How BP Made You Pay To Clean Up Their Mess Without You Noticing
It has become apparent that BP deducted essentially all of the costs of cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon spill from their taxes in 2010. According to an article in The Guardian, BP had paid $14 billion total in cleanup costs associated with the spill as of January 2012 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/03/bp-seeks-spill-costs-halliburton), yet, according to a recent Fox Article in 2010 ALONE they deducted $13 billion from their federal income tax as ‘business costs’ (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/22/bp-cut-tax-13b-losses-spill/)
This is complete and total bullshit. Their spill, caused by human negligence, did an unfathomable amount of damage to the ecosystems in huge swaths of the gulf coast and in the gulf itself, and did an incredible amount of damage to the economies of states with coastline on the gulf, and yet now taxpayer money, or, more likely, debt, has effectively subsidized a hypothetical 92.8% of the costs of the cleanup. This is our money, folks.
It would be fair to note that these numbers come from different sources, and so it is difficult to verify their relative relevance. Either way, however, this is starting to look like a massive con. They came in and tried to exploit hard-to-reach resources, and their own ineptitude caused the failure of their project and directly resulted in negative externalities for the American people that are truly incomprehensible in scale. And then WE PAID FOR THE CLEANUP.
Seriously, people. You should be pissed.
Mind you, I’m not saying what they did was illegal. I’m saying that the fact that they were allowed to do so is unethical. It is patently absurd that BP spent only $14 billion on the Deepwater Horizon cleanup over a two-year period, yet it claimed related tax deductions for $12.8 billion in 2010 alone, before much of that money had been disbursed, and probably before much of that money had even been planned for disbursement for cleanup purposes.
The big picture says those 12.8 billion dollars are 12.8 billion dollars that would have funded federal programs that are currently riding up the deficit. It’s 12.8 billion dollars that are now a debt for the Federal Government, and therefore for American taxpayers.
I’m not claiming that we directly financed the cleanup, but I’m definitely saying that we indirectly financed the living hell out of it.