After causing the worst ecological catastrophe in U.S. history, BP will receive a $10 billion tax credit from the U.S. Nice! Also, just a heads up, BP's outgoing CEO Tony Hayward has just slaughtered your family, set fire to your house, and defiled your disinterred grandmother's corpse. He'll be sending you a bill for his legal expenses.
Yesterday Hayward was expected to appear at a Senate hearing on the topic of BP's role in the release of Pan Am 103 bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to Libya last year. But Hayward, who announced he was stepping down as CEO yesterday, remained in London because he was "too busy" and the meeting was canceled. "I would have thought that a company on thin ice with the American people for devastating the Gulf Coast would want to fully cooperate," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). "It is apparently more important to BP and Mr. Hayward to focus on his multimillion-dollar golden parachute than to help answer serious questions."
BP estimates that the spill will ultimately cost it $32 billion, which is less than a year's profit. But the Times reports that analysts think the final penalty will be much higher. If BP is found guilty of gross negligence under the Clean Water Act, its penalty would be $4,300 a barrel, increasing the fines by $12.6 billion. BP's incoming CEO, Robert Dudley, insisted yesterday that the spill was not caused by BP's negligence. "It’s a very complicated industrial accident," said Dudely. "It resulted from a series of individual misjudgments by very experienced people and a multiple series of failures of equipment."
Hayward is getting his life back with his $1 million salary for the year plus a $15 million pension. But we all know this hasn't been easy for poor Tony; as he told reporters yesterday, "I became the public face [of the BP catastrophe] and was demonized and vilified." Asked how he felt about the oil spill, he said BP had greatly improved its safety standards in the last three years, but "sometimes you step off the pavement and get hit by a bus." And sometimes you're driving the bus and you run over an entire ecosystem. Stuff happens!