Tony Hayward isn’t BP’s biggest problem; greed is

It looks like BP CEO Tony Hayward is on his way out, to be replaced by a Mississippi-born American, Robert Dudley. He’s already a familiar face because BP put him out front to handle the spill weeks ago.

But replacing Hayward won’t solve the company’s problems. Its sullied reputation stems from a clear record of choosing profits over safety, as an investigation taking place out of the spotlight has made clear.

From The Washington Post:

For example, on the day of the blowout, BP managers decided to skip a typically routine, and time-consuming, “cement bond log” test that could have detected fissures in the cementing of the well. They did not use the recommended 21 “centralizers” to position the well prior to the cement job, deploying just six instead. They used the cheaper of two well designs, one with fewer barriers to rising gas but costing $7 to $10 million less.

They were also conscious of the value of mud. On the day of the explosion, the expensive drilling fluid was taken out of the well and offloaded to an adjacent boat precisely when, as it turned out, the mud was the only thing suppressing the “well from hell,” as the widow of one rig worker called it.

The seeming insensitivity of the gaffe-prone Hayward infuriated an American public already angry about the spill. But the real problems lay with a company culture that focused on profits above everything else.

Meanwhile, U.S. regulators still don’t know whether that culture invades other deepsea drilling operations at other companies because inspections have not concluded. Nor are the other oil companies prepared to handle a huge spill of the sort that BP still struggles with at the site of the Deepwater Horizon. The big companies are only now coming together with the kind of plan for a disastrous spill that they should have had years ago.
It’s much too soon for drilling to resume.

86 comments Add your comment

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

July 26th, 2010
7:29 am

How does this fit into being a political issue? Its’ a business decision. Something a liberal progressive political commentator knows little about.

Jethro

July 26th, 2010
7:32 am

Regulation does no good if those whose job it is to enforce regulations refuse to do so. BP is not the only culprit in this fiasco.

Granny Godzilla

July 26th, 2010
7:34 am

I can’t wait to read the BP defenders.
I like to start Mondays with a hearty chuckle.

JohnnyReb

July 26th, 2010
7:39 am

“It’s much too soon for drilling to resume.”

The heartbreaking ecological disaster of the blown well will be surpassed only by the idiotic decision to stop other drilling. And, once again Obama’s arrogance is his downfall. No, he won’t listen to local and industry experts, and not the court. He knows best, at least the best way to try and keep his tree hugging supporters who drove the drilling to deep water in the first place.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

July 26th, 2010
7:40 am

No defenders, GG. Businesses make decisions everyday and live with the consequences good or bad. It’s that simple! Having the government in the business of running a business has always been bad for business.

JohnnyReb

July 26th, 2010
7:54 am

Granny, you may be waiting a while for someone to defend BP. The real culprit appears more and more to be the government inspectors responsible for ensuring BP followed the rules. All the bypassing of safety systems, designed to slap humans when there are problems, coupled with the decisions Ms Tucker lists, appear to have produced the disaster. And just to head off some well lintended commentor, no, we don’t need more government regulation. We just need government to comply with existing regulations.

kayaker 71

July 26th, 2010
8:06 am

The unrelenting appetite for fossil fuels in this country is much like the drug war. Those mean, hateful drug cartels are killing, terrorizing and fighting to capitalize on America’s glutenous appetite for drugs. Those same Americans refuse to look at alternative sources of energy but when their fossil fuels are threatened, Presidents loose elections, Soccer Moms certainly don’t want the inconvenience of not being able to fill up their SUVs. It’s hard to drill a mile below the ocean and keep everything in perspective. That technology has been, and still is, one of the great wonders of the corporate world.
Bottom line, we want an unending supply of fossil fuels for our convenience but we are not willing to accept the consequences for this gluttony. Then we start blaming evil CEOs of these evil oil companies, much like we blame Mexicans who beheading people to supply us with all of the drugs we demand. Doesn’t make much sense.

Peadawg

July 26th, 2010
8:07 am

“no, we don’t need more government regulation. We just need government to comply with existing regulations.”

Exactly. This also goes for immigration. Arizona wouldn’t have done what they did if the gov’t had been enforcing all along. Just enforce the damn laws we have now.

Jack

July 26th, 2010
8:15 am

We are are familiar with greed; it’s what caused our current recession. Bankers were forced into loaning money to greedy buyers.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 26th, 2010
8:20 am

Why are you so focused on miniscule issues like whether the CEO of BP is a failure or not? We’ve got the biggest failure in U.S. history in the White House.

