; I also figure it has more to do with English being his second language than anything else.Lastly, this aggravating talk of Americans being anti-British continues in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Yes, we Americans are pissed off, but at BP, not at the UK. Many of y'all seem to think we're overreacting, but y'all should be able to recognize by now that this reaction is entirely within our character, or have y'all forgotten about our little overreaction over 200 years ago? Thu 17 Jun 2010 17:21:24 GMT+1 PursuitOfLove http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=80#comment95 Nathan #65: '"LOL. We Americans respond positively to so called "populists" who refer to us as "average Americans", "everyday Americans", "ordinary Americans","regular Americans","the average-Joe," "the little guy", and my personal favorite "Joe six-pack" (your whole social and economic existence summarized as a unit of beer!)... but "small people" !?!?! Well I never!!!"I can't determine whether you're being sarcastic, joking or neither. It doesn't always translate well in writing.In case you're not, most people (American and foreign) would agree that being called "average," "every day," "regular" and "ordinary" by an elected politician who doesn't claim expenses for the tax payer to pick up and/or have a room subsidised by the tax payer in that swanky C street hotel run by that cult, and who genuinly is concerned for, and works for the betterment of their constituants' futures is the diometric opposit of a greedy oil corporation's chairman, who at the very least probably owns a swanky house and a chauffeur and who's corporation has been known and well documented to cut coarners in order to make a bigger profit, and in the knoledge of such information might be a bit offended at the "small people" remark from that corporation's chairman. It was just as much the remark as it was the tone it was delivered in. Conceded, much like Obama's "guns and religion" gaf during the campaign. People went on about that for weeks, and not just the Tea partiers!!"The hilarious part is if Sarah Palin said "We care about small people" instead of a European business man, Tea partiers would be clapping and honking stupidly like trained seals." Yes. Well the Tea party is largely made up of terrifyed-of-change narrow-minded sanctimonious people, so really what do you expect? The words "objective" and "criticism" when it comes to their own aren't in their vocabulary."I wish Americans would wake up and hear the double meaning behind all the backhanded compliments we are fed every day by our politicians. They are no less offensive or class laced than the BP chief's slip up, and probably more so as they can't be chalked up to an error in translation."I don't doubt that many of our politicians live on high horses. But I don't think all of them do. And another big difference between them and oil corporations' leaders? If a politician is caught uttering a stuck-up comment like the one uttered by the BP chairman, chances are they would at the very least have a tough re-election fight on their hands. Corporations' leaders, on the other hand, aren't made to face the music in that way. Thu 17 Jun 2010 17:14:18 GMT+1 WolfiePeters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=79#comment94 To PursuitOfLove @ 70On Bhopal, you are in a small minority who care to even recognise its existence. Bhopal is something about which the western world should feel shame. Apart from the failings of Union Carbide as owners and operators, the rest of us from the US Federal Government down have preferred to turn a blind eye and do everything to forget the 15 to 20 thousand dead. Some have said that it’s a quarter of a century since the gas release, it’s not relevant anymore. It started then, but it’s still going on, people are still dying. Though abandoned, the site has never been cleaned up and tanks are still leaking poisonous liquid into the soil.This was a dirty and horrible event far beyond Deepwater Horizon. But the failure to clean up, the failure to do much useful is even worse. Thu 17 Jun 2010 17:03:47 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=78#comment93 81. LucyJ wrote:"If these oil leaks had happened in Great Britain, I believe they would have been stopped by now...If these oil leaks had happened in USA during the Bush years, I believe they would have been stopped by now." Really? You think that? Ha. That's funny. Server? I'll have what she's having. That cool-aid she's drinking must have something really really strong in it... Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:50:49 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=77#comment92 Oddly Enough, some little known Philly Trivia:The Philadelphia City flag is powder blue and bright yellow because the Swedes got here first and built log houses along the river.Philadelphia might be home to the Betsy Ross House (where, supposedly, the Stars and Stripes were stitched), but blue and yellow flies over our City Hall.So Mr. Chairman - thanks for trying, cousin. Just do us right, okay? While in Center City, I'll nod at our colors and cross my fingers for the clean up. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:45:50 GMT+1 xpat73 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=77#comment91 When you engage in very profitable business you must also accept liability. What you will see here is, once again, a bailout of BP (too big to fail) with a limitation of liabilty like the government did on 9/11. It's typical, if you are a small business that pollutes some land you get hammered. If you are huge you get limited liability. Privatise profits, socialise losses.... Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:33:01 GMT+1 Philly-Mom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=76#comment90 Small People.Small People? Really?.... Small People?Oh dear. I can only speak from my own experience, but in recent decades I have seen an increasing division between upper and lower income households as the middle class begins to struggle. More people have found 'new money', but for many many more of us, the 'American Dream' is dependent upon winning lottery numbers. America became great, not with her Rich and Powerful, but because of her Average Hard-working Folks who had big ideas that would improve people's lives. Remember, George Washington was a farmer, Ben Franklin was a printer, and the Wright Brothers owned a bicycle shop...I'm happy BP appreciates 'Small People'. But, I hope BP understands exactly whom they are up against, because 'Small People' are their clients. -- After all, we ARE the gas addicts and they are the dealers. Right?Oh, and Barack? We know you used to work in an Ice Cream Shop, but we also remember that you served ice cream in an Island Paradise, that you went to Harvard, and that 'big-city lawyers' aren't always to be trusted. I know, I know - you don't have a magic wand and some troubles run deep. Just... be careful, honey. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:23:30 GMT+1 gnewsome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=75#comment89 The problem with compensation is that it sounds so reasonable, especially when there is one party who is responsible. But the disaster in the Gulf is no different to those affected than the disaster of the finance system meltdown.When you have lost your job/business/house etc. through circumstances wildly beyond your control, the result is devastation.Why should the cause have anything to do with whether you are compensated or not? However cynical this sounds, those in the Gulf are the lucky ones because they have a chance of some compensation. Those millions only affected by the economic disaster are the truly unfortunate. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:18:48 GMT+1 diverticulosis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=74#comment88 Funny, the from the press you would think that Republicans in the US and the Tea Party crowd specifically are the most radical right wing group on the planet.From the response from the UK, especially on this board, against the $20B fund, I didn't know that UK has such a right wing bent.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gulf_oil_spill_20_billion_fundRep. Joe Barton (R-Tx) is your friend. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:15:08 GMT+1 TedInDenver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=73#comment87 81. At 4:36pm on 17 Jun 2010, LucyJ wrote:If these oil leaks had happened in Great Britain, I believe they would have been stopped by now. Please provide an example of ANY deepwater (1 mile plus) event of this nature where the BOP failed that was stopped in two weeks. It has never happened before. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:13:32 GMT+1 TedInDenver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=72#comment86 80. At 4:22pm on 17 Jun 2010, Scott0962 wrote:If you want to live like a medieval peasant and forego the "luxuries" of modern civlization that have given people longer and happier lives then go right ahead but don't wait up for the rest of us to join you.I would live in a cave in a heartbeat. Just so long as it has a 54" HD plasma TV, Internet, heating/AC, etc.. oh.. and somewhere to park my new Jeep. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:08:17 GMT+1 AgeTheGod http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=72#comment85 "That's a question you should be asking BP if you are so concerned."I already know the answer and it's not BP's concern - the stated percentages of revenue belongs to the other parties, not BP, so all they can do is hand it over. All I was doing was providing an explanation for a question raised by someone else about why BP was not donating 100% of the revenue from the sale of the reclaimed oil to charity - it's because the other parties involved are quietly trousering the money whilst your attention is focussed elsewhere. It's interesting that you're not angry about that!On the subject of recovering clean-up costs - rest assured as a very small shareholder in BP I'll certainly be trying to raise those questions about recouping costs at the next shareholder meeting though I'm betting that a lot of other people have the same intention. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:06:16 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=71#comment84 In his first speech Obama implicated corrupt government agencies in the oil spill. It has never been mentioned again. Thu 17 Jun 2010 16:06:11 GMT+1 Tim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=70#comment83 I have no idea whether BP can maintain these economies ad infinitum, but it is clear that they should compensate all of the victims of this man-made disaster. Does that mean supporting the entire economy of the Gulf Coast for years to come? I can hardly believe that. The full cleanup will clearly take years, but the bulk of the job should be done by the end of this year, surely? Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:58:51 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=69#comment82 re. #54: Excellent summation regarding how the government is handling the crisis. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:40:02 GMT+1 simon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=68#comment81 Mardell is getting infected by the hysteria of the US press (listen to some of the stuff on MSNBC for example). The "small people" reference was obviously well meant and probably resonate well with the individuals and small businesses affected.No one disputes the disaster or BP's obligation to clean it up and compensate. But Obama, Congress and the press seem not to understand (or care?) about the effect of their behaviour on the "small people". They do not need to be reminded of just how bad it is. They need to see and hear a constructive response. BP (and Transocean, Halliburton et al) messed up but they are trying to clean it up. When your leader resorts to puerile macho comments, lambasts the very people he needs to succeed at every opportunity, and raises and encourage the spectre that BP will not pay and/or will go bankrupt before it can pay, you average "small person" is only going to feel more stressed and panicked.Even now Obama is mainly in a speech and gesture mode. A real leader would curb some of the hysteria, give BP some cover from the more extreme comments, help them perform, all the while confidently saying that they will be held to account when all the facts are known, as will everyone else. By owning the regulatory failure he could have deflected most of the criticism since much of the trouble goes back years. However, he looks vulnerable in the failure to understand this before announcing new offshore drilling. Once again, big idea, big gesture, no follow up.Which goes to the last issue. Obama talks tough about firing for perceived incompetence. In reality he selected a weak team that has repeatedly goofed in public (there are so many bloopers of the type that he felt Hayward should be for). When it comes to his offshore drilling initiative and to the oil spill response his team has been pathetic. Ultimately that is his fault. Obama comes from Chicago so he knows that while the mayor isn't to blame for the snow, how he handles it is a key election issue. One suspects that he would not have survived as mayor.... Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:36:57 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=67#comment80 If these oil leaks had happened in Great Britain, I believe they would have been stopped by now. The British wouldn't have put up with it, they would have had a huge outcry and protest, and BP would have taken care of it within the first two weeks.If these oil leaks had happened in USA during the Bush years, I believe they would have been stopped by now. Bush loves big oil more than anything. He wouldn't have put up with it. Bush would have taken care of it within the first two weeks.But because it happened under the Obama Admin. in USA, I believe BP did not try their top kill and other manuevers until it was too late. Now it is out of control.President Obama could have done more for Katrina and former President Bush could have done more for the BP oil spill. Too bad they are reversed. Either way, the outcomes were/are rough.If President Obama really wants to stop the oil leaks, he would ask former President Bush for help. I believe former President Bush knows people who know how to stop the oil leaks.We need former President Bush's help to stop the oil leaks. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:36:36 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=66#comment79 re. #67. At 2:51pm on 17 Jun 2010, StephenAcworth wrote:"When did we, as rich Western consumers, ever agree to forgo our luxuries to compensate for the environmental disaster our lust for nonsense and junk has wreaked on the planet?"Nonsense and junk? Oil is so ingrained into the fabric of modern civilization that even if tomorrow we invented a vehicle that ran on water and overnight replaced every oil fired generator with an alternative energy source we would still need oil for literally thousands of other uses. The macadam roads those vehicles would travel on are made with oil. The synthetic material the tires are made from are made from oil. Synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals, plastics--all made from oil. If you want to live like a medieval peasant and forego the "luxuries" of modern civlization that have given people longer and happier lives then go right ahead but don't wait up for the rest of us to join you. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:22:32 GMT+1 TedInDenver http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=66#comment78 63. At 2:08pm on 17 Jun 2010, Greg wrote:TO TEDINDENVERMaybe he ment small minded peopleI was being sarcastic, which never works with no similes  I know exactly what he meant with small people, just a translation error. A better word would have been “affected” people, but small is not bad, and it’s true, these are small people when compared to an oil giant. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:21:32 GMT+1 TBailey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=65#comment77 Sure, BP should pay for damage to the environment. But while we are on this line of thought, where is the pay-outs for all the attrocities done by American corporations. Should we not also recieve pay-outs from the country that burns the most fuel for the environmental damage it does to all countries ? BP has the responsibility to stop the flow, contain further damage and clean up. The department boarding the rig is not only to find safety failings but make sure they have been implemented - one could equally blame that government department. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:14:59 GMT+1 PursuitOfLove http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=64#comment76 TerryNo2 #44: '"The British are not and never have been natrually anti-American." Perhaps not the majority of them. But I believe this does a brilliant job of explaining not only that anti-Americanism exists in Britain, but that the hard core sentiment will never fade because it is disassociated from and disconnected to president and policy."The US references to how a BRITISH company is going to have its "ass kicked" and "made to pay", and how in olden Japan the leaders would have committed suicide by now, does come across quite strongly as anti-British sentiment."How do you figure? To me, and to every other rational person in the world, it comes across as insensitive, unfairly harsh fury directed at an oil corporation who's title once included the word "British," who's CEO just happens to be British and who's head quarters just happen to be located in London. As countless people have already said on here, it is a multy-national corporation. