Tony Hayward is gone at last from BP. Weep no crocodile tears for him. Without doubt he will rise again to wreak havoc on other parts of the world in his lethal combination of arrogance, complacency and incompetence. The City of London financial establishment looks after its own.
But 100 days in from the BP spill, what lessons have we learned? What do we still need to learn?
First, Big Government in this country failed abominably – for once not because it did too much, but because in a time of crisis it did too little. Barack Obama definitively proved himself to be President Passive. He sat back and did nothing. He didn’t have a clue. Expect more of the same from the even bigger crises and catastrophes we can expect to follow.
Second, U.S. oil corporations were not responsible for this catastrophe and they don’t deserve to pay the price for it.
Third, the crucial need for oil to power a prosperous national American economy is greater than ever. As Robert Bryce writes in his superb new book “Power Hungry”, the entire solar, wind and biomass power produced by all the billions of dollars of investment of the past 20 years in the United States combined still does not compare with the annual energy produced by the coal mined in a single, medium-sized mine in West Virginia or Kentucky.
Even if we could magically abolish all needs for petroleum fuel for power stations, trucks, aircraft and cars tomorrow, we would still desperately need oil to produce many of our medicines and all of our plastics.
Fourth, deep sea oil drilling is essential and it’s almost always safe. BP still deserves to be hung to dry for the avoidable catastrophe – and the deaths of 11 oil workers – that it perpetrated in the Gulf. There is absolutely no evidence that this particular leopard has changed its spots. Jeremiah 13:23. Listen to the Word and learn.
Martin Sieff is former chief foreign correspondent of The Washington Times. He is the author of “Shifting Superpowers; The New and Emerging Relationship between the United States, China and India” (Cato, January 2010) and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East” (Regnery, 2008).
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