US should compensate us for our losses

I note that President Barack Obama has required BP to provide a fund of $20 billion to help compensate those who have lost out as a result of damage caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

We have heard a little (your report, 16 June) about the involvement in this drilling facility by major US companies such as Transocean, Cameron International and Halliburton, which may have a degree of liability for what has taken place.

Where is Mr Obama's demand that they, too, make substantial contributions to the escrow fund? Or is this a case of making a UK company take the blame, and the bad publicity that goes with it, while US companies walk away unaffected?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I would not quibble with the principle that those responsible for the problems resulting from this disaster be required to meet the cost in full.

Unfortunately in this case, with BP having now suspended dividends to shareholders, virtually every pension fund and BP shareholder in the UK will be meeting the cost of possible misjudgments and incompetence by others.

If it is right that UK pension funds and shareholders (as well as others) meet the cost of this calamity, then is it not equally right that the US pays into a very substantial fund which is intended to compensate every UK citizen who suffered as a result of toxic debt that arrived here from the US as a result of, at least in part, misjudgments and incompetence by responsible individuals in that country?


Mercat Green


All of us are, no doubt, horrified at the situation in the Gulf of Mexico, and are all aware of the short- and long- term implications.

However, it is quite bizarre that Mr Obama, who presides over a nation which is possibly the biggest single oil consumer in the world, and which only recently showed any signs of joining others in recognising the need to save the environment, is taking the moral high ground and assuring his people that he will focus all his energies on blaming BP and making it pay.

Would it not be more constructive – at least until the spill has been brought under control – to assume a co- operative tone instead of one which reflects an attitude of "we want all the oil we can get and God help anyone who affects our way of life in providing it to us"?

Maybe someone needs to remind Mr Obama that were it not for America's greed for energy, this event may never have happened at all.

Please, Mr President, don't destroy my faith – and that of others – in you as the best thing which has happened in American politics for quite some time.


The Green



Hide Ad
Hide Ad

BP may be forced to deny its shareholders (pretty much all of us) its dividend pay-out, but the real winners are the Gulf Coast residents who are portrayed as victims of the oil disaster.

Boat owners and communities have not had such a windfall and although the oil leak is indeed a tragedy the compensation will prove a lifeline to the ailing fishing and tourist industries and the inhabitants, many who were struggling financially.

Sadly, all the money thrown at this problem will do little to help the ecology of the area which really has suffered.


Rothesay Terrace