Monday, August 07, 2006

BP stands for big problems

BP (British Petroleum) is blatantly at fault for not properly monitoring the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. While they have profited immensely from the ownership and operation of the Prudhoe Bay oil fileds in Arctic Alaska, they failed to properly maintain what has lasted thirty-plus years before being found out that nearly 80 percent of the corroded sections of the 800-mile-long pipeline will have to be replaced. This is a fine example of waiting too long then exploiting an opportunity.

How it was allowed to deteriorate to such a point is beyond me. I understand wholly that there are always maintenance issues with anything. However, if you perform routine preventative maintenance, you can prevent (see the root of the word?) such immense problems.

After BP, who has had more than their share of mishaps as of late, has repaired the pipeline I feel that it's time to heavily fine what has become a greedy and sloppily-run company. When your company obviously shuts down a vital piece of American infrastructure at an already volatile time, people are bound to (and rightfully so) cry foul.

Remember, in a free-market economy it's the people who are ultimately in charge of the companies, not the companies who are in charge of the people. Maybe it's time that there were regulations put in place regarding profits and prices. Before you fly off the handle and say to yourself that an idea such as this is Marxist and socialistic, it has been done for many years (until the mid-1990s) with telecommunications and utility providers.

When electric utilities were deregulated, we witnessed the greed that took over with rolling blackouts in California and increasing consolidation in Radio, Television and again telecommunication ownership. These are widely as utility providers (vital services) and why should energy resources such as oil and natural gas be excluded? The overly-consolidated conglomerates may need to be forcefully broken up. After all, with increased competition often comes lower prices. Can there really be any more harm done?

1 comment:

betmo said...

not thinking the oilmen will go for it. they don't want lower prices they want higher profits.