Some very positive news, and proof that giant corporations can still be held to account by Government. From the Guardian:
BP is facing a bill of up to $34bn from the
Gulf of Mexico disaster after US senators demanded the oil company
deposited $20bn into a ring-fenced account to meet escalating
The sum dwarfs many analysts' previous
estimates, shared by BP, that put the cost of the clean-up effort and
payment of damages to affected communities, such as fishermen, closer to
a total of $5bn.
Shares in BP nose-dived by more than 9% today as investors took fright
at the demand by the 54 Democratic senators, who represent a majority in
the US upper house. The company is now worth almost half what it was
before the accident of just under two months ago.
BP will no doubt fight the claims and will plead with the White House to put some sort of cap on how much they can be held liable for. But it stands to reason that if the damage caused to the Gulf is currently unknowable, then it must be unknowable how much BP might be liable for in the future. While limitless claims might destroy BP, their actions have destroyed the environment on an unprecedented scale, so it is only right they pay for their mistakes. After all, profiting from oil isn't exactly the most ethical business to be in, so seeing the mega corporation disintegrate wouldn't really be a bad thing.