Friday, 11 June 2010

Kicking of ass

There is starting to be a reaction against President Obama's 'kicking of ass' approach to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Here is one of the better pieces, written by Sir Malcolm Rifkind: Obama

No one is claiming that BP have handled these events well, but let's consider why they happened in the first place:

1. Americans have an insatiable appetite for cheap gas. They account for some 5 per cent of the world's population but consume 25 per cent of its oil. That's an awful lot of a finite resource.
2. Barack Obama let the oil companies drill deep water wells in the Gulf in the hope that they would go easy on his low carbon plans.
3. Obama has been criticised for his slow reaction to the Gulf crisis. So what better way to distract attention from your own failings than to engage in some bashing of a foreign company?

David Cameron seems to have been a bit behind the curve in responding to all this, with Bozza leaping in first. Cameron may have felt that he was being statesmanlike in not damaging Britain's relations with the US by defending a company that had evidently made serious errors of judgment. But the stigmatising of BP has gone a bit too far: the origins of this crisis lie in oil politics in the US and that is as toxic a mix as any oil spill.


Aaron said...

Isn't this similar to arguing the financial crisis was the fault of various governments because they wanted greater capital flows and allowed certain financial schemes to go ahead?

Wyn Grant said...

The financial crisis was in part a result of government action or inaction. To me Obama looks like another pol trying to protect his back after he has failed to respond quickly enough to a problem. And he is stepping up the rhetoric even more.