Comments on: The ethics of owning BP stock A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: TFF Thu, 08 Jul 2010 01:07:29 +0000 Would it be unethical for Exxon-Mobil to take over BP and put all of its substantial corporate resources behind the cleanup? Would it be ethical for indignant investors to destroy BP financially, making it impossible for them to meet their cleanup obligations?

It would be unethical for an investor to condone or encourage cost-cutting practices that compromise safety, but I see nothing evil in buying shares to sustain BP’s viability as an ongoing concern. Dragging BP down benefits nobody at this point (except for whatever vultures take over its assets in the fire sale).

By: inboulder Wed, 07 Jul 2010 21:19:36 +0000 If only immoral shareholders are left holding BP stock, is the world better or worse off?

As a recent purchaser of a chunk of BP stock I fully accept BP’s responsibility to clean up the Deepwater fiasco, whatever the cost. The infinitesimal say I have as a minority shareholder I will use to encourage this end, as well as ongoing change to BP’s practices.

By: HBC Tue, 06 Jul 2010 21:34:11 +0000 Q: How much BP stock do you have to buy before they start listening to you?

A: All of it.

The question remains, what sort of person would be likely to do such a thing. Judging from empirical observation – not the most scrupulous sort.

By: right Tue, 06 Jul 2010 16:51:35 +0000 If moral people refuse to own the stock, exactly what kind of company do we expect BP to be?

BP will only change in response to shareholder pressure, so we better hope that shareholders are moral, ESPECIALLY for the businesses with the trickiest ethical quandaries.

By: johnband Tue, 06 Jul 2010 15:02:23 +0000 YES; in the US, responsible for 97% of major infractions of all the Big Oils

No – that’s solely the refinery business, and that’s if you take “egregious” (ie “exacerbated by the fact you’ve already been slated for a major incident”) violations, due to Texas City as above. It genuinely isn’t worse than other companies upstream.

BP is far liklier to go to zero than it is to regain it’s April 2010 levels in the forseeable future.

BP has no chance of going to zero, because BP America Inc can declare bankruptcy and then we’ll be left with a company that can’t do business in the US, but which still has significant assets in the UK, Asia and Africa.

By: chaetodon Tue, 06 Jul 2010 14:39:35 +0000 Every investment is a vote. BP is a company that I cannot vote for.

People often forget just because the oil will one day not be visible, that the problem will be gone. Skewed bacterioplankton populations have never been discussed by the media, and its long term implications are massive.

By: ckbryant Tue, 06 Jul 2010 13:59:01 +0000 Investing in BP at this moment is worse than a crime: it is a _mistake_. The Deepwater spill is nowhere close to being contained (maybe in August, but I will offer a gentleman’s wager against it) and the total cost of cleanup and damages will run well into the tens of billions. This isn’t the backwaters of Alaska, where only a few dopey environmentalists like me are going to get upset about the plight of sea birds: millions of people are going to be hurt directly by this spill for years and years to come.

Add to this the fact that federal stimulus money is running out and belt-tightening seems to be the order of the day everywhere, so the likeliest cause is for a bear market to continue and energy demand to soften.

BP is far liklier to go to zero than it is to regain it’s April 2010 levels in the forseeable future. The best outcome for the company at this point is that it becomes Gulf Cleanup, Incorporated.

By: MrDodge Tue, 06 Jul 2010 08:25:47 +0000 Mr Salmon and several of the people commenting so far have missed an important point here. As yet there has been no investigation and no trial. There are also suspects other than BP in this accident, e.g. Transocean.

Despite this people have already simply decided that BP acted with “reckless indifference”, that the company’s behaviour is “bad”, and that “win was commited when he owned it”.

Could it be that BP is being singled out from the group of suspects because it is perceived as foreign? Don’t the people making the comments above understand the legal process?

By: hsvkitty Tue, 06 Jul 2010 08:08:50 +0000 All of the other companies said under oath that they would never have made the mistakes BP did (of course)

Ethical? Does anyone even know what that word means? Although it has all been said before it bears repeating:

BP was given the permits to drill this well given their worse case scenario ability to clean up.

Being BP falsely promised the Minerals Management Service that its oil spill response plan “could recover 197 percent of the daily discharge from an uncontrolled blowout of 250,000 barrels per day,” they obviously cannot handle a spill of their promised capability.

BP was involved in the Exxon Valdez cleanup and although the promise at the time was, “We will make you whole.” (sound familiar) There is still oil in the sands and can be seen on the surface, still cases before the court and the fishing industry was devastated.

I think he also missed the point in the jobs lost, the mental anguish and possible repercussions from that as well as the wildlife and sea life which are being affected and will continue to be for years… decades?

Then of course there is the lack of procedure and safety equipment that was not used on this well because, it was not required in the USA. (see Bush and Cheney for that joint effort)

Although they designed a special meter for measuring oil put, they said they couldn’t measure the spill and estimated 1k barrels in May, then 5k and now it is 100k. All to mask their liability as they scrambled to hide the truth.

The past track record for spills is in the majority, but I cannot quote because I can’t find a URL. BUT they have been in business under a number of names and should be expert enough to do a job well and safely, not just quickly and with the least expense.

The extra cost for safety equipment was 500k and of course precious preparation time to make it safer. (BP admitted that in the hearings, that they didn’t use it to say time and $) I would call not using safety equipment available, which they use elsewhere in the world, negligence.

Being they were aware they were in a highly pressurized area and they knew in advance there were problems the selling of stocks may also not be a coincidence either.

Having said all that, I doubt the lack of ethics in BP is that much higher on the evil greedy sleazy scale then the others, but seeing the dead wildlife and the dying dolphins and the poor cleanup response.

johnband is probably right. The evilness is likely systemic. The human and environmental costs be damned for the drill baby drill junkies.

By: crocodilechuck Tue, 06 Jul 2010 07:33:13 +0000 dsucher: ‘has BP been worse than the other majors?” YES; in the US, responsible for 97% of major infractions of all the Big Oils. By cutting corners, it has avoided OpEx and CapEx its competitors bear. But, for what gain, now?