A dead-serious thought about BP

Updated
From the beginning, I’ve noticed that BP’s ads say the company will pay for every “legitimate” claim for oil spill damages.

On hearing this a few times, I’ve wondered what they’re up to. Are they preparing a legal defense that allows them to avoid paying for the claims that they’ve destroyed much of the Gulf of Mexico, its surrounding beaches, and its wetlands?

How could any such claims be illegitimate? If oil reaches the water, and it is BP’s oil, how are they not responsible? If oil destroys fishing, or shrimping, or a restaurant owner’s business, or a hotel, or whatever other businesses are down there, how are these not legitimate claims against BP?

And what is this talk of BP declaring bankruptcy? What will that do to the “legitimate” claims against it?

I have had this concern from the beginning that the interests of BP and those of the President are decidedly different. BP has a responsibility to its stockholders. Already beaten down by the drop in stock value, will BP’s stockholders now demand that the company seek the protection of bankruptcy? Will the giant oil company resort to this measure as a way of meeting its fiduciary responsibility? That’s a great question. Can the government of the United States do anything about it? That’s another one.

Whatever the President can do to protect the interests of BP’s American victims should be number one on his agenda.

A dead-serious thought about BP

Updated