The price of oil

Staff ~ The Telegram
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I applaud The Telegram on its editorial of June 16 entitled "Doing business." In it, you point out that, in December 2009, the federal government moved to give offshore oil companies more leeway in what safety and environmental goals they established, rather than have regulations set and enforced by government.

Like most businesses, oil companies are committed to cost cutting - their CEOs reinforce this daily with the mantra, "My only responsibility is to our shareholders." As stated in your editorial, this attitude on the part of BP has resulted in the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico - a relationship between profit and pollution that our provincial government professes ignorance of.

Letters to the editor -

I applaud The Telegram on its editorial of June 16 entitled "Doing business." In it, you point out that, in December 2009, the federal government moved to give offshore oil companies more leeway in what safety and environmental goals they established, rather than have regulations set and enforced by government.

Like most businesses, oil companies are committed to cost cutting - their CEOs reinforce this daily with the mantra, "My only responsibility is to our shareholders." As stated in your editorial, this attitude on the part of BP has resulted in the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico - a relationship between profit and pollution that our provincial government professes ignorance of.

Reason would decree that all deep-water drilling be suspended until better technology is developed. Experience, however, indicates that oil companies will now call in more high-powered lawyers to ensure that in future taxpayers be responsible for cleanups, more public relations people to ensure that no cameras get near the spewing oil and may even hire private armies (such as those oil and mining companies already employ in Africa) to block citizens and reporters from the site.

The long-term effects, of course, will some day be evident. It is our grandchildren - the grandchildren of multi-billionaires, as well as the grandchildren of politicians and paupers - who will have to live in a world of dead seas, dead land, disease, hunger and violence.

It seems a high price to pay for increased profits.

Bernice Morgan

St. John's

Organizations: BP

Geographic location: Gulf of Mexico, Africa, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Anon
    July 20, 2010 - 13:03

    Which is why our waters should be closed to all oil companies and we should mine them ourselves with one hundred percent of the profits going to help Newfoundlanders.

  • Robin
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    I agree 100%. It is time the people were truly informed about the reckless practices these oil companies are using. It is comparable to a drunk driver being let loose in your neighbourhood. Eventually, they will cause damage or take a life. We need to sober up!

  • Eugene
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Ms Morgan, unfortunately some individuals and institutions measure the success of a society solely by GDP growth. Growth in the Gross Domestic Product can come with massive social and environmental damage and higher unemployment and can result in such things as Newfoundland being a 'have' province while mired in the highest Canadian unemployment rates and affording little to no environmental protection against the avaricious pursuit of profits. Sad, really!