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3 more reasons the President should take control of BP’s Gulf operation

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Lee Celano/Reuters

(Read caption) A dead crab sits among the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a beach in Grand Terre Island, La. June 9. President Barack Obama's administration, getting tough as polls show public disapproval over its handling of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, threatened new penalties on the company.

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1. Why hasn’t BP moved more of its rigs and tankers to the site? Because BP’s first responsibility is to maximize shareholder value, and moving more rigs and tankers would be too expensive. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the government’s man on the scene, said BP planned to move another rig to the spill site June 14, which would enable the company to boost its capacity to collect oil from the ruptured well to 28,000 barrels (1.18 million gallons/4.45 million liters) a day.

2. Why isn’t BP leveling with the American people about how many barrels of oil is gushing into the Gulf? Because BP’s first responsibility is to its shareholders, and a bigger leak means more liability. Government scientists estimate the leak spews 12,000-19,000 barrels a day, with one estimate as high as 25,000 barrels. BP says it’s not nearly this much.

3. Why isn’t BP acknowledging a huge plume of oil developing deep under water? Ditto. On Tuesday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers reported subsurface oil as far as 142 miles from the leaking Gulf well, the first clear confirmation of such a plume. On Wednesday, BP rejected the report, insisting that it has not found any significant concentration of crude under the surface. “We haven’t found any large concentrations of oil under the sea. To my knowledge, no one has,” BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said on NBC’s TODAY show.

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. This post originally ran on www.robertreich.org.


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