Photo: U.S. Coast GuardIt should have been a good weekend for BP. Its latest plan to staunch the geyser — lowering a tighter cap over the spewing pipe — is ahead of schedule, and its two relief wells, which could stop the gushing once and for all, remain on track to be ready in mid-August.
But, as we’ve come to learn over the past 81 days — and counting — BP reeks of bad karma.
Here are seven of examples from last weekend alone:
- Chum and chummer: In its weakened financial state, BP’s been seen as chum for circling competitors. Now come reports that ExxonMobil — the folks who gave America its last great oil spill — has received clearance from the White House to try a takeover. BP is already gearing up to protect itself, writes Helia Ebrahimi in The Telegraph.
- Take Alaska … please: To stave off hostiles, BP needs to sell, baby, sell. The most likely deal involves another American company — Apache Corp., an independent oil and gas producer. A story in today’s Wall Street Journal claims BP could raise as much as $10 billion by offloading a significant chunk of its Alaska operations, including its stake in the Prudhoe Bay oil field.
- Whattaya mean, our problem? BP’s partners, not surprisingly, keep running from the stink. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which owns a 25 percent share of the destroyed well, let BP know it won’t be paying the $272 million bill it received from BP last month. Anadarko says it shouldn’t have to help pay for BP’s mess. Purva Patel, writing in the Houston Chronicle, has the story.
- We may be rich, but we’re not crazy: Now that Tony Hayward and his twisted tongue have been shoved off center stage in the Gulf, the (still) BP CEO has been spending his time trawling for cash. Last week, Hayward was in oil-rich Abu Dhabi looking for some money love. But word out of the Middle East is that the big investment fund there would rather not jump into BP’s briar patch.
- Would you believe, half right? We’ve all seen one BP spokesman after another promise that the company will do everything in its power to “make this right.” So then, why is BP planning to lower damage payments to almost half of the 100,000 people now receiving them? Insufficient paperwork. That should score a lot of points in Washington.
- Photo: NAACPWhacked like me: Also, this weekend, NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous kicked off the organization’s convention in Kansas City with a speech in which he accused BP of giving minorities the most dangerous and lowest-paying cleanup jobs.
- She didn’t get the memo: Not that it should come as a big surprise, but it doesn’t do much for BP’s tattered reputation to be the centerpiece for the worst insult the Democratic Party thinks it can heap on GOP opponents. The Democratic National Committee just launched a website called BPRepublicans.com. Exhibit A on the site is Sharron Angle, who’s running against Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Like Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) before her, Angle recently referred to the BP’s $20 billion escrow account to cover damages as a “slush fund.” And like Barton, she quickly had a change of heart, describing what had, a few hours earlier, been a slush fund as “an important first step.”
Easy to see how she got confused.