Much like the oil spill itself, the BP Deepwater Horizon story continues to run and run (see News Extra, page 10). The effects of this disaster are so far reaching environmentally, politically, and financially, not to mention the personal tragedy that it’s hard to comprehend how anyone at the centre of it all (Tony Haywood springs to mind!) can even think about getting up in the morning.
Everyone is trying to pass the buck, but there is culpability at many levels. Disasters on this scale are seldom the result of one action, but many things coming together from industry standards and processes to company culture, arrogance and carelessness on a personal level. We had Buncefield after all, just think how much worse that could have been.
But while BP-branded fuel retailers in the US are having something of a torrid time amid the protests, UK retailers do not seem to have been affected (though in the long-term we could all feel the effects fuel prices, pensions and so on).
However no-one should ignore the ’stitch in time’ moral of the story. It is one of the themes running through this month’s maintenance feature (page 36). A sloppy maintenance schedule could cost you dearly in the long run. Equipment out of action is money down the drain. Wonder if we should send the article to Mr Haywood?
No one knows quite what the impact of all this will be on BP, but fuel price rises are a dead cert it seems to be the response to everything these days. With the 1ppl duty rises due in October and January, and the 20% VAT kicking in, motorists may be cutting back on their long journeys in 2011.
But in spite of the VAT rise everyone seems quite resigned to the decrees laid down in the Chancellor’s Emergency Budget. We knew it was coming so let’s get on with it, is the general impression. And while you’ve got your heads down, remember to keep an eye out for any leaks!