Between BP and Bakrie, and Luna

9 Jun

The other night, me and my friends were talking about the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Our concern was in the fact that there’s so much media hype about it, which tends to dilute the facts without actually empowering related parties to find the solution to the problem.  We did not quite understand why that needed to happen as this was not a bigger problem than Exxon Valdez in 1989.  In hindsight, we were wrong.  The BP oil spill is by far the largest disaster of its kind ever happened in U.S. history.  By the end of May, it had poured at least 20 million gallons ( or 75 million liters ) of crude oil into the Gulf, – almost double the output of Exxon Valdez.

Of course, that translates to a problem of an unprecedented scale.  Which means that so far efforts to curb the spill have been largely unsuccessful.  While a lot of people criticize President Obama for not taking a hard enough stance towards BP, I beg to differ.  Like it or not, the government simply lacks the technical know-how or skills to mitigate the problem.  Thus, getting politically angry would not get the job done.  The first priority must lie in stemming the leakage, and by resisting to take control of the whole operation, Obama leave it to the industry (without necessarily acknowledging their innocence) that is best positioned to do the job.

One interesting parallelism is between BP and Bakrie.  We all know that Bakrie is the mothership of Lapindo Brantas, a company whose operation preceded the sad mud disaster in Sidoarjo.  Granted, Lapindo had started to pay penalties for the damage it caused to the vicinity’s inhabitants.  But the company only started that after much bullying from the public and the government.  It’s still fresh in our mind that the company’s leaders were much more interested in shifting the blame to natural causes, – engaging in a blame game with God.  The underlying fact is: Lapindo never took initiative to be responsible of what happened.

With BP, the responses were worlds apart.  BP’s CEO Tony Hayward never exactly admitted the blame, but that’s not the point.  My point is, even before they were proven guilty by the pending federal enquiries and maybe even prosecutions, BP has started to take actions to contain, -if not repair, the damage it caused to the environment.  Just see how it hired International Bird Rescue Research Center to clean affected fowls.  Today, they are already treating as many as four pelicans a day.

That is but a small example, but the morale remains, – if you could take real, responsible actions about a problem, why engage in petty bickerings and other childish concerns?     That goes to a lot of other problems in Indonesia with stupid aftermaths like Luna Maya’s alleged video.  I mean, what’s with prosecuting her and the “actors” of the video?  That’s just outrageous and plain irresponsible, if you ask me.  Unfortunately, Dylan sums it best when he says that, “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind….”

PICTURE CREDIT: The Examiner

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6 Responses to “Between BP and Bakrie, and Luna”

  1. Simon June 10, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Excelent observation of the similarities of lapindo and BP.

    The differences in reactions are all too obvious. Very good comparison.

  2. unquote June 10, 2010 at 3:10 am #

    @Simon: Thank you very much. I’m very bothered not only by Lapindo, but by the fact that they’re being left alone to deny their fault and responsibilities despite being caught red-handed.

  3. unquote June 10, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    @Simon: And of course, the reaction difference become all the more disturbingly obvious when we think about how BP has started to help birds, while Lapindo only reluctantly tried to help human beings.

  4. Ati March 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    The writer doesn’t really understand the great differences between Lapindo and BP disasters. BP was clearly related to the well. There was a huge explosion workers on the rig were killed and large amounts of oil escaped leaving a huge environmental impact. As for Lapindo disaster there was no explosion, no workers were killed and importantly no mud/water escaped from the well. The mud/water came from another location (nearby). Months later workers on a gas pipeline were killed after they were welding a “live” gas pip which exploded.

    • fajarjasmin July 9, 2014 at 11:49 am #

      You’re right. The technicalities eluded me. In the post, I never posited that they’re guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

      What I do understand is the difference in their response. BP started to take actions to repair the damage, even when they are not yet proven guilty. Lapindo acted in a whole different way.

      I rest my case.

  5. Ati March 6, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    The problem with Lapindo they haven’t clearly explained their position to a broad audience. They have been attacked and they haven’t defended or even responded. As a development specialist working in countries like Indonesia I know well these types of issues occur. I think the drilling company is at fault for not being transparent regardless if they didn’t cause the mud to erupt.

    On the flip side I’ve never seen a disaster like this before, and am surprised no international help was provided. How can a company expect to manage these types of issues alone? Looking up Lapindo on Google you can now see they have a website that explains their position, this is very good but Im afraid a little too late.

    lapindo-brantas.co.id

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