Idiot Messiah: Failure. Fascist. Fool.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 26th, 2010
8:26 am

It appears to this reader, that the blame lies with a government that insists on regulating everything, but fails to take the responsibility of doing the job or taking the blame when it doesn’t do the job it made for itself.

The problem with the lefties is they failed basic high school physics and/or chemistry. Why do we have a love affair with coal and oil? Because it is rich in available energy and is readily available.

We will never give up oil and coal completely for may reason, but rest assured, when we have a viable energy source that does not utilized fossil fuels or oil, it will be used to its fullest.

So far, we have not seen it, just government subsidies experiments.

Aquagirl

July 26th, 2010
8:30 am

JohnnyReb “Treehuggers” did not force BP to drill in mile-deep water. Where did you get that idea? What evidence do you have to support such a statement? They drilled there because there was a bunch of oil. Duh.

Ah, the pre-programmed right wing talking point. Y’all are like parrots.

godless heathen

July 26th, 2010
8:34 am

Ahh, more armchair experts on deep sea oil wells. And the tired old “trading safety for profits” mantra.

Cynthia could stay home and not work. Safer to stay home than get out on the road. Trading safety for profit?

Suppose I own a trucking company and all the trucks are GPS equipped so I can monitor the speed they drive. I could instruct the drivers to drive 15 mph under the speed limit, because it would be safer, but I would sacrifice profits. Am I immoral if I tell them to drive the speed limit and trade safety for profit?

If BP violated the law, the guilty parties should be prosecuted. Otherwise understand that we all trade safety for profit.

Drawing Black Lines

July 26th, 2010
8:35 am

CT—

Where was that government oversight that should have caught the “cheaper” of the two well designs? or issued fines for documented absence of drills? It seems to me that regulation upon regulation doesn’t work, and that the government would need to follow through on original regulations. Kinda like immigration, huh? if you just enforce the laws that are there, why the need for more?

quod erat demonstrandum

July 26th, 2010
8:35 am

Aquagirl,

BP made the decision to drill in international waters because shallower sites were not open to exploration, restrictions imposed by the administration. Bush in his final days opened the areas to leases, but the current administration closed them.

The availability for exploration wells in that area has been restricted for many administrations. It has been an ongoing struggle between oil companies and the federal morass of red tape.

Kamchak

July 26th, 2010
8:36 am

Bankers were forced into loaning money to greedy buyers.

Fannie, Freddie, ACORN, CRA—SQUIRREL!

david wayne osedach

July 26th, 2010
8:36 am

Tony gets to retire filthy rich and young. I’m envious!

stands for decibels

July 26th, 2010
8:38 am

the real problems lay with a country that focuses on profits above everything else.

fyt.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 26th, 2010
8:41 am

stands for decibels,

More like a country that wants to put people to work, but can’t – too many tax codes and regulations to deal with.

Peadawg

July 26th, 2010
8:42 am

It only took 16 posts for Kamchak’s obsession-w/-squirrels-post is up. Congrats Kammy!

Aquagirl

July 26th, 2010
8:43 am

QED, again, where is your support for such a statement? Does the deepwater oil reserve there extend into shallower water? Again, I’ve seen no such evidence.

There are certainly places BP would like to drill that that they can’t. That doesn’t lead to the conclusion if BP was drilling in ANWR, they would not be drilling in the deep water of the Gulf. They’d be drilling both places.

andygrd

July 26th, 2010
8:44 am

BP Greed.. how funny.
BP is a publically traded company with stockholders, and yes, I am a stockholder. I like other stock owners want to see a return on my investment, and it better be a big one. Therefore, all the shareholders grade management’s performance on the dividends issues quarterly. Well none for me this year, but that is beside the point.
The point is, it is not greed on the part of BP, it is greed on the part of the shareholders demanding greater return. BP, and don’t kid yourselves, other major companies take shorts cuts as well to earn higher profits to pay shareholders.
Now who are the shareholders of BP, you have investors and employees. Both want to make money, some to increase the wealth, others for retirement purposes.
No excuse for BP to take shortcuts, however, perhaps we focus on reasonable profits vs. higher rates of return. At the next stockholders meeting, this will be addressed with the board.

stands for decibels

July 26th, 2010
8:46 am

a country that wants to put people to work, but can’t

bull pucky. This country’s private sector is sitting on trillions of dollars of capital. It’s fully capable of employing more people. It chooses not to in no small part because those captains of industry are well aware that they have state and local government by the balls, and can always extract better deals and tax breaks if they just squeeze a little tighter. Hey, look what they’ve managed to do to autoworkers! got those b@stards to work for 14 bucks an hour! woo-hoo!

