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Old 06-16-2010, 02:30 PM   #421
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Most of you probably know BP had a poor (OK, abysmal) safety record prior to the Deep Water Horizon explosion. Now the attorney who represented victims in a 2005 BP refinery disaster that killed 15 people is making public some internal BP documents:

From an internal BP email the day the explosion took place:
Quote:
"Looks like injuries and loss of life are heavy. Expect a lot of follow up coverage tomorrow. Then I believe it will essentially go away -- due to the holiday weekend," BP America public relations chief Patricia Wright advised other executives.
The explosion led to big fines and penalties for safety violations...
Quote:
In 2007, BP pleaded guilty to a felony, agreed to pay $21 million in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and paid another $50 million in criminal penalties in connection with the disaster.
...and even bigger penalties when BP failed to make fixes:
Quote:
The plea agreement required the company to fix the problems that led to the explosion. But when that didn't happen, they fined BP again in 2009 -- an $87 million proposed penalty that would be the largest in the agency's history if upheld.
Sure gives the impression BP's strategy isn't focused on disaster prevention but rather on damage control.

BP documents highlight PR strategy after deadly Texas blast - CNN.com
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:56 PM   #422
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Interesting document. Gee maybe now is the time to buy BP stock.

Actually, I think I'll come out of retirement to go work for BP. I was a fairly creative marketing guy but it is really tough to put a good spin on their safety record but I enjoy the challenge

The best I can come up with is "BP committed to reducing overpopulation one incident at time"
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:17 PM   #423
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hugo chavez says the same thing...

what company would want to put their name on someone else's mess? it's loose-loose. if hayward had any marbles, he'd hit back and say screw it. one the first lessons of business - you give an inch, they take a foot.
It's clearly important to stand up for yourself in business...but only if you have a winning hand. When you have screwed up or made a bad decision it is equally important to cut bait and move on. Don't you agree?

At this point, regardless of my opinion, I don't see how anyone thinks BP could have a winning hand. If they take a hard line things could go very badly for them very quickly. There are a lot of things the president COULD do if pushed. I'm sure BP knows that. Would they win a challenge eventually? Maybe. But in the meantime they'd be sunk. Standing up to the USG will only prolong the bad situation.

As a citizen I am angry and appalled at what BP is doing/has done. But if I were in Hayward or Svanberg's shoes I think I would have to recognize that the company is screwed in the short term and I would focus on 5-10 years out. I would ask what BP can do now to make money then. Their most valuable assets are their operations, infrastructure, and reputation. I would be working hard to preserve those things.

I don't see how taking a hard line would help in any way but to preserve a little cash now. My opinions aside, when I try to see how this could possibly play out over the next decade I think it is all about reputation. From what I have read, the people most affected along the Gulf coast don't have a bad opinion of BP right now. They are just frustrated by the delays in getting their expenses covered and with the uncertainty. So if I could keep people happy with a little bit of free flowing cash I think I would.

I actually think creating this fund and letting Feinberg manage it is brilliant. He will now take the heat for delays and denial and BP looks good for doing exactly what the USG requested. Heck, I'm even feeling a little convinced that they might be genuinely interested in making things right. But not totally.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #424
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For those of you not familiar with the Texas and Louisiana coasts, this map of pipelines may be of interest.
Talking Points Memo | Breaking News and Analysis
The Gulf is thick with platforms, and "all" boaters know that the shallow water platforms, which are regulated by the states, are much more poorly maintained than the deep water platforms regulated by the feds. There are many old, abandoned, and unlit platforms. We sailed through them once, five days and four long, long nights. Never again. You just pray that you don't run into something too small to show up on your radar.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #425
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Standing up to the USG will only prolong the bad situation.
"I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:46 PM   #426
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"I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."
~ Bobby Knight, Indiana University, April 25, 1988
At least BP has plenty of oil.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:08 PM   #427
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It's clearly important to stand up for yourself in business...but only if you have a winning hand. When you have screwed up or made a bad decision it is equally important to cut bait and move on. Don't you agree?
that's not what i saying. seems like your advice was written for playing poker.

i'm talking about making a concession, then people complain. you make another concession, people complain more. so on and so forth. where do you draw the line? people begin to mistake kindness for weakness. going above what the law requires is kind at this point.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:23 PM   #428
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At least BP has plenty of oil.
...but crude oil is not a refined lubricant.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:31 PM   #429
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It's clearly important to stand up for yourself in business...but only if you have a winning hand. When you have screwed up or made a bad decision it is equally important to cut bait and move on. Don't you agree?

At this point, regardless of my opinion, I don't see how anyone thinks BP could have a winning hand. If they take a hard line things could go very badly for them very quickly. There are a lot of things the president COULD do if pushed. I'm sure BP knows that. Would they win a challenge eventually? Maybe. But in the meantime they'd be sunk. Standing up to the USG will only prolong the bad situation.

As a citizen I am angry and appalled at what BP is doing/has done. But if I were in Hayward or Svanberg's shoes I think I would have to recognize that the company is screwed in the short term and I would focus on 5-10 years out. I would ask what BP can do now to make money then. Their most valuable assets are their operations, infrastructure, and reputation. I would be working hard to preserve those things.

I don't see how taking a hard line would help in any way but to preserve a little cash now. My opinions aside, when I try to see how this could possibly play out over the next decade I think it is all about reputation. From what I have read, the people most affected along the Gulf coast don't have a bad opinion of BP right now. They are just frustrated by the delays in getting their expenses covered and with the uncertainty. So if I could keep people happy with a little bit of free flowing cash I think I would.

I actually think creating this fund and letting Feinberg manage it is brilliant. He will now take the heat for delays and denial and BP looks good for doing exactly what the USG requested. Heck, I'm even feeling a little convinced that they might be genuinely interested in making things right. But not totally.

I will agree with you on this... BP does not have a winning hand right now... and yes, standing up to the gvmt is probably not the best move.

But I also think the cr#p coming out of the Whitehouse does not do any good... this IS a disaster... it appears to be something that will take a long time to fix... someone posted about Ixtoc (sp?) which took 10 months..


But I do think that BP has to think about keeping shareholder value... and it that means taking a tough stand... it is what they should do...


Right now, they are being torn up in the PR dept... and at some time they might say... screw the PR, lets go legal... remember... it is what Exxon did and they got away paying a lot less than people thought... and who here does not buy Exxon gas JUST BECAUSE of the Valdez
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:03 PM   #430
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I think there is too much focus on assessing blame and fees for damages, and not enough focus on developing solutions to the problem. The damages will only get worse as time goes on without the well being capped. The government should be working with BP to cap the oil spill, not figuring out how much money to take from them asap. I agree that BP should pay for damages, but not to a gov't intermediary. Let people, etc make claims to BP and let the courts settle any claims that BP deems out of line
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:44 PM   #431
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For what it's worth, I'm not too impressed with the leadership coming out of Washington either.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:48 PM   #432
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For what it's worth, I'm not too impressed with the leadership coming out of Washington either.
Something else we agree on...that makes two in a row!
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:04 PM   #433
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that's not what i saying. seems like your advice was written for playing poker.

i'm talking about making a concession, then people complain. you make another concession, people complain more. so on and so forth. where do you draw the line? people begin to mistake kindness for weakness. going above what the law requires is kind at this point.
What I meant was that it is one thing to stand up for yourself when you are right and have done nothing wrong. It is quite another to get defensive when you are in the wrong. The spill is BPs fault/responsibility. That does not seem to be seriously debated. If they take a hard line they look defensive, like they are shirking their responsibility. That might save them money in the short term but it will harm in the long run.

From their perspective it is good to control the concessions and appear conciliatory. But that does not mean they need to give away the store.

As I said, as a citizen I want to punish BP. I don't deny that. But even if I look at it from their perspective I don't see how taking a hard line approach will get them very far. This is not an unreasonable, complaining customer they are dealing with. This is an angry mob that has been genuinely harmed.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:55 AM   #434
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What I meant was that it is one thing to stand up for yourself when you are right and have done nothing wrong. It is quite another to get defensive when you are in the wrong. The spill is BPs fault/responsibility. That does not seem to be seriously debated. If they take a hard line they look defensive, like they are shirking their responsibility. That might save them money in the short term but it will harm in the long run.

From their perspective it is good to control the concessions and appear conciliatory. But that does not mean they need to give away the store.

As I said, as a citizen I want to punish BP. I don't deny that. But even if I look at it from their perspective I don't see how taking a hard line approach will get them very far. This is not an unreasonable, complaining customer they are dealing with. This is an angry mob that has been genuinely harmed.
Sorry, but your posts seem to be way different than others...

The decision is not an either/or one... what most people seem to be saying is that if 'we' are going to treat them like you keep saying... then 'they' will become very defensive as their life depends on it... (life meaning BP is till in existence)...

So far, it seems that BP is doing as good a job as they can... who cares if they said 1K barrels when it might be 50K or more... it was a fluid situation.. maybe.. and I mean maybe a decision was made early that would not have been made knowing how bad it was... but maybe not..

And throwing money around to anyone and everyone who can not show damages is just stupid... no insurance company did when the area had been devistated by hurricane... even the federal gvmt did not throw around money without you filling out a bunch of forms (believe me.. I know people who rented out houses to people from New Orleans and they had to fill out a book)....

So, we come to the middle ground... which is where BP has been the whole time.... they are doing the best they can to cap the well... they are doing (lets say) a reasonable job on compensating people who prove damages. They have said over and over again it is their responsibility..

What more do YOU want It sounds like you want a 'death sentence' for littering. (I know this is not what is happening... just using it as an analogy)...
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:31 AM   #435
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...But if you are a tourist you have choices. It is entirely reasonable to avoid an area that MIGHT have problems just so you don't have to deal with it on vacation. The bottom line is, were it not for BP there would be no media frenzy. That makes losses resulting from the media frenzy part of the effects of the spill.
It is just like the tourists that choose not to vacation in Mexico because narcos and police are being shot in the border towns.

