This morning, Anadarko and BP announced that they had reached a settlement on the Deepwater Horizon disaster, one of the worst in recorded history and by far exceeding the Exxon disaster of the late 80’s. Anadarko will reportedly pay $4 billion to BP in order to officially end the dispute, close the claims by each of the companies towards one another, and leave the rest to the pages of history. Yet with such mass protests on Wall Street and across the world, the question on my mind is: where is the outrage?
You would wonder if protestors actually pay attention to the financial news more than just watching a Youtube video with an angry man on a webcam or a documentary exposing how much big business makes, and not why. These are crucial details that seem strangely absent from the discussion. They bring up the 99% figure yet even seem to get this figure wrong: it is, in fact, higher. With the news of this agreement, stocks rose for Anadarko (APC) by 3.74% with BP (UK:BP) receiving 2.2%. This, naturally, is not surprising news: investors are glad to finally have this done with after seeing their investment opportunities embarrassed on national news networks across the US.
In the end, I do not intend to mock the “Occupy” movement: they are, after all, making a movement that has had far reaching consequences. Yet as an environmentalist, news like this makes me disturbed. We cannot expect “business as usual” to change when it is, in fact, profitable and simply part of the expected costs to expect a global, natural tragedy to occur during operations. As the Keystone Pipeline seems destined to become a reality, a point which many environmentalists consider the “end game”, this is a lesson that more and more of us should really listen to.