And as long as Little Johnny TeaTard keeps on doing Corporate America’s secits heavy lifting and voting GOP and/or Conservadems, why shouldn’t they go on squeezing?

stands for decibels

July 26th, 2010
8:47 am

secits? oy. Meant to delete a word there.

Must run. Have fun stormin’ the castle?

ctucker

July 26th, 2010
8:48 am

quod erat demonstrandum, I’d agree that SOME of the blame lies with the govt. But certainly most lies with the company. As for high school physics, that’s not the problem. Your analysis is an economic one not a scientific one.

nelsonhoward

July 26th, 2010
8:49 am

A CEO of a large corporation was advised that the government was initiating a new “excess profits tax”, upon hearing this the CEO replied,”what is an excess profit?” IN business there is only one objective, make as much money as humanly possible. It is the way the capitalistic system works. Profits make for bigger dividends for investors.

ctucker

July 26th, 2010
8:50 am

stands for decibels, Absolutely right on country’s private sector.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 26th, 2010
8:52 am

ctucker,

The energy available in fossil fuels and oil are scientific. As with propane or natural gas powered vehicles, they do not get the same power (energy) as they could from plain #2 diesel.

Peadawg

July 26th, 2010
8:53 am

“This country’s private sector is sitting on trillions of dollars of capital.”

Ya, and they’re probably saving it for when the tax cuts expire and the health care “reform” goes into effect. They don’t trust Obama right now.

Granny Godzilla

July 26th, 2010
8:59 am

“This country’s private sector is sitting on trillions of dollars of capital”

They are attempting to hold us hostage and the GOP has a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Kamchak

July 26th, 2010
9:01 am

It only took 16 posts for Kamchak’s obsession-w/-squirrels-post is up.

And it only took half that many posts to tie-in the Ariz. immigration fiasco that Repubs are only now starting to get all poutragey, thong-in-a-twist about.

Aquagirl

July 26th, 2010
9:01 am

If companies want to sit on capital they’ve *earned,* OK. When they sit on taxpayer subsidies, that’s another thing.

QED, still waitin’ on that proof the oil reserve drilled by the deepwater rig could have been drilled in shallower waters. Not to pick on you, I asked Kyle Wingfield the same thing and got dead silence.

Dave

July 26th, 2010
9:06 am

A little off-topic:

“Obama’s message to voters: Things could be worse”

This is the best they could come up with? I guess they really are in trouble.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 26th, 2010
9:07 am

Aquagirl,

Try a little Google – I found both oil industry and main stream news articles regarding shallow gulf drilling – new leases.

Scout

July 26th, 2010
9:10 am

Cynthia:

Speaking of “GREED”, do you realize that when God set up the tax/tithe (starting in the O.T. and continuing into the New) that he made it 10% for the poor AND the rich !

In other words, no increase in percentage the more “income” one made.

Do you think God is greedy ??

Granny Godzilla

July 26th, 2010
9:13 am

Scout

The GRS?

God Revenue Service?

Yassir, ya’betcha.

Sam (The Cool 1 )

July 26th, 2010
9:15 am

Don’t worry the good guys will win in the end. Just like The Cisco Kid and Pancho.

neo-Carlinist

July 26th, 2010
9:18 am

andygrd, do you really think the “greed” noted in CT’s screed benefits you? do you actually believe that when the CEO, board or executives at BP (or AIG, or GM, or Bank of America) act with the interests (profit) of shareholders in mind? all you “anti-socialists” need to take a look at what the stock market (”publicly traded companies) has become: Hint, it rhymes with ponzi scheme. that said, kayaker71 nailed it. this is not a lib v conservative issue. the malfeasance on the part of BP, et al, as well has the derilection of duty on the part of federal “regulators” is no different than said abuses in big Health, big Pharm, big Ag; etc. we are addicted to fossil fuels, and it is OUR GREED (entitlement and consumption of pertroleum) that caused the crisis. as stated, “don’t shoot the messenger” and in this case, BP is not the culprit; BP is the messenger.

