Showing posts from April, 2011

Time to pull the plug on government subsidy: When oil companies declare obscene quarterly profits?

Keywords or Terms: Strong earnings; Obscene profits; Subsidies; Below cost loans; Defraying pollution costs; Domestic production; Oligopoly arrangements; Tax rates; Public goodwill; Chevron; British Petroleum; and, Exxon-Mobil

Can huge profits obliterate sin against the environment? Probably not, but many oil companies are already saying that their contribution to the economy should not be measured by one or two errors of environmental bastardization by one lone wolf among them. Chevron Corporation wants to be an ideal company; and, this is probably why it has been running advertisements ahead of the quarterly earnings set to be released sometimes this week. British Petroleum is set to release its second quarterly profit first among peers, tomorrow. British Petroleum would also want you to overlook its recent omission or commission in the Gulf of Mexico. Other oil and gas companies that have not suffered the faith of British Petroleum, would want you to see their industry as one …

One Year after the Environmental Disaster: Seeing BP’s Law suit against the trio from a unique prism?

Keywords or Terms: Strategy; Lawsuits; Halliburton; Transocean; Cameron International; Civil Penalty

Could BP’s strategy really work? It is plausible, anticipatory, and probably a long shot from being certain. In case you are asking what exactly he is driving at, here is the news: BP launches a gigantic lawsuit against Halliburton, Transocean and Cameron, suing for the total cost of the spill. How much you ask? Since the accidental explosion a year ago, it is public record that British Petroleum has set aside about $40.9 billion. The suit against the three defendants is for at least the same amount: about 41 Billion moolas! Who is Cameron? Well, Cameron International provided the blow out preventer that failed. Halliburton poured the cement for the Macondo well and Transocean was the operator of the rig. Could BP’s strategy still work? This is the question contemplated on the blog today.

The four corporations involved in the law suit are oil and gas explorers, contractors or manufac…

A Tale of BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: One year after?

Keywords and Terms: British Petroleum; Oil Spill; Board and Management; Workplace Safety; Macondo well; Deepwater Horizon Rig; A Call For Action; Executive Compensation; Transparency; and Safety Improvement

During the long oil spill from the Macondo well last year, people had it in their minds that they were in a dream, or so it seemed. The picture of dead marine life, oil soaked birds’ feathers, polluted beaches and contaminated white sands and marshes in the Gulf of Mexico was just too much for many, they all wanted it to end, now. With British Petroleum oil executives asserting they had the Deepwater Horizon disaster under control, the public felt a sense of inconvenient safety. However, after the accident turned from mayhem to a nightmare, the chagrin of the public, who would rather not deal with their source of seafood being polluted, their beaches altercated and their marine environment abused, became rather pronounced and evident. But BP executives, who were bent on playing i…

2012 Federal Budget: Let the Debates Begin?

Keywords or Terms: Obama's Budget Speech; Bipartisanship; Congressional Leadership; Tea Party; 2011 Budget; 2012 Budget; Fiscal Commission; Republican Sen. Alan Simpson; Democrat Erskine Bowles; Private Insurance Market; Keith Hennessey.

For all the Tea Party rhetoric over President Obama’s budget speech on Wednesday, it is now on record that some of them voted alongside the Republican leadership in congress to move the nation past the horror of a belated 2011 budget. Paul Ryan, are you there? One of the critics of the President’s speech was that it failed to reach across the aisle. Even if President Obama’s speech had reached across the political aisle, the ideological constraints that have made some Republicans, mostly Tea Party members, abstain or refuse to vote in support of the 2011 Budget, necessarily negate the need for such an olive branch or endeavor. Bipartisanship and cooperation require respect, understanding and compromise.

The contribution of the republican leaders…

Taking on the 2011 Federal Budget Negotiations and Agreements: implication for the Nation's Health Care and Environment?

