Social Question

Mat74UK's avatar

Why are the USA blaming the UK for the Gulf oil spill?

Asked by Mat74UK (4649points) June 16th, 2010

I’ve been led to believe that the platform was managed by Americans and crewed by Americans.
OK the platform is owned by BP but this is the same BP that was until rebranding in 2000 BP AMOCO (AMerican Oil COmpany).
I also understand that BP WILL stay and clear up even setting up a fund to compensate people put out by this disaster, which is a damn site more than Union Carbide did in India 26 years ago after their gas plant leaked and killed an estimated 25000 Indians.
This Bhopal disaster is still causing casualties today and I also believe that an arrest warrant still stands for the CEO Warren Anderson in India.

Is this just a question of location?
What would have happened if this disaster had happened in the USA and killed 25000 US citizens?

It’s all very good wagging fingers at other people/countries/companies but before you do check your own history first.

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40 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

BP, not the UK!

Seek's avatar

It’s no secret that Americans are self-absorbed and have a hard time accepting responsibility for their actions.

Yes, it’s a question of location. It’s here, we see it here, so we react to it here. When it’s somewhere else, well… that’s somewhere else‘s problem .Thing is, it’s also a money thing. If BP wants to keep getting American money, they need to make the American money-payers happy. Where was the financial incentive to help India?

This is not to say I agree with any of the above statements, it’s just a boiled down version of a general reaction.

No, we don’t blame the UK – we blame the company that is responsible. I also personally blame our government for their “categorical exclusion” from inspection for nearly every rig in the Gulf. Regulations don’t accomplish much if they’re not enforced, savvy?

john65pennington's avatar

BP stand for Bristish Petroleum. British is the key word and is associated with the UK or United Kindom. get the connection?

Mat74UK's avatar

@john65pennington – So general ignorance is to blame here then?

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think the vast majority of Americans understand the difference between a company and a sovereign nation. They do not blame the United Kingdom for this disaster. They blame British Petroleum and our own federal government.

That said, there are a lot of ignorant blowhards who will throw tantrums and scream about things, as well as people who make their living here by riling up the ignorant in the media, which makes screaming and posturing their job. Don’t fall in the trap of thinking we’re all idiots over here who can’t think. That would make your thought process as bad as those of the people you’re disparaging.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Don’t you like it when someone else throws out the ignorance response?

ubersiren's avatar

I’ve not heard anyone from the U.S. blaming the UK. If you have an example of this, maybe I could help. It never crossed my mind, personally, to blame the British in British Petroleum, since it was an American-run rig. I blame the owner of the rig, and the regulatory bodies that were supposed to be keeping up with inspections and enforcing specifications.

CMaz's avatar

“They blame British Petroleum and our own federal government.”

When we should be blaming ourselves.

Seaofclouds's avatar

The thought of blaming the UK for the oil spill never crossed my mind.

Pandora's avatar

I haven’t heard anyone blaming UK for this disaster. Blaming money hungry corporate leaders of BP is pretty much what everyone is doing. And blaming our government for not overseeing and making sure that the structure passed proper restrictions before being allowed to operate.

janbb's avatar

All I hear is blame of BP as a multi-national and badly run company. Nobody is trying to make this about the English except perhaps blowhards in the gutter press.

ItsAHabit's avatar

The Anointed One blames everything on the Bush administration, on banks, on BP (after forcing the company to drill in deep water because of prohibitions against drilling in shallow water), on everybody else (including the British) except for himself and his own lack of leadership). He could have accepted equipment from the Netherlands but the maritime unions would have objected (and they were big political contributors), he could have implemented the pre-approved plan to burn the oil (but that would have offended radical environmentalists), and so on. But he chooses instead to talk about kicking ass, suing, and keeping his “boot on the neck of BP.” I apologize to the British people, who are innocent victims of his demagoguery.

josie's avatar

There is a political agenda. Some Americans want their cake and eat it too, and in a democracy, this is reflected in the attitudes of a segment of the political class. In this case, their is a bias against oil, and the oil industry, because it represents industrialization and because one of the pillars of the modern leftist philosophy is that mankind is an evil threat to the future because of his factories and machines. The benefits of industrialization to the human species are too numerous to mention, but at the moment, the industrial world is invested to an incalculable amount in an oil infrastructure,and switching out will take a long time and will be expensive. Levying extensive blame for the inevitable and occasional industrial accident is simply the political class’s way of gaining favor with that portion of the electorate that imagines that oil and those that harvest it are evil. The truth is, people are drilling for oil in dangerous locations at huge risk and expense because so many people want to buy it and use it. Even a devoted anti industrial utopian leftist politician knows this, but they have to act as if they do not, so they blame BP, or whomever. BP will be the target of many lawsuits, and they will probably pay out a breathtaking amount of money in judgements, and that is as it should be. But it is counterproductive to play the blame game at the political level. Courts, judges and juries will do a pretty good job of that in this case. BTW, isn’t it interesting that the political left’s favorite devil, nuclear power, is now becoming the next great opportunity for clean and cheap energy without foreign entanglements and dirty harvesting. Can’t wait for the blame game when something goes wrong with nuke power plant.