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:12:35 GMT+1 diverticulosis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=63#comment75 66. At 2:34pm on 17 Jun 2010, AgeTheGod wrote:"This is one of the things that really annoys me over all this. BP are clearly picking up all the costs at the moment but are only receiving just over 50% of the benefits. The other parties - the two Oil companies in particular - should really be under much more scrutiny because they will still be making money from this whilst everyone else is paying for it."That's a question you should be asking BP if you are so concerned. Why aren't they defending themselves. If the "other" companies are at fault or are to be perceived at fault, then BP has every right to go after them for compensation. I'm sure they singed a contract with their subcontractors on the well. The only people who know the liability clauses between BP and their subcontractors are BP, their subcontractors and their lawyers. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:01:13 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=62#comment74 re. #24. At 04:46am on 17 Jun 2010, Daniel wrote:"The problem here would always end up a problem for Britain since the day of the accident. You have a British oil corporation which has become an integral part of your nation's economy -- an oil corporation that depends on foreign sources for oil."Finally, a blatant example of BP bashing! (As I write Mr. Hayward hasn't appeared before Congress yet.) I was wondering what all the fuss was about. Daniel, BP isn't drilling in the Gulf to supply the British market and they didn't buy ARCO and it's North Slope oil leases to ship oil overseas. They are an international oil company and the biggest market in the world for oil is the United States. What would you have us do, nationalize our oil industry to drive out all the "foreigners"? Mexico did that and it didn't prevent their big offshore spill in the Gulf. Venezuela did it too and their oil production is in decline because skilled drilling and oil rig maintenance people went elsewhere.Bashing BP because it is headquartered in Britain makes no sense and is irrelevant to the problem at hand. Thu 17 Jun 2010 15:00:17 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=61#comment73 "there's just one little (small) bone I have to pick with the British - is that a bad word - press.""The British Press" are indeed bad words...and not really British in many cases. They are terrible and even dear Auntie Beeb has let the side down in recent years. I would not take them too seriously. ^^ Thu 17 Jun 2010 14:54:43 GMT+1 onward-ho http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=61#comment72 IF A MAJOR OIL COMPANY HAS TO SPEND 20 BILLION DOLLARS ON CLEARING UP AFTER AN OILSPILL, IT HAS TO RESULT IN OIL PRICES GOING DRAMATICALLY UPWARDS, OTHERWISE THESE COMPANIES WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS.SO EXPECT OIL TO REACH A HUNDRED BUCKS A BARREL PDQ. Thu 17 Jun 2010 14:52:54 GMT+1 johnzebut http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=60#comment71 29. At 07:39am on 17 Jun 2010, Megan wrote:"It is time America pitched in to help instead of whine. Where is all the oil exploration expertise the Americans claim to have? Obama has as yet made no positive or helpful contribution whatsoever, and needs to be told in no uncertain terms that his unhelpful mouthings are doing nothing to deal with the situation."Obama was not very quick to pick up on the urgency of the unfolding situation but that is largely down to the fact that BP lied about the severity of the leak and continued to talk down the actual quantities of escaping oil. The Obama administration's efforts to contain this catastrophe are severely limited because the oil exploration expertise you refer to lies with corporations, not with the Federal Government.And these corporations are sitting by watching their most powerful competitor slowly dying because it is not in their interest to assist BP. None of which has anything to do with a shared nationality or any other such cosmetic identity. Corporations/Capitalists have no sense of nationality or collectivism beyond making as much profit as possible - check out the coffee mugs, hats, flags etc. emblazoned with the flag of St. George and keep an eye out for the "Made in China" logo. The "small people" gaffe was probably quite innocently made but it highlights the two very different worlds existing on this planet. There is big business/big money - and then there is everyone else. To the former, everyone else is a small person. Welcome to our world. Thu 17 Jun 2010 14:45:18 GMT+1 funnybank http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=59#comment70 Does all this reek of hypocrisy on so many levels to anyone else? I don't remember this much fuss being made for the Bhopal disaster victims, when an American company wrecked their lives. Just another illustration of how American lives are so much more important. Thu 17 Jun 2010 14:43:39 GMT+1 PursuitOfLove http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=58#comment69 Mark #46: '"I look forward to President Obama setting up a multibillion dollar fund to compensate all those people around the world who have been put off of work or seen their businesses fail as a result of the incompetence of American banks in the sub prime market."That would include American livelyhoods too, right?In a perfect world, he would. However as commonsense_expressway (#51) has said, the cost would reach into the trillions of dollars, and given the fact that we are 13 trillion dollars in debt right now (that is one trillion dollars less than the worth of our entire economy,) are scraping and saving to pay for the most basic of rights that Europeans take for granted such as education, benefits and health care, and at the same time are trying not to lesson or stop altogether our foreign aid, I'm afraid it is but a mere pipe dream. I'm sorry. I think its a good idea too. But people in power, whether they are bankers, politicians or oil executives are corrupt and selfish, and that means the rest of us "small people" get screwed.To all those bringing up the Bhople and Pipa_Alfa disasters and how the American corporations who caused them didn't pay compansation and/or were brought to justice for breaking whatever countries' they were opporating in laws, let me just say - whatever small amount it will be worth - that I think it totally unforgiveable, selfish and unfair for us not to do so when the disasters were caused and yet now expect BP to do so. Consider it an oil corporations' Guantanamo Bay, if you will.But perhaps (I hope I hope I hope) this hipocracy will be just the catolist the victims of those tragidies need to finally be vindicated and our corporations brought to justice? I can dream, can't I? Thu 17 Jun 2010 14:27:19 GMT+1 Big_Steve_W http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=57#comment68 #64. cunnid02I agree with most of what you have said, but don't dismiss out of hand the possibility that BP doesn't have safety issues. Some of the reports being posted on news sites state that throughout the drilling in the gulf there were safety concerns raised by it's staff and they were ignored by officials and told not to make a fuss "or else". Now I don't know if that is true or not, but if it is then it would indicate a significant failing on the part of BP. The consequences of a failure can be catastrophic.Some industries have exceptionally good attitudes towards dealing with concerns of employees, in particular the nuclear industry in the UK has learnt from the mistakes around the world and has an opening questioning attitude. It is expected that employees raise concerns and they are acted upon as failure to do so could be disastrous. The company is in fact grateful for employees raising issues, although it may mean a cost to be preventative, it could save 10 times as much compared to repairing the damage later on. Maybe more companies and industries should adopt this kind of questioning attitude. Thu 17 Jun 2010 14:24:19 GMT+1 sayasay http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=56#comment67 Mark @ 46 , commonsense_expressway @ 51Are we thinking here? Do show me how “the incompetence of American banks in the sub prime market” makes people lose their jobs or make business fail? As a first step, one is let go because the boss say so, base on whatever the cues the boss has: Is US banks sub prime market incompetence directly involved? Same should be asked of business failure. Is it difficult to understand that, perhaps, if one's boss loves one's face more, he could have let one keep the job. Let’s us not get too carried away with the domino effects. As far as I am concerned, I could see the oil spill trail as it spreads havoc around the gulf. And BP ‘owned’ the hole where oil trail starts. Point disregarded and this “fund” has zero value, not trillions. Thu 17 Jun 2010 14:16:38 GMT+1 StephenAcworth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=55#comment66 What gets me mad about all this is that the focus has shifted to the Gulf of Mexico because of the current crisis which will affect a relatively few individuals who have a loud voice and get plenty of media coverage because they are from the 'ruling class' on the planet at a time when the rapacious nature of the oil industry is devastating wide tracts of