BP's legacy will be a black ring around the Gulf of Mexico and a black eye for the petchem industry
RED ALERT! There is a new conspiracy theory on the whacko circuit: This one blames North Korea for the destruction at BP's Deepwater Horizon rig.
This theory claims that a North Korean freighter, en route to Venezuela from Havana, went about 130 miles off its official course into the Gulf of Mexico, where it launched a submarine commando squad whose mission, it seems was accomplished.
The theorists continue - and I will admit that they lose me here - that the North Koreans did this so President Obama has to use a tactical nuclear weapon to seal the leaking hole in the ocean.
After reading this absurdity, I asked myself, "Is BP paying somebody to plant this story?"
Because people hate BP now.
I mean they really, really, really hate them. At a dinner party this weekend, conversation was hijacked by the topic of the Gulf disaster, and the least incendiary comment was something to the effect that BP execs should be threatened with violence until they clean all the Gulf's beaches - with toothbrushes.
As of this writing, that monstrous busted well has been pumping out, depending on whom you're listening to, between 5,000-50,000 barrels/day of gnarly and awful hydrocarbonic material.
The New York Times writes, "On May 23, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said that 65 miles of his state's coastline had been 'oiled.' Local officials in Jefferson Parish reported that the slick was moving past the shore into environmentally sensitive wetlands."
At dinner, I was the only representative of the petrochemical industry and it was demanded of me to provide an answer.
BP might be able to control media access to the afflicted areas now, but anti-business news organizations are already noticing the oil company's heavy-handed tactics - like ordering deputies to deny access to certain areas - and with a disaster this big? Soon enough the nightmare stories will emerge, and then the entire petrochemical industry will be on the firing line.
Dozens of years of hard work and trust-building will be thrown out, and once again, in the public eye, the industry will be The Villain.
The industry ought to take BP out back and give it a good, biker gang-style stomping.