Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What to do about BP

What to do about BP?

Quentin Smeltzer, SmeltzerNation, 6/29/2010

BP presents a quandary. On the one hand we want to see their leaders frog-marched off to Joliet. On the other hand we need the oil and jobs their reckless behavior produces. In fact, you can argue, BP never produced half so many jobs with working wells as they have with the Deep Water Horizon disaster. It is vaguely reminiscent of the old joke Woody Allen tells in the movie, “Annie Hall.” His family includes an uncle who thinks he is a chicken, but no one will tell him because… wait for it… they need the eggs.

Why can’t people just use less oil, I frequently ask myself as I strafe the Connecticut hills near my home on my motorcycle?

I was on a business trip recently and the car rental agent asked if I would mind an SUV. It was late and I was tired and I would have gone to the hotel by nitro, top-fuel, funny car or rickshaw, if they could only get me to a shower and set of clean sheets. So I said, sure, expecting a Kia Sedona or a Chevy Bankruptus.

Once I got to the parking lot, instead I found a mountain of sheet metal waiting for me: a cream and burgundy colored Ford Expedition. It took few tries to throw my bags up through the open window in back, and I was breathing heavily by the time I completed the final ascent to the driver’s seat. But like all good climbs this one, too, rewarded me with a magnificent view.

Far below were the drivers of other, quote-unquote trucks, and even further below them dwelled the puny race of cars, scuttling about like the insects they so clearly are. Few things in life are as exhilarating as gazing down upon the roof of the Jeep Cherokee next to you. The sense of power you experience, knowing you could punt him into the guardrail with the slightest flick of your luxurious, leather-wrapped, control-encrusted steering wheel, is intoxicating.

Let’s face it: big SUVs rock!

So, as in all things, I have the answer. A special prison should be built for oil company executives, from which they can run their evil enterprises. Deciding who should go to such a prison need not be difficult. Just round up any oil exec making more than one million dollars a year, and whisk them off to the new pen. Anyone making less than that clearly has no pull whatsoever.

But what about incentive? The Chinese have been running prison labor camps for decades and what has it gotten them? Okay, they are the world’s fastest growing, and soon-to-be largest, economy but let’s not get lost in the weeds, here…

These are Amerikans we're talking about here, with a “k!” We need incentive; we need freedom; we need Gulfstreams and hookers if we are possibly to do our best! Think the Brits are any different? Evidently, they are not.

So this new oil executive prison will need a few perks. First, we can build a large control room with many high tech screens, managed by engineers in white lab coats, to make the executives feel important and in charge. Water in the cafeteria will have to be replaced by bourbon on the rocks. And conjugal visits by “entertainment specialists” will be the norm. Finally, helicopters manned by AK-47-toting Blackwater guards should be available to whisk the executives out to the oil platforms to survey their masterwork. Only, the guards will be there to secure the executives, not to protect them.

Following this simple, new program will give us all what we want: we can lock the bastards up and continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor, as we wait—any day now—for energy independence.