Africa, Indonesia, Canada, Malaysia, China etc etc etc as we try to satiate our endless quest for non-renewable energy. When did any oil company agree to compensate the 'little people' of third world and developing countries? When did we, as rich Western consumers, ever agree to forgo our luxuries to compensate for the environmental disaster our lust for nonsense and junk has wreaked on the planet? NEVER! This whole debacle highlights the huge unfathomable inequities of capitalism and all we see it as is an economic issue of paying off Bubba Gump - as a species we really need to examine our deep history of meaningless human development at the cost of countless other species and to the overall detriment of our own future. Thu 17 Jun 2010 13:51:48 GMT+1 AgeTheGod http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=55#comment65 60. At 1:42pm on 17 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:"I don't know what “minus the royalty it pays the United States government and the portion of sales owed to others who own a portion of that lease” means."This is explained on the BP web-site - it means that the US Government still wants their 18.75% and the other two Oil companies involved (one American and one Japanese) haven't agreed to donate their profits so BP can only donate 52.1825% of the revenue because that's all the actually own.This is one of the things that really annoys me over all this. BP are clearly picking up all the costs at the moment but are only receiving just over 50% of the benefits. The other parties - the two Oil companies in particular - should really be under much more scrutiny because they will still be making money from this whilst everyone else is paying for it. Thu 17 Jun 2010 13:34:06 GMT+1 Nathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=54#comment64 LOL. We Americans respond positively to so called "populists" who refer to us as "average Americans", "everyday Americans", "ordinary Americans","regular Americans","the average-Joe," "the little guy", and my personal favorite "Joe six-pack" (your whole social and economic existence summarized as a unit of beer!)... but "small people" !?!?! Well I never!!! The hilarious part is if Sarah Palin said "We care about small people" instead of a European business man, Tea partiers would be clapping and honking stupidly like trained seals. I wish Americans would wake up and hear the double meaning behind all the backhanded compliments we are fed every day by our politicians. They are no less offensive or class laced than the BP chief's slip up, and probably more so as they can't be chalked up to an error in translation. Thu 17 Jun 2010 13:30:36 GMT+1 cunnid02 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=53#comment63 I hope that BP will test an individual's income loss claim There are a lot of cheats and deceit when it comes to the payout - look at 9/11 and the fraud from people claiming to have lost someone ; I say check their income because anyone can say they 'lost a lot of money' but you should have to prove what you say...so if the average of 3 years showed you made a certain amount and you can show in writing that you have a loss this year..then give the amount that makes up for that part of income you lost.Again, my opinion is that for all the squawking about the ecology and the economy, you have most people doing nothing but criticizing BP. Since American investors own 39% of BP, you would think they would be trying to do everything possible. I don't think the Gulf coast is near tore up by the ecology as they are thrilled at a cash cow in BP. If it was such a disaster as everyone states, why is there not a cooperative force working towards a solution of fixing the pipe.I have heard preposterous remarks such as BP's Atlantis rig being riddled with safety violations and it should be shut down. Enough is enough. I believe BP was one of the companies doing the research where bacteria that dissolved oil was 'manufactured'. The more remarks I hear, the more I wonder if this is some vendetta against BP or trying to make it come down in stature. I find it amazing that the news media goes on and on about the possibility that in years to come BP may not be able to 'pay' for the spill. Well, I would concentrate on today, because as the saying goes, you can't do anything about yesterday and tomorrow isn't here, so you only have today. That is what I would do, is concentrate on the task at hand. If the media enjoys forcasting years ahead, maybe they can try this on: any corporation has the right to redress debts and file bankruptcy, and continue on. I know because I worked in a Gateway hospital that was solvent before I went on vacation, came back, and lost a week because they went bankrupt and started over.I don't think , nor hope, that would occur with BP. Most of all, and this is just me again, AT LEAST BP HAS HAD THE CHUTZPAH TO DRILL DEEP WELLS, SINCE THE LAND WELLS ARE DRYING UP. That is the crux of my feeling;the way other people are acting against BP it reminds me of a burning building (BP) that just burns while people stand around and say it's not my building, it's not my company,not my fire, they caused the fire because of a gas leak... but wait, my roof is damaged by the burning building, I will file a claim...I also wonder what purpose is being done by the constant minute by minute droning on of the media, and the picture in real time, of the leak. When they show that, beyond normal concern, I am amazed at the robotics they use in order to drill a mile deep...I was alive and well when the Exxon Valdez disaster struck and perhaps it is 20 years of improved communications but I don't think much was said [as compared to today]- of course not, like the US has never had their share of mishaps which are muzzled, but by and by, let some other entity have problems and it is like muckrakers of the old days, Too bad it can't be like the days if someone's barn burnt down, the entire community helped build another one. Today's world apparently is that if you see a man drowning and needing help, you give him an anvil instead of a float. Thu 17 Jun 2010 13:10:40 GMT+1 Greg http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=52#comment62 TO TEDINDENVERMaybe he ment small minded people Thu 17 Jun 2010 13:08:33 GMT+1 TerryNo2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=51#comment61 #54 . Fair point. Apologies. Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:53:47 GMT+1 Curt Carpenter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=50#comment60 TedInDenver (#15 above): Listen: I'm not anti-American or anti-British. I do admit to being increasingly anti-species though. And as a sort of misanthrope-in-training, I've spent a good part of MY planet-unfriendly life within a short drive of the gulf of Mexico. Speaking of which (for the record): I've been having headaches lately... Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:53:19 GMT+1 BluesBerry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=50#comment59 The Swedish BP Chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, didn’t offend me when he referred to the “small” people; in fact, I smiled because that’s what we are “small” people – Lilliputians, next to corporations. So if BP cares about the “small” people, I say good on them! Hooray!! About the money dedicated to the victims, there seems to you to be a problem. Whereas you talk about extent of liability, I talk about Kenneth Feinberg (I thought someone else was going to manage this fund?)Kenneth Feinberg is an American attorney who specializes in mediation and dispute resolution. Who's fighting whom?He was “Special Master” of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund; he is “Special Master” of ther TARP Executive Compensation."he has been Court-Appointed “Special Settlement Master” in cases including Agent Orange, Asbestos Personal Injury Litigation and DES (diethylstilbestrol). You know the history of settlement on these cases as well as I; so, I won't bore you with the details.I really don’t know what to make of this appointment, and guess who agrees with me: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, said: "We all share - I really don’t knoiw what to make of the man - an interest in seeing these companies return taxpayer dollars as soon as possible, and Ken today has helped bring that day a little bit closer."President Obama said that the $20 billion from BP "will not be controlled by either BP or by the government. It will be put in an escrow account administered by an impartial, independent third party." Right behind that statement he appointed Kenneth Feinberg as the independent third party.I'm not sure Kenneth Feinberg would be my first choice, but...on to your question:Can and should BP underpin the economy of the Gulf Coast for years to come? The Clean Water Act underpins lawsuits if anyone (incl a coporation) discharges of benzene, mercury and other toxic chemicals that could be found in the crude oil. In addition, the permit discourages the use of dispersants because they can "disperse and emulsify oil, thereby increasing the toxicity." BP already has dumped thousands of gallons of the dispersants into the Gulf."Failure to comply with the permit is a violation of the Clean Water Act" is being reviewed as "the" potential litigation vehicle. Apparently claims are being filed because notice within sixty (60) days of incident is required. This Clean Water Act is supposed to be the backstop if someone (I guess BP) fails to behave.Interestingly, The Clean Water Act allows the US to seek civil fines for each drop of oil that's spilled into waters. Under the act, the basic fine is $1,100/ barrel spilled. (Oh my gracious!!) Further, if a judge finds that the spill was a result of gross negligence, the fines can rise to $4,300/barrel. The question:If the government does receive civil fines, will the money go to the small people to make them bigger?Well, usually civil fines go to the Treasury. There is nothing that says they have to go to cleanup costs or those who need cleaning up.Oh, some little good news for small people: BP has announced that it will create a wildlife fund with all of its net revenues from selling skimmed or salvaged oil “minus the royalty it pays the United States government and the portion of sales owed to others who own a portion of that lease”. Well, I have to take my good news back for now because I don't know what “minus the royalty it pays the United States government and the portion of sales owed to others who own a portion of that lease” means.Something in all of this does not feel right, and I can't put my finger on it. Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:42:42 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=49#comment58 Ref 2, MAII"Those who made a lot of noise about the environment in the past, especially among those in Europe have been rather silent about the ecological catastrophe this disaster has caused."I have no idea how European environmentalists feel about this disaster, but I can assure you that American environmentalists are dismayed about a disaster they fought hard to prevent. Just because we are not out saying "I told you so" does not mean we don't care. The ones that seem to be in full retreat are the drill baby drill "conservatives" who continued to champion their cause and insisted on lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling until very recently. Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:36:51 GMT+1 PartTimeDon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=48#comment57 Didn't both candidates in the last presidential election promise to look after "The Little Guy"?How small minded do you need to be to get annoyed about someone using different words to say the same thing? Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:30:58 GMT+1 PartTimeDon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=47#comment56 The one thing that isn't likely to happen is that BP will go bust.Currently BP has calculated that the cost to them of setting aside such a colossal amount for clean up and compensation is worth it in the long run when set against the difficulty of continuing to do business in the US had they cut and run. If it ever gets to the point where the sum of money demanded puts the company at risk, BP will be far less forthcoming. The US's own liability laws relating to the oil industry will protect it.Whether BP is a British company or not is only really relevant in this scenario in that the more the term "British" is thrown at the company, the more difficult business may be for BP in the US going forwards. This affects the above equation and forces BP to balance it with more cash. In ratcheting up the pressure in this way, Obama is trying to get as much money out of BP as possible. Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:15:44 GMT+1 texas_yankee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=46#comment55 Tinkersdamn ... I didn't say that all of the articles that the poster on The Oil Drum links to are inaccurate. The specific comment that you reference is something that may well be true but frankly outside the area of expertise of an oceanographer. I cannot read what he actually said, given the link that you cited does not work, however.I am not trying to get in an argument about this guy's credentials, but here again I am bothered by the notion that the general public gives more weight to the comments of someone with a scientific background without understanding that the person's area of expertise does not actually provide them with any extra insight into the topic that they are expounding upon. Sorry but comments regarding casing integrity coming from an oceangrapher have no more weight than the if they came from the person bagging my groceries. If he was holding forth on the role ocean currents might play in the evolution of this disaster, I would certainly view those remarks differently. Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:15:23 GMT+1 hudsoni http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=45#comment54 that post White House speech by BP is more than just bad pr, the lot of BP executives I've heard sound at best aloof and ill equipped to handle the scrutiny they have brought onto themselves and their company. The "small people" comment or clumsy remark by BPs chairman is clearly an overcompensation for years of giving it to the small people -- completely out of touch and out of his league. The high road he's been forced to take is not of his own choice and it's clear in his forced words. What an imperious company tool whose feet and words (the lot of them) should be held to the fire. Remember, BP stated this spill started at 1000 barrels and would have no impact on the Gulf environment...now it's at 60,000 barrels and is a disaster. Can you really trust any of the BP executives? The answer is clearly no. Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:02:34 GMT+1 Big_Steve_W http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=44#comment53 #44I'm not saying BP are not financially responsible, I stated at the beginning of my post that they SHOULD be expected to pay..... But that doesn't excuse the American government from sitting on their hands and doing nothing letting BP try to sort out what was clearly from day one a major catastrophy...!!!!But as soon as they noticed that their "ratings" were slipping they decided to shift the focus onto the financial compensation side (lawsuites, soemthing every american seems to like), this was instead of throwing resources (and I mean resources not necessarily money) at the problem to stop the leak.this is a complete lack of priority and looks as though they care more about where public anger is directed than solving the problem. Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:00:56 GMT+1 waffle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=44#comment52 This post has been Removed Thu 17 Jun 2010 12:00:24 GMT+1 mannin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=43#comment51 At 03:29am on 17 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:AW47;Some scientists say that due to ocean currents the oil slick will eventually reach England. Now what will that be with your fish and chips? A little malt vinegar? How about a few drops of oil too? A smart ass comment like that is not helpful to the discussion,for the UK has already had bitter experience of serious and fatal accidents offshore caused by US owned companies. Thu 17 Jun 2010 11:53:32 GMT+1 commonsense_expressway http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=42#comment50 #46That fund would need to be in the trillions not billions, but a point well made nonetheless. Thu 17 Jun 2010 11:48:45 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=41#comment49 Just a question,could it be possible that the pressure that was drilled into,was greater than had been experienced up to this time.Resulting in blowing the cork on any technological means of plug that has been used to date ?. Thu 17 Jun 2010 11:34:39 GMT+1 mmvv http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=40#comment48 I hope Mr Obama will also compel Dow Chemicals (who took over Union Carbide) to start a fund to compensate the innocent victims of the Bhopal disaster. Apart from the unfortunate people on the rig, no-one has lost their life as a result of the spill, whereas the Bhopal disaster killed thousands, and blighted the lives of thousands more. Or maybe Mr Obama thinks if BP is taken over its liabilities will cease? Thu 17 Jun 2010 11:32:40 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=39#comment47 The welsh translation on the road sign is ""I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated". Needless to say the Welsh were upset about it but, being English, I just thought it was funny.Dear AgeTheGod,What ever the official reason given,some Welsh joker will be lurking in the back ground with a big smile. Until we have a fullapology from Edward the 1st in person expect more of this.Regards from sunny Pembrokeshire Thu 17 Jun 2010 11:23:26 GMT+1 AgeTheGod http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=38#comment46 41. At 10:48am on 17 Jun 2010, MagicKirin wrote:"This has to be the most tone deaf rich person since Leona Hemsley(Only the little people pay taxes)"Actually it's just the clumsiness of someone who's first language is not English (and not American English at that). Probably explains why BP kept him under wraps for so long because they knew there would be some people that would climb all over every grammatical mistake. All I can say is he did a better speech in English than I would have done in Swedish and, let's face it, he was only there because the US President had summoned him. Over here we get used to it and sometimes - at the risk of being too light-hearted - it's even funny as in the following link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7702913.stmThe welsh translation on the road sign is ""I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated". Needless to say the Welsh were upset about it but, being English, I just thought it was funny. Thu 17 Jun 2010 10:34:43 GMT+1 MJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=38#comment45 I look forward to President Obama setting up a multibillion dollar fund to compensate all those people around the world who have been put of of work or seen their businesses fail as a result of the incompetence of American banks in the sub prime market.It's only fair. Thu 17 Jun 2010 10:23:53 GMT+1 ProfMHSettelen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=37#comment44 One has to wonder who was the Chief Chartered or Professional (Mechanical) Engineer of the firm who actually designed & is operating the oil rig & the opinion of the Governing Bodies of his profession as to competence? Prof M H Settelen Thu 17 Jun 2010 10:19:38 GMT+1 TerryNo2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=36#comment43 #37. BP messd up and they are having to pay the price. Maybe there are angles that BP can deploy to share this burden with their US subcontractors, but this has yet to be seen.#22 The British are not and never have been natrually anti-American. To the extent that there is anti-Americanism, then it simply reflects what is perceived to be anti-British behaviour in the US, including the use of language by the US President that has inflamed some anti-British sentiment in some less educated parts of the US. By way of example, on the TV this morning a clip filmed in the US showed a person standing on the UK flag. As you can imagine, this naturally made good TV, regardless of how it had been put together. At the end of the day, I'm afraid your rambling about anti-Americanism is, to use an old British expression, over-emotional tosh when seen in the context of a long and one-sided relationship. On the other hand, the US references to how a BRITISH company is going to have its "ass kicked" and "made to pay", and how in olden Japan the leaders would have committed suicide by now, does come across quite strongly as anti-British sentiment. Thu 17 Jun 2010 10:17:15 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=35#comment42 Sorry, I erred on that first link, it should behttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/30/ar2010053002195.html Thu 17 Jun 2010 10:08:50 GMT+1 Les http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=34#comment41 There is no doubt that this represents an environmental and economic disaster , not to mention the tragic loss of life involved, and the anger and concern being expressed are natural and easily understood. However, BP’s liability for this event is still to be determined – and normally questions of liability, damages and penalties is a legal matter quite properly reserved for the courts to determine – and importantly not a football for politicians who are amongst the least qualified to do so – and this provides some assurance in a civilised society that the rule of law will apply rather than a sad descent into mob rule – even in the most trying of circumstances. So it is disturbing, if perhaps no great surprise, to see US politicians jostling for position and photo opportunities to condemn BP in the court of US public opinion and extract the highest damages– before a case has come anywhere near a court. It is even more disturbing when the executive becomes involved in this - and at a time when leadership is required – Obama’s grandstanding, is to a hitherto supporter , particularly sad , and although it may well win him some votes in the short term - acting as judge and jury – can only damage his reputation and that of the US legal system overseas , and in the meantime it has done absolutely nothing to address stopping the oil spill and minimising the environmental impact ,which today surely should be the most critical concern. US commentators and politicians should be aware, before jumping on the easy bandwagon of public opinion, is that whilst the economic and environmental consequences here are without parallel – and anger is understandable - we have certainly had much larger human disasters – Bhopal springs to mind – and in future disasters – and even with the best endeavours its inevitable they will occur – that their action now may well encourage foreign governments, to ignore due legal process and take similar actions, and it may well be against a US corporation. Thu 17 Jun 2010 09:50:31 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=33#comment40 This has to be the most tone deaf rich person since Leona Hemsley(Only the little people pay taxes)this guy makes business people who are far more ethical than goverment beaurcrats of labor union thugs look bad. Thu 17 Jun 2010 09:48:09 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=33#comment39 texas_ yankee, I'm no engineer, but the links from Gavrielle's link, did include articles from the Washington Post and CBS news reporting that mud from the top kill procedure leaked out from the side of the well casing, and included an excerpt from Senator Bill Nelson's letter to BP American President and Chairman Lamar McKay: "If the sourced information is accurate and mud leaked out the side of the well casing, oil and gas are likely leaking beneath the sea floor as well, according to Professor Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanographer expert at Florida State University."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/30/ar2010053002/95.htmlhttp://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20006706-10391695.html Thu 17 Jun 2010 09:42:06 GMT+1 AgeTheGod http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=32#comment38 16. At 03:29am on 17 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:"Some scientists say that due to ocean currents the oil slick will eventually reach England. Now what will that be with your fish and chips? A little malt vinegar? How about a few drops of oil too?"No problem at all - we're quite a hardy race of people (need to be given the crap weather) and a little extra Oil on the battered cod will add some much needed flavour.Sorry to be so glib but we're quite use to oil spills from the North Sea (one of the most polluted areas of water in the world) and the little that will make it over here from over there probably won't make much difference.In that respect Tony Heyward did get it right (though the message was at completely the wrong time and place) - it's an almighty big Ocean and will "weather" most of anything that gets dumped into it.Even the major Oil spills that took place over here were cleared up in a matter of months not years (I believe the worse was 12 months). I'm not saying it'll be that easy over there - you have a much bigger coastline to deal with - but I am trying to be positive because experience tells me that these things do get fixed if there is a collective will to fix them. Thu 17 Jun 2010 09:20:09 GMT+1 The Toothbrush Man http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=31#comment37 MarcusAureliusII - You seem to think that the spill will affect the climate. Not a chance. The continental US covers less than 2% of the Earths surface. The Gulf is a tiny fraction of that. You also seem to think that BP should be held to "the last dime" - not a chance. Like any organisation, there is a point at which they will cut their losses and get out of the US market - whatever the cost.You seem to entertain the US conservative view that the world is the US and the US is the world. It is not. The US is a single country with a huge military and the 2nd biggest economy. But BP has its thumbs in plenty of other pies all around the world.Question :- Would there be anything like this fuss of the company had been American ? Would there have been this kind of fuss if the company at fault hadn't the word "British" in its acronym ? Thu 17 Jun 2010 09:18:53 GMT+1 Big_Steve_W http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=30#comment36 Quite rightly BP are being expected to pay compensation to the people affected for it's failings regarding industrial safety. However, I do feel that they are being demonised by the American government to draw attention away from the negative press around Obamas lack of action when this incident occurred.BP was left to deal with this event and the American government sat back & waited. The longer it waited the more criticism was directed towards Obama until they decided that they needed to do something about it.... But rather than becoming pro-actively involved in helping to stop the leak and helping with the cleanup they have opted to pursue BP regarding compensation payouts..!! For GODS sake get your priorities right!!! Sort out the big leaking hole spewing oil into the sea then have talks with BP about compensation. I realise that in America the government policy regarding this type of event is that the company causing the incident is responsible for the cleanup but in this case some common sense should really be used here. Certainly BP are responsible for the cost of cleanup but I'm sure they wouldn't complain if the Americans can offer equipment and engineers.There is some blame to be laid at the feet of the american government for not being more thorough with BP's application for drilling in that area, especially as they failed to identify the risks to the environment and exempted BP from a detailed environmental impact study. This coupled with relaxed regulations meant that BP did not have to submit detailed blow out plans. I work in the Nuclear industry and you can't so much as sneeze without someone making sure you're doing it in an appropriate place with the appropriate safety documents, processes and procedures. Something went very wrong here not just in BP's practices, but also in the regulatory bodies that should have prevented this type of event. Thu 17 Jun 2010 09:02:55 GMT+1 Plastic Pitch Advantage http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=29#comment35 I think that the White House could be a great deal more proactive by forcing other multi-national oil firms in the area to assist in dealing with this. The hearing at the weekend acknowledged that the other firms are similarly underprepared for such an accident.Being forced to form a Joint Venture for industry safety oversight, industrial accident prevention and clean up would ensure that in the event of such an accident in the future, the combined might of the industry is utilised to shut down and clean up fasterAll firms should be required to contribute a % of turnover, and the time of their best geo-engineers to build a fund/resource that can rapidly react to future problems - a kind of Oil Army. We must be able to contain accidents faster than we currently can. Thu 17 Jun 2010 09:00:34 GMT+1 neil http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=28#comment34 Well all this talk about BP having to pay is a bit rich the usa have a very selective view of the world.oil disasters in africa,gas plant in india were the ceo ran back to the usa and has avoided prossecution as they will not send him back to face indian justice.Piper alfa in the north sea we all remember USA took full reponsibility for all these disasters funny how their view of things change when it is on their doorstep. Thu 17 Jun 2010 08:04:03 GMT+1 Bill H http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=27#comment33 Of course there is massive sympathy for those people who have suffered in the Gulf. However, this battering of BP leaves me cold too. Ultimately BP were fulfilling a need for American consumers, regulated by the American government, and with American contractors working on the well.Yet it seems that BP, and BP alone, is having to take the full brunt of the disaster. If BP is destroyed, or bought up cheap by (say Chinese) business interests it will be a major blow for the UK economy. Don't forget that there are millions of 'small' people in the UK who rely heavily on companies like BP to provide their pension. And will do for years to come. Long after normality has returned to the Gulf economy. Thu 17 Jun 2010 07:54:29 GMT+1 mancunian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=27#comment32 I wouldn't worry about the small interpretation issue about language hee, after all one of the US's finest presidents called the entire population of Berlin a bunch of donuts once! :-) Thu 17 Jun 2010 07:38:30 GMT+1 mancunian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=26#comment31 I fully agree compensation should be paid, but this smacks of holier than thou approach by the US as usual. It's a mistake that was allowed to happen by people who we're dilligent enough. Therefore will the US step up to the plat a compensate all the families whose lives have been devastated in Iraq due to a phoney war based upon a 'mistake' about WMD? Thu 17 Jun 2010 07:36:36 GMT+1 Euloroo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=25#comment30 Wouldn't it be a great justise to the people of Bhopal if Obama took such a righteous stance over Union Carbide? Thu 17 Jun 2010 07:31:49 GMT+1 texas_yankee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=24#comment29 Well, Gavrielle ... perhaps you should have cited Sharon Astyk and credited her with the comment rather than pass it off as though it was something about which you had personal knowledge. Regardless of who made it, the sense of the comment is factually wrong.As to the post that you wanted people to look at ... The author describes his background at the tail end of his comments. In the same spot, he counts chemists among the oil field experts he spoke to regarding what is happening at Macondo which boogles the mind of this petroleum engineer frankly. There's also a pretty high probability that the author is the forum moderator on a website devoted to "UFOs, conspiracy theorists, the lunatic fringe" as a later poster in TOD comment thread pointed out.Regarding the theory (or one of the the theories) that he is esposing ... that BP will never get control of the well ... yeah, I consider him to be unduly pessimistic in part because his understanding of the situation is pretty flawed. I thought that was clear from what I said. There are much better informed posters on The Oil Drum website than this fellow ... whose commentary is nowhere as reasoned and informed as some people (who wandered into the place because of the ongoing DWH disaster) seem to believe. Most of the articles that he links to are just plain off kilter ... like the piece explaining how a deepwater well is drilled that comes from a "how to make lots of money" website for heaven's sake. He also seems to see some sort of conspiracy based on comments that he does not understand in a WSJ article ... specifically, he states that there are no such thing as "disks" or safety mechanisms "a 1000 foot below the sea floor". That is simply incorrect. As a number of people mentioned in the follow-ups to dougr's post, there are indeed rupture disks clearly identified on BP's well schematics ... which clearly dougr did not look at. It seems fairly obviously anyway that he is not even familar with the term "rupture disk" despite the fact they are commonly used in many downhole applications. And not just during drilling, so again I question his knowledge level pertaining oil and gas operations.Anyway ... based on my own personal professional experience & knowledge, I haven't seen dougr offer up anything that remotely passes as "evidence" for his theory the ocean floor will collapse. Seriously, where is the geologic detail ... or any actual description of the failure mode that he seems to see looming ahead? He provides nada. Thu 17 Jun 2010 06:54:31 GMT+1 Megan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=23#comment28 It would have been wiser to appoint a non-American to run the fund. Given the present administration's attitude (vindictive and unhelpful) it will be all too easy for less-than-rigorous scrutiny and over-generous payouts.BP is doing the right thing and working hard to deal with the accident and its aftermath.It is time America pitched in to help instead of whine. Where is all the oil exploration expertise the Americans claim to have? Obama has as yet made no positive or helpful contribution whatsoever, and needs to be told in no uncertain terms that his unhelpful mouthings are doing nothing to deal with the situation. Thu 17 Jun 2010 06:39:33 GMT+1 shiveringofforgottenenemies http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=22#comment27 Ken Feinberg has deep roots in the Democratic Party. The media is making much of the 9-11 payoffs in which Feinberg distributed $7 billion to the families of 2880 victims. So...YOU DO THE MATH! Supposedly Feinberg put on his thinking cap and determined the probable life-time earnings of the victims, waved his magic wand and a number appeared in the air which was offered, "take it or leave it." Will that approach work with hundreds of thousands of claims? Will it work in the racially tense atmosphere of the South? Will it work to buy votes for the Democratic Party and build a dependent constituency? Thu 17 Jun 2010 06:03:23 GMT+1 Barbara http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=22#comment26 So, now that 20 billion dollars will be going to the clean up and to small people, there's just one little (small) bone I have to pick with the British - is that a bad word - press.Where is the in-depth, moment-to-moment reprise of the disaster at the rig? I'm talking about the up close and personal look at greed at all cost. An unbiased, fresh look at where we are - and why.The Truth shall set you free. Thu 17 Jun 2010 05:01:22 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=21#comment25 @ Texas YankeeI'm not saying you're wrong about the majority of people who post on The Oil Drum or the staff (I daresay most of us along with the BBC staffers who run the site aren't formally qualified to discuss politics), but you didn't deny what the gentleman said in his post. In fact, you kind of confirmed it, only you denigrated the source of the information while you were doing so, because, clearly, they aren't up to your exacting standards. Do you even know who the poster, dougr, is and what his qualifications are? If so, can you tell me why I shouldn't take this worst case scenario seriously, even as a remote possibility? Frankly, I don't care where the information comes from or who gives it to me if it turns out to be right. If you disagree with the gentleman's premise, then say so. If not, why bother to correct me on what is essentially meaningless trivia? My reason for posting the link was to generate discussion on an issue which relates to the subject of Mr. Mardell's blog.In any case, I found the link through an article on Science Blogs. It's the author of this article, Sharon Astyk, that made the claim, "TOD attracts many, many petroleum geologists and other professionals" not me. I merely paraphrased her words. If you have an issue with her description, please take it up with her. Thu 17 Jun 2010 04:42:53 GMT+1 jguillot0301 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=20#comment24 BP had over 700 safety violations last year according to hearing in Washington recently. Exxon, Shell and others had only a handful. BP certainly need to be restricted pending an investigation - buy why cause financial losses to the other companies, their employees and other businesses that are dependent on them? Thu 17 Jun 2010 04:07:43 GMT+1 Daniel http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=19#comment23 The problem here would always end up a problem for Britain since the day of the accident. You have a British oil corporation which has become an integral part of your nation's economy -- an oil corporation that depends on foreign sources for oil. No matter how much this ends up costing (and bankrupting BP is in nobody's interest), if the entire planet remains unsatisfied with BP's behavior, then BP really will be in jeopardy. What government in their right minds would renew contracts or open up new fields using BP if that were the case? It sucks but the people to blame are mostly BP, your fund managers, and our two governments last in this case. Thu 17 Jun 2010 03:46:04 GMT+1 texas_yankee http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=18#comment22 Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:"It seems things may be worse than anyone imagined and there is a possibility that the well can never be capped and the relief wells will come too late to do any good. Here is a link to a comment on The Oil Drum, a board for petroleum geologists and other professionals..."Gavrielle, the folks over at The Oil Drum are not petroleum geologists (well, one is) nor are they petroleum engineers. I also would not describe the site as "a board for petroleum geologists and other professionals". Most of the staff are either non-technical people (i.e. finance) or engineers/scientists in fields outside the petroleum industry. The raison d'etre for the website is their shared belief in the "Peak Oil" theory ... which is based on statistical analysis of data points rather than actual science.The board comment that you linked to was written by someone who claims to be a former journalist covering the oil business in Texas. He links to a variety of sources ... some of which are written by people with little to no actual experience or understanding of the geologic and engineering issues pertinent to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.There is much they we do not know yet. The well is flowing at a tremendous rate ... far above what a "typical" deep well in the GOM does. That the well's infrastructure and the nearby formation have been damaged by the explosion, fire and sinking of the drillship is not even a question. The ability to cut off the blowout with drilling mud was severely compromised by those events. Which didn't mean that top kill wasn't worth a shot. I suspect, though, that pressure monitoring during the kill attempt indicated that continued pumping was potentially too risky ... that engineers were probably concerned that pressures in the already compromised wellbore were getting too close to the burst pressure of the tubulars.The press and the folks at The Oil Drum are well-intentioned perhaps when they cite past examples were relief wells failed to shut off flow without a lot of trial and error. That point is fair enough ... but what they fail to mention or are unaware of, however, is that the "failures" in their examples were mostly due to less-sophisticated technology. Comparing the level of drill steering available at the time of the 1979 blowout of the Ixtoc I welll in Mexico's Bay of Campeche with today's like comparing the Wright Brothers plane with a stealth bomber. Thu 17 Jun 2010 03:32:23 GMT+1 LKW http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=17#comment21 I’m appalled by many of the comments here. Having lived in the UK for eight years, I’m embarrassed for those Brits I call friends who would not want to associate with this narrow, despicable line of thinking (assuming the comments are representative of UK nationals). It’s amazing how Anti-Americanism creeps in even in disasters like this, which not only hurt an already decimated l economy (still recovering from Hurricane Katrina), but have quite literally put families on the street, with no work, no idea how they’ll pay the mortgage, bills, or put food on the table. Not to mention the environmental devastation which will be felt for years to come and where some species already endangered will be lost forever. I wonder if the tables were turned and the oil was spilled in the UK’s backyard, affecting your livelihood, your family, if you ignorant or callous people would feel differently. This really has very little about being British or being American (after all 40 percent of the company is US owned). It has to do with a corporate giant taking ownership for gross negligence, which has killed innocent working people, and threatens the way of life for an entire region, wildlife, and the economy for a long time to come. Instead BP has sweep the failures in safety standards under the carpet, cut corners to save money at the expense of others lives and in the aftermath of the disaster, they’ve been anything but transparent about what they know, the amount of oil etc. To add insult to injury BP’s CEO’s flippant, insensitive, stupid remarks to the media have been deeply offensive. So to the comment above from David Manchester about it being a sad day for BP. I think it’s sad that you feel more saddens for a company that failed to act honorably and ethically and responsibly. I would argue that it is in fact a sad day for those in the Gulf of Mexico. Thu 17 Jun 2010 03:12:45 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=16#comment20 Gavrielle_LaPoste #11,thanks for the link. Shortly after the top kill was aborted Sen. Nelson of Fla. raised questions to the effect of that thread- I've been trying to find reporting of it since. Thu 17 Jun 2010 03:11:01 GMT+1 jguillot0301 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=16#comment19 As a resident of South Louisiana I can see firsthand how the accident has affected my community.First I was not offended by the "small people" comments - anyone with half a brain would realize Mr. Svanberg meant small business people. You have to realize that our economy is dependent on the Gulf - both in seafood and oil.Yes this incident has greatly diminished the ability for our local fishermen and oystermen to provide for their families. But the governments moratorium on offshore drilling has also diminished available jobs. There are also a lot of people here upset by the government's refusal of foreign aid. I believe that foreign aid and technology would have been able prevent some of this oil from spreading into the marshlands. Governor Jindal wanted to accept this aid but was refused permission from Unified Command. Now Jindal has taken matters onto his own hands and is doing all he can to clean up our coast without waiting anymore for the approval of the Federal Gov. The problems here are complicated. I hope BP makes good on their promise to clean it up. I also hope our Federal Government doesn't use this incident to continue the moratorium on drilling and use it as an excuse for the energy bill that would shut down all offshore drilling. Thu 17 Jun 2010 02:48:07 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/06/the_big_claims_of_small_people.html?page=15#comment18 This post has been Removed Thu 17 Jun 2010 02:38:30 GMT+1