Seek's avatar

Yes, @ItsAHabit

It’s all the fault of our current political figurehead. Anything bad that happens in our country should be completely blamed on the person whose sole true power rests in deciding which line to sign on the documents he receives from Congress, and/or mobilizing the military.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Is there anyone else out there that can’t resist saying: We’ve been kicking British ass for more than 200 years and just can’t stop? And what can we say about your goalie.

ItsAHabit's avatar

The Anointed One only shares some of the responsibility, but he refused to accept any responsibility. But his SOLE power is signing legislation sent to him?! I love your sense of humor!

Hmm…..I didn’t hear that line a few years ago.

Seek's avatar

And/or mobilizing the military.

Now, when he has a court full of justices kissing his arse, he can do whatever he damn well feels like, because the check factor is gone. That’s why the Patriot Act exists.

john65pennington's avatar

Mat…..maybe. sometimes people do not have all the facts, before they make irrational comments.

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t think anyone in the US is blaming the UK for anything. The fact is that BP is trying like mad to dodge its responsibility to the victims in the Gulf, and our government trying to force it to comply creates tension between the pensioners in the UK who rely upon BP’s dividend, and the US because they have opposite interests in this regard.

DrNorthy's avatar

America is greedy for oil BP sent you some free of charge stop moaning and looking for someone to blame. Head down the beach scrape it up and stick it in you earth saving V8’s.

dpworkin's avatar

@DrNorthy At last! Civilized discourse!

MissA's avatar

@Mat74UK There were a lot of if’s and but’s omitted in your question’s description. The US is blaming BP not the UK.

Name calling serves no good purpose…let’s get this fixed NOW.

RocketSquid's avatar

@ItsAHabit Are you drinking the tea? Just wondering.

Like everyone else here, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone blame the UK until this specific question. Everyone’s blamed BP specifically. What honestly surprises me is that everyone seems pretty hush-hush when it comes to Halliburton.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@dpworkin and @ChazMaz may speak for me on this issue.

BoBo1946's avatar

removed by myself!

BoBo1946's avatar

Thought this was very interesting!

Cruiser's avatar

If they are not blaming BP they might be soon. I read interviews of the survivors from the rig where a week before the explosion remnants of a critical seal on the drill shaft were showing up in the tailings and the rig operators alerted their supervisor to initiate repair procedures. That fateful day BP executives were on the rig and gave direct instructions to instead keep drilling as their progress was slow and costing them millions each day. The rest is history. Had they followed their safety repair protocols this never would have happened.

saservp's avatar

Why should the US ‘check its history’? This is one incident and Bhopal was another. British Petroleum sounds very British to me, and since it was a British company exploiting this rig and a British company that failed to ‘fix’ it then I will blame the British company. Period.

ItsAHabit's avatar

BP is about 46% owned by U.S. shareholders.

Seek's avatar

.The rig was built in South Korea. And it’s only 39% US shareholders. 40% UK. You can’t just make up facts, dude.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Ah! Maybe South Korea can be blamed (and sued)!

majorrich's avatar

I am reserving any blame until I know what exactly happened. For my part it was, as my son puts it a ‘Failure of biblical proportions’ a terrible accident so I don’t blame anyone in particular. It is one heckuva gusher and if it was on land everyone would be happy to have found such a deposit of oil. Very inconvenient to have to make all the repairs by remote control. Dont we have pressure suits that we can get human eyes on the situation?

envidula61's avatar

When you point your finger, you are saying to blame anyone else, but not you.

YARNLADY's avatar

There was a question on Fluther just a short time ago that asked why the U. S. lets foreign governments come in and cause this kind of problem. I think a lot of people really do believe that since BP has the word British in it’s name it is actually the Government of the U.K.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr The latest figures I could find were 49% which is being widely quoted by the press on both sides of the pond.

KhiaKarma's avatar

From everything that I’ve heard- and I’ve heard A LOT cause I live in the Gulf Region- no one is blaming the British, they are blaming BP, the company, and the US government for the fumbling response. I think the news grabs onto whatever they think will sell headlines.

We (US citizens) are not all idiots, but the media can sometimes make it seem like we are. (even our own representations-like reality shows….ugh!)

Seek's avatar

@Lightlyseared – well, my source is Wikipedia, so it HAS to be true…. right?

Lightlyseared's avatar

My source was a friend who is trader on the LSE.

bolwerk's avatar

Eh, I haven’t really heard anyone seriously blaming the whole UK for this. Maybe an idiot or two.

BP is a multinational corporation. Like all multinational corporations, it’s, uh, multinational – it operates according to the laws of the country it does business in. And gets around other country’s laws by moving operations across borders.

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