One small victory


"BP backs down on dumping in lake"

I've been watching this news story develop for some time, and have to admit that in the very beginning, I didn't think the ultimate outcome would be any good. I am completely surprised (and a bit impressed) that a corporation as large as BP actually listened to what their consumers were saying, when facing a move that could have gained them all kinds of new revenue. Sure, there are incentives for them for playing ball with Daley and the other political leaders in the region, but I still didn't expect to see them not only doing a 180 on their initial intent to increase dumping hazardous wastes into the lake, but also to give serious thought to proposals presented to them by them for improving their Indiana plant in more environmentally-friendly ways.
I really do hope they live up to the image that they have carefully constructed for themselves, of being an-earth friendly, progressive corporation, and will actually adopt some of the new, greener technologies that have been presented to them. It is likely that any new green tech that they choose to employ will be considerably more expensive than their former plans to just dump more waste, but hopefully they will take this opportunity to raise the bar for other similar corporations in the US. One unfortunate downside of this move is that it may cost BP the 80 additional jobs that they thought this expansion would have created (if it winds up falling through); this is where you need to weigh pros and cons. What good are 80 jobs, when those worker's families (and countless others in the area) will be exposed to more hazardous living conditions as a direct result of their own activities? Perhaps implementing new, cleaner technologies will actually open up jobs as well; either way, if they DO expand the plant, clean or not, those jobs will be there. If, however, BP had gone through with their original plan, despite public and political pressures to change direction, the situation may have resulted in loss of profit (Daley and others were already calling for a boycott), and probably loss of jobs.
Once again, you have to love Daley for being so bull-headed about the whole thing; if he didn't have that natural sense of entitlement to run things for not only the Chicagoland area, but also anyone else in spitting distance of it, I don't think progress would have been made so quickly. Cheers to our local dictator.

No comments: