I almost missed it in the news. For a second there, I was even a little concerned that it had or would not happen.
But rest assured, fear not: BP is being criminally investigated for the gulf oil spill, called the "Deepwater Horizon disaster", and there is a large internal investigation into BP and the associated smaller companies that were involved. The Wall Street Journal article implies that they will take some, but not all of the blame, but I argue their wording; Where 4 million barrels of oil in our oceans are considered, we'll make more blame to go around.
As both mention, this report is slated to come out on Wednesday, so hopeful by the time Dear Reader discovers this, the report should be available. Personally, I can't help but see how this report, and the subsequent legal investigation, will affect further environmental efforts, studies, and projects. The cleanup must not only be considered, but also how Companies are to be held responsible for their mishandling of goods that could cause danger to the environment. There is talk of fines up to $21 billion if they are held fully accountable, but this solution is troubling. From the article it is apparent that BP has a long history of events that question their safety practices. It is not for us to say that this makes them entirely responsible, but the fee necessarily implies that the company must stay running, to pay its debt, or it will disband to avoid the charge altogether, and then we are left trying to chastise air for the injustice that is done. Not only is this unsatisfying, it is inefficient.
There has been debate and discussion about the ethics that apply to corporations, most notably in the Shell reserve fiasco, but so far a concrete solution has eluded us. Although thousands of stockholders were cheated out of their money by executives that deliberately obfuscated the truth, this situation is far more grave, the implications wider-reaching, even more so than can be apparent at this time.
It is in the wake of this disaster that we must really begin to examine the systems in place for this events, and critically evaluate our position.