The media will sensationalize and simplify reporting to the detriment of all gulf coast property owners. When Key West starts to hurt, you will know that their job is done.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:53 AM   #436
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Admittedly a tangent, but I thought this graphic was good enough to post.

from
Ezra Klein - How energy actually gets used
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:42 PM   #437
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Something else we agree on...that makes two in a row!
Perhaps we should both be scared!
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:41 PM   #438
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Maybe time for a change of curriculum?
They did , they added Engineering ethics to my class and I wrote the chapter on safe design for the first year students.

Ethics is where we teach them that "Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public"
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:40 PM   #439
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What more do YOU want It sounds like you want a 'death sentence' for littering. (I know this is not what is happening... just using it as an analogy)...
Not for littering...for murder and for polluting the GOM and destroying livelihoods.

I got curious about whether the actions that BP allegedly took to try to rush the drilling could be criminal. Many here have argued that we need to let due process work. I'm fine with that but we can still

Emeritus can correctly if I am wrong but based on what I have found, "criminally negligent homicide" requires only that there be death that results from a foreseable outcome following an act of criminal negligence. "Cause" is not needed. Criminal negligence only requires that one exposes another to risk and does not require actually recognizing the risk. A higher state of mens rea, recklessness, occurs when the risk is recognized yet disregarded.

I think it could be credibly debated whether BP execs recognized the risk or not. But the risk clearly existed. The fact that BOP's exist is clear evidence that blow outs occur. So I don't see how BP and many execs and supervisors on the rig did not exhibit criminal negligence even if they were not reckless. This is based on admitted facts that have not been disputed. Remember, failure to recognize a foreseeable risk is negligence. And these are professionals so they would be judged based on their professional knowledge and experience. The question is not whether a blowout and explosion was likely. The question is whether there was a risk of it that should have been foreseen.

So, what we seem to have is criminally negligent homicide. The question becomes how we punish it (if they are convicted in criminal court of course). The death penalty may be off the table but life without parole probably should not be. And BP as a corporation is a repeat felon. They have previously been convicted for similar crimes. In most states this precludes any leniency.

What is "life without parole" for a corporation? I'd argue that it means seizing all assets and prohibiting them or any successor from ever doing business in or for the US.

Bankruptcy likely would not protect them either. And it turns out there are bilateral agreements for cooperation in bankruptcy cases between the UK and US. So, for the UK to protect BP would require violating treaties. It clearly could happen but it would not be as simple as thumbing their nose at the USG. US claimants would have standing in UK courts if their is a US bankruptcy they are trying to avoid.

Based on BP's recent actions. I am sure they have figured out for themselves that they are totally screwed legally. Their only chance for survival is to appeal to emotion.
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:28 PM   #440
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Not for littering...for murder and for polluting the GOM and destroying livelihoods.

I got curious about whether the actions that BP allegedly took to try to rush the drilling could be criminal. Many here have argued that we need to let due process work. I'm fine with that but we can still

Emeritus can correctly if I am wrong but based on what I have found, "criminally negligent homicide" requires only that there be death that results from a foreseable outcome following an act of criminal negligence. "Cause" is not needed. Criminal negligence only requires that one exposes another to risk and does not require actually recognizing the risk. A higher state of mens rea, recklessness, occurs when the risk is recognized yet disregarded.

I think it could be credibly debated whether BP execs recognized the risk or not. But the risk clearly existed. The fact that BOP's exist is clear evidence that blow outs occur. So I don't see how BP and many execs and supervisors on the rig did not exhibit criminal negligence even if they were not reckless. This is based on admitted facts that have not been disputed. Remember, failure to recognize a foreseeable risk is negligence. And these are professionals so they would be judged based on their professional knowledge and experience. The question is not whether a blowout and explosion was likely. The question is whether there was a risk of it that should have been foreseen.

So, what we seem to have is criminally negligent homicide. The question becomes how we punish it (if they are convicted in criminal court of course). The death penalty may be off the table but life without parole probably should not be. And BP as a corporation is a repeat felon. They have previously been convicted for similar crimes. In most states this precludes any leniency.

What is "life without parole" for a corporation? I'd argue that it means seizing all assets and prohibiting them or any successor from ever doing business in or for the US.

Bankruptcy likely would not protect them either. And it turns out there are bilateral agreements for cooperation in bankruptcy cases between the UK and US. So, for the UK to protect BP would require violating treaties. It clearly could happen but it would not be as simple as thumbing their nose at the USG. US claimants would have standing in UK courts if their is a US bankruptcy they are trying to avoid.

Based on BP's recent actions. I am sure they have figured out for themselves that they are totally screwed legally. Their only chance for survival is to appeal to emotion.
If there is a trial, I am certain that neither you or Emeritus would ever end up on the jury; your pre-trial disposition is why we have peremptory challenges.
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