This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

BP Oil Spill Proves We're Not 'Beyond Petroleum': Today's Outrage

Updates to add detail on Obama administration changes in off-shore oil drilling oversight.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Remember BP's (BP - Get Report) "Beyond Petroleum" campaign? Hah!

A month of oil spewing from a hole in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico has made clear that we have not moved beyond petroleum.

So much for a decade's worth of PR trying to persuade the world to forget that the "P" in BP stands for "Petroleum." (I'm sure many folks in the U.K. would also like us all to forget that the "B" stands for "British" too).

No matter. BP's alternative energy campaign went down with its ship, but nothing else has changed. Despite endless television coverage and oil spill pictures splattered across the Web, the global pursuit of oil continues unabated.

Other off-shore drillers such as ConocoPhillips (COP - Get Report) remain excited about wildcatting opportunities in the ocean, according to a Bloomberg report. A separate Reuters report today says that Shell (RDS.A) plans to drill exploratory wells off Alaska this summer.

I don't blame BP and other oil companies for chasing the oil. Nor do I blame BP's partner Transocean (RIG - Get Report) for being so enthralled with offshore drilling that it has grown into the largest in the business.

These companies - and all the others like them -- are just responding to demand.

Globally, we are so hooked on oil that we are willing to drill so deep in the ocean that people can't even go down to fix a massive leak. Turns out the experts who invented this fine technology got ahead of their own ability to manage the realities of deep-sea drilling.

Here in the U.S., we are so hooked on oil that the phrase "energy independence" has been translated by both former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama as a motive to drill for oil on our own shores so we don't have to import as much.

So far, all Obama has been able to muster is a little populist outrage and today's announcement about a minor overhaul of the regulatory system, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar replacing the Minerals Management Service with a new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and a new Office of Natural Resources Revenue.

Those musical chairs don't represent a policy shift -- creating those agencies just shows that the Obama administration intends to allow ocean drilling to go on, albeit with some additional oversight for good measure.

A disaster of this size could have been a catalyst for a bigger policy change, but no one in Washington wants to go against Big Oil.

Even the smallest measure that might interrupt our oil exploration and extraction gets mired in endless debate that preserves the status quo. Just yesterday, a Senate oil spill bill bombed for a second time.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
BP $32.67 -2.80%
COP $44.99 -4.00%
RIG $10.42 -5.40%
AAPL $94.22 0.62%
FB $118.00 -0.48%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,699.58 -191.58 -1.07%
S&P 500 2,057.44 -23.99 -1.15%
NASDAQ 4,757.3970 -60.1970 -1.25%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs