More Than Just a Band-Aid for a Bullet Wound

Two and half years later and BP has finally begun to clean up after itself- and I’m not just talking about the spilt oil.

After the explosion and subsequent spill of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, BP is charged with the likes of manslaughter, obstruction, and forced to pay up $4.5 billion dollars.  But is it a band-aid for a bullet wound?

I am glad that BP is paying a price for the mistakes made in April of 2010, and accepting responsibility for their actions, but what does throwing money at the situation really do?  It doesn’t erase the 85 days of oil spilling into the gulf.  It doesn’t bring back the 11 crew members that lost their lives.  It doesn’t repair the ecosystems destroyed or the environmental damage done.  Yes, maybe it is too little too late, but at least it’s something.

I disagree with all the environmentalists claiming this punishment is just a “slap on the wrist”.  No amount of money or apologizing would have helped, no matter how unfortunate, but at least the US recognized the severity of the situation and charged BP the largest corporate criminal penalty in US history.  That says something.  I think that says a lot actually.

Our courts, people and government are standing up for the environment.  Yes, who knows how that money will be used or if it can really make up for the damage done, but we are moving in the right direction.  We’re setting a precedent.  A precedent that the environment is something to be protected and it’s our job as mankind to do so.

So cheers to the BP settlement- for bringing us together, not to fight the big guys but rather to fight environmental degradation.

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