The BP oil spill has been making headlines in the US since the Gulf Horizon rig explosion on April 20. For 85 days, an estimated 184 million gallons of oil has been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico according to a story by World Correspondents. In London, people have their own opinions on the media coverage of the BP oil spill as well as who should be held responsible for the clean-up.
“Things like this happen and it’s sad,” said David Horton, a bartender at the Roebuck Pub in London. “BP has to take the blame because it’s their well.”
Nicholas Hughs, a Scottish student studying in London said, “I don’t think it’s completely BP’s fault because things like that happen.”
London resident Patrick Monahan believed that there is a joint liability as to who should be held responsible for the oil spill. He said that America is just as at fault as BP because America should not have let BP drill in their waters if they already knew about Bp’s high accident record. Monahan expressed his concern as to how BP plans to clean up the oil. “All they (BP) have said is that they will do something, not how though.”
“BP should do what they’re talking about; however, they could do all they could and still get criticized for it,” Hughs added.
Horton said that the media is making the story much bigger than it needs to be. “The media is forcing you to believe one thing and the government is telling you other things.”
Hughs had a contrasting viewpoint on the media coverage of the oil spill: “BBC doesn’t lie. There is a lot of damage and they show picture of all the oil covered animals. It’s sad and they don’t try to downplay it.”
Horton added, “We just want to see it stopped. It’s not good for the environment.”
Monahan worried that clean-up would cost a lot of money and that the British government would pass the bill along to the people through higher taxes.
“BP should really be held responsible in association with the other company involved with the building of the rig,” said Indian study abroad student Prashant Iyer. “The company should have learned from the mistakes of the Alaskan oil spill.” Iyer further added that he would like to see BP come up with a compensation package since the spill affects many other resources and industries such as the American fishing industry.
According to BBC, $4 billion has already been spent by BP in worker’s compensation and clean-up efforts. BP also plans to sell off $7 billion in assets to further fund the clean-up. BP says it will sell off assets in Texas, Canada, Egypt, Pakistan, and Vietnam.