BP Oil Spill
By: Kerrie Neff
I am focusing on Tony Hayward, former CEO of BP and I am here to address the issue regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded and ultimately caused one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. To begin, there are many facts that led up to the incident, and then for many years after. BP and Hayward had already been questioned on their ethical conduct. The questions include fraud, environmental crimes, deaths, and the endangering of habitats dating from 2005 to the present (Ferrell 431). There have been too many other oil spills and problems throughout the years to just assume this would not happen in the gulf. The explosion happened on April 20th 2010 where eleven people were reported missing and seventeen were injured. After the explosion a blowout preventer that was intended to prevent release of crude oil failed to activate (Research.co). The deepwater horizon rig then sank under 5,000 ft. of water. This ultimately made the oil rig very tough to fix and plug the oil leak. A homeland security risk analysis stated that “the incident poses a negligible risk to regional oil supply markets and will not cause significant national economic impacts” (Research.co). This shows that Hayward and the company had no real concern on the environment and the impacts that it could cause. As weeks and months passed, BP continued to optimize oil recovery rates and fabricate how well the drilling relief wells were doing. On April 28th the coast guard stated “the flow of oil is 5,000bpd, five times greater than first estimated, after a third leak was discovered” (Research.co). And this continued on with multiple failed attempts at getting the oil spill under control.
As the months went on there were so many questions unanswered about exactly what was going on with the oil spill and exactly what kind of impact it was causing on the surrounding areas. There are so many facts that Hayward could not answer and left millions of people in the dark. First of all, the amount of oil actually leaking into the water was left unknown. More and more oil continued to leak into the water than was being known to the public. The number of people and animals that would be harmed by the event of this tragedy remained unknown because we were unaware of the amount of oil being spilled into the water and spreading. It was also unknown how far the oil spill would spread up the coast from not having the proper control and cleanup acts in place. This then led to not knowing how many jobs would be impacted and how many companies would go out of business. Finally we did not know exactly how much the wildlife and habitats would be affected almost causing extinction for some animals. Issues:
1. Is it ethical to place a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico that is connected to a well owned by BP on the Deepwater Horizon that could cause major environmental harms? 2. Is it ethical to deny requests of scientists and others to set up instruments on the ocean floor that could measure the rate of the leak more accurately? 3. Is it ethical to not have moral and legal obligations to the wildlife and the environment? 4. Is it ethical that BP adopted riskier procedures to save time and money against the advice of staff or contractors? 5. Is it ethical for the CEO to downplay the actual seriousness of the spill and how the relief programs were in effect for the cleanup? Alternatives:
* Alternatives to number 1
* Should have not placed the drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. * Should have found a better place to put it that it could have been better maintained and fix in the event of an explosion. * Alternatives to number 2
* Let scientists place instruments on the ocean floor to measure the rate of the leak to better inform people of the severity and increase the response efforts and cleanup. * Should have kept people...
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Ferrell, O. C., John Fraedrich, and Linda Ferrell. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision
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Krauss, Clifford, and John Schwartz. "BP Will Plead Guilty and Pay over $4 Billion." The
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Shefrin, Hersh. "BP Must Heal A Weak Corporate Culture." San Francisco Chronicle.
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