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How BP may suffer as a result of the Gulf leak

The Dirt Diggers Digest blog, which I just discovered recently, has some interesting thoughts on what the situation in the Gulf of Mexico might mean for the company. Here’s a few of them:

“Ineligibility for federal contracts. BP is among the top 30 federal contractors. That privilege should be suspended.

Ineligibility for federal drilling leases. BP has shown itself to be reckless when it comes to drilling. It should no longer be able to obtain leases to drill on public lands or in public waters.

Ineligibility for federal tax incentives. Like other oil companies, BP receives a variety of special tax advantages such as writeoffs of intangible drilling costs. It should be denied such benefits.

Suspension of the right to lobby. According to the Open Secrets database, BP spent nearly $16 million last year on federal lobbying. As a probation violator, it should be barred from trying to influence public policy.

Moratorium on image-burnishing advertisements