Apart from the big banks and financial institutions, the oil industry is probably the next most disliked industry. Apart from the environmental damage it causes getting the stuff out the ground and earning billions in profits while doing it and it funds the anti-environmental lobby to muddy the waters while they continue polluting the waters.
The news shows pictures of the huge oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico that has been leaking from the oil rig that exploded last week and is beginning to reach the shores of the southern American states with devastating consequences. The bad news is that last year it took 10 weeks to plug a leak in the same circumstances when an oil rig exploded off the coast of Australia. That spewed 400 barrels a day into the Timor Sea, the US Coast Guard has said that as many as 1,000 barrels of oil a day are being pumped into the Gulf of Mexico.
BP does seem to have a worrying history of 'accidents'. A BP refinery explosion in Texas, 2005, killed 15 and injuring dozens of others. BP was fined a record $87 million in 2009 for failing to correct the safety hazards that had caused the explosion.
In 2006 a BP leak blamed on 'negligence' led to one of the largest oil spill in Alaskan history and a $20m fine although that amount pales into insignificance compared to the $303 million fine it received for price manipulation.
I saw Obama today saying that the bill for the clean-up is going to land on BP's doormat and i hope it is closely followed by a massive fine and compensation for the families of the 11 workers killed. If it is also found that it was an accident through negligence or lack of safety procedures, i'd like to see BP shut down permanently.
Accidents happens but it seems that accidents happen a bit more to some firms than others.