This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

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

Stocks in this article: BP RIG COP RDS.A RDS.B

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

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Remember BP's (BP) "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) 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) 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

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs