BP’s Cap is in Place – Are We Out of the Woods Yet?

A few days ago, the President delivered good news. The cap is on, and early tests show that oil is being contained as efforts to permanently plug the well continue. The President also delivered words of caution; “…I don’t want us to get too far ahead of ourselves.”

I think the President’s words are well chosen. This cap is admittedly not a permanent fix. And unfortunately, it may take another day or two to know the true effects the new cap will have. The cap is containing most of the oil, not all. Again, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. British Petroleum (“BP”) just now has enough ships present to begin siphoning the 80,000 barrels of oil that the well produces a day. It has been estimated that up to 184 million gallons of oil has leaked into the ocean since day one of this disaster. Its now day 85 and the increased presence of ships has shown us that BP is certainly willing to protect its product; now that it can contain the flow of oil and the relief wells are nearing the necessary depths. If the cap works as planned, maybe soon we will see BP focus on efforts to clean up its “product” and begin to care about the damage caused to the ecosystem and the thousands people along the Gulf of Mexico.

What this proves is that BP was less concerned with actually stopping the leak than it was with finding a way to capture the oil and make its profits. Moreover, BP is still spending money telling us what it is doing, rather than taking that same money and taking accountability for what it has already done.

President Obama also reiterated a very important point for those of us that live on the coast of the Gulf, “BP is going to be paying for the damage it has caused.” Given that lawsuits are already being filed against British Petroleum, I can take comfort that the trial lawyers are going to be the ones that make BP pay, and are going to be the ones that secure the much needed compensation for the damages that BP has recklessly caused.