Aquagirl

July 26th, 2010
9:22 am

QED, I can google fu-myself. Try the #8 footnote of the wiki entry on Deepwater Horizon. It’s a Dept. of Energy report from 2000 on deepwater drilling prospects. Page 8 says deepwater discoveries in the Gulf were several times larger than those in shallow water, and have been “highly prolific producers.” If you read the document you’ll see why they were drilling in deep water.

The decision to drill in deep water was economic, not driven by environmentalists.

quod erat demonstrandum

July 26th, 2010
9:23 am

neo-Carlinist,

Not all that sure where you stand on this. I for one love big business.

When a company makes a profit, it can expand to make more – in doing so, it hires folks. Why do you think Kia opened a plant in west Georgia? Why do you think BMW is in South Carolina and Nissan is in Tennessee? To make money. They are capitalists and they are keeping their shareholders and employees happy.

neo-Carlinist

July 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Scout, did I “hear” you correctly? (your) god “set up” tithing and taxation? so, what you’re suggesting is, this “shakedown” has nothing to do with corrupt clergymen, who “sell” salvation and/or eternal life to the highest bidder? is not thining a “redistribution of wealth”? you might want to confirm this and then contact the person who paid for the “god is not a socialist” billboard on I-75 in Henry County.

Scout

July 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Granny:

I like it !!

Just remember …………… 10% across the board ……………… :o

Peadawg

July 26th, 2010
9:25 am

Off Topic:
from the ajc: “Heat advisory issued for metro Atlanta”

That darn sun…stop bullying us!!!!!

quod erat demonstrandum

July 26th, 2010
9:25 am

Aquagirl,

Then why is the feds starting to issue shallow drilling leases? Since the BP spill, they are now allowing new leases in the shallower continental shelf.

Avenger

July 26th, 2010
9:26 am

It doesn’t matter what business you are in, there are rules to play by. Whether it is a CEO, buss boy. plumber or what ever, some people will try and game the system. It is not a matter of all CEOs being greedy, but that there are consequences for their actions

neo-Carlinist

July 26th, 2010
9:34 am

QED, as with the law (or the Bible, if that’s one’s ultimate law); “on paper” the concept of a free market and publicly traded companies seems like a good idea. however, as with the aformentioned “regulations” or business models, it is the nature of (most) people to rig the deck, or in the current vernacular; “game the system” (see mortgage fraud, insurance/Medicaid fraud, $500 toilet seats, etc., etc.). An individual shareholder has about as much “juice” as an individual voter. just as politicians no longer “represent” the People, the current class of corporate execs and boards no longer “represent” shareholders. as such, when things go sour, who gets whacked first? the shareholders (dividends slashed, shares devalued). do the execs cut their “bonuses” or “compensation”? No, in fact, many use a sell-off to buy the undervalued shares from the shareholders who “sell” (remember old man Potter in It’s A Wonderful Life). it’s a rigged game and no individual investor can “compete” with hedge funds or large institutional investors. sure there are some “feel good stories” (Home Depot in the 80’s), but more often than not, the “boom/bust” nature of our economy is planned and manipulated by the true wealth owners.

Aquagirl

July 26th, 2010
9:50 am

QED, my last post was chomped by the system (I think) so here it is again: The oil companies are probably drilling in shallow water because it’s now profitable to do so due to rising oil prices. I dunno–since you’re the one making the insinuation I can’t provide proof of your thought process.

I’m not anti-capitalist. Companies take the most profitable course, that’s what they do. That’s not an excuse to lie about why BP was drilling in deep water.

If you can find a document/source that says “we’re drilling here because we can’t drill there” please let me know.

Grumpy

July 26th, 2010
9:52 am

Corporations are greedy. I’ve got a newsflash for you lefties: so is 95% of the American population. Greed fueled the “keep up with the Joneses, even if I have to put it on Visa” binge of the last 20 years. Greed has fueled the “I’m entitiled to a job” mentality of the post-boomer generation. Greed fueled the housing market, whose collapse exposed the biggest dirty secret of all – everyone is greedy.

Granny Godzilla

July 26th, 2010
10:00 am

Grumpy

I do not a believe that 95% of Americans are greedy.

Nope. Not buying it.

Grumpy

July 26th, 2010
10:06 am

Granny, you are entirely entitled to be naive. Enjoy yourself.