Keywords or Terms: Environment Issues; Health Care Issues; Budget Negotiations and Agreements; Republicans; Democrats; White House; Media report; Calibrated Negotiations; 2011 Budget; and 2012 Budget

Even as the Congressional lawmakers grapple with passing a bill on budget for the outgoing accounting year, the next big challenge on fashioning out a 2012 budget has already descended on them. A perusal of negotiated agreement on 2011 budget has shown that policy riders on health care and environmental issues received disproportionately cuts, when compared with other areas, like the military, fine arts, election reforms, unused funds for federal highway and other programs. To the chagrin of some Americans, there are discrepancies between what the White House is reporting as the intended cuts to programs and what the media is reporting, with respected to what transpired between Republican and Democratic Lawmakers over last week. To a large extent, this makes it rather difficult to argue f…

After the Brouhaha over Government shut-down, now can the real federal budget debate begin?

Keywords or Terms: Cataleptic Exhaustion; Budget Negotiations and Agreements; Stop-gap financing; Federal Employees; Defaulting; Senate Majority Leader Reid; House Speaker Boehner; Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio); Partnerships; and, Relationships

We were so fortunate to have such an amazing group of lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, alike. After taking the country to the brink of a nervous breakdown over the budget of 2011, a budget that should have passed last year and should have been winding down, we were dragged into a cataleptic exhaustion over whether House lawmakers will reach an agreement with U.S. Senate and the White House, last week, over the passing of the belated budget. Welcome to the roller coaster world of lawmaking in the United States Congress!

Mr. Boehner’s Chief of staff was congratulated for the behind the scene efforts and contribution by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. While announcing in a press conference late Friday night that an agreement among the…

Fairness and Balance in the current debate over the Federal Budget: controversy over what the intentions of the Republican Party is in the Gridlock?

Keywords or Terms: Federal Budget Debates; Fairness and Balance; Unfamiliar Territory; Civility; President’s Veto; Tea Party

Fairness matters in any debate over a conflicting subject. It matters even more when the hold out by one of the party to the debate has the potential of undermining the welfare of a greater number of Americans. The untouched underlining argument of the Republican Party of, my way or the highway, places things in unfamiliar territory or floss: understanding exactly what the Republicans are attempting to achieve by flip flopping on their demands regarding the size of cut to the Federal Budget?

That the agenda of the Republican Party for the Federal Budget continues to change with the whims and caprices of a pressure group within that party, says a lot about the disarray in the Republican Party of today; and, probably horns on what the pressure group will wroth on public policy, if given the leeway. The Tea Party, and by extension, the Republican Party, view issue…

Should Senate Respond to the House Republican Recalcitrance over the Budget Negotiation Deal?

Keyword or Terms: Budget puzzle; Negotiations; Comprehensive Approach; Ryan’s Plan; Political suicide; Tax Cut; Health Care Spending; Fairness Issues; Incentives; Experience Matters

“How Did We Get Here?”

Federal Budget Negotiations continue to experience significant disagreements between House Republicans, the White House and Senate Leaders. House Republicans continue to perpetrate a position of recalcitrance based on philosophy or associated ideology of their party; and, an unyielding conviction that if Democrats in Senate are not buying into their proposed cuts or similar proposals sent to them in the past five months, further negotiations on the issues of the budget, including the size of cuts acceptable to all parties, are out of place or uncalled for.

Listening to Tea Partier, House Congressional lawmaker, Chairman of House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan respond to inquiries from an AP Reporter regarding his plan for cutting the Federal budgets now or in the long term, gives y…

How much is too much: When House Republicans Succumb to Excessive Pressure on Budget Cuts Negotiations from the Tea Party Faction?

Keywords or Terms: Budget Negotiations; Republican Leadership; Party Discipline; Excessive Pressure; Tea Party Faction; Lawmaking; Dynamics of Party Politics

In the changing world of budget negotiations on Capitol Hill, a faction of the Republican Party is flexing its muscles, but leaders of the party are maintaining that the tea party lawmakers are hardly challenging their overall party’s discipline. How will Republican leaders account for the continuous challenge to already negotiated cuttings on the budget with Democratic Party leadership, from the newly swept into congress, tea party leaders? Can Republican leaders vow that they are not under threat or pressures from the Tea Party lawmakers among them? Can they dissuade the Tea party lawmakers from making out of line comments with respect to how deep cut budget line items must succumb to under the knife? Can Republic lawmakers guarantee that they will not be party to any ploy to balance the budget on the back of social programs de…