Environmental Law, Policy and Strategy
” US Gulf of Mexico spill :
Lessons from Malaysia and Singapore Oil Spill Co-operation”
If US President intends to “kick ass” over the on-going Gulf oil spill as reported in the US mass media and elsewhere, he needs to be reminded that BP is just a stone throw away in his backyard.
By Anna Driver and JoAnne Allen Anna Driver And Joanne Allen – Tue Jun 8, 11:25 am ET
VENICE, La/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said he wanted to know “whose ass to kick” over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, adding to the pressure on energy giant BP Plc as it sought to capture more of the leak from its gushing well.
“Oil spill takes toll on tourism on Gulf Coast”,
“More oil gushing into Gulf after BP removes cap”,
The slow and inept US response indicates that US environmental audit performance lacks far behind Malaysia and Singapore environmental performance in many respects.
Under domestic laws in the EU and in developed Asian countries, it represents a clear breach of environmental law. It is therefore ridiculous- if not farcical- to even hear arguments that BP can actually be allowed to escape all forms of liability in the face of a grave danger that is enveloping four U.S. Gulf states and the resultant environmental destruction to both coastal and marine ecologies.
Ongoing US oil response actions which has nto produce any concrete result is a clear indication that there is a need for a paradigm shift in current oil prevention policy within US soil.
If corporate governance and oil drilling best practices have been conducted, such potential dangers could have been identified and rectified. Not only did BP fail in carrying out due diligence, they have also failed to comply with current oil drilling safety laws and regulations. Contrary to BP’s claims that State laws have been complied with, it appears that such compliance is futile or rendered insignificant in the face of the catastrophic oil spill that threatened to spread further beyond current norm.
BP may further claim that they have conducted oil drilling safety drills etc but there is no evidence at all indicating that such drills–if ever conducted or even audited by US agency ie US Environmental Protection Agency,etc–actually complies with US EPA’s standing protocols, industrial best practice and other related oil-spills regulations.
BP defensive strategy in taking the humanitarian approach -instead of dealing with direct legal issues- will not absolve them from both civil and statutory liabilities and possibly a direct encounter with the larger obligation of global environment responsibility(GER) as espoused and advocated by the writer.
Technical incompetence, coupled with a lack of concrete/meaningful emergency response demonstrates US inherent weakness and inability in dealing with environmental crisis of such magnitude. Either the US is ill-prepared to deal with such an environmental mishap or a show of sheer arrogance in refusing to accept immediate international aid.
“BP spent $2.35B on Gulf oil spill”, http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/06/bp-oil-spill-cost/1]
In this regard, the US may take note of oil-spill lessons from both Malaysia and Singapore jurisdictions in tackling such a crisis for adoption in current US oil spills response protocols. This of course includes an immediate amendment to current oil spills laws within both State and Federal laws.
“Judge refuses to delay ruling on Gulf oil drilling ban”,
Jeong Chun phuoc
and an advocate in Strategic Environmental Intelligence(SEI)
He can be contacted at Jeongphu@yahoo.com
 “BP spent $2.35B on Gulf oil spill”, http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/06/bp-oil-spill-cost/1
 “Judge refuses to delay ruling on Gulf oil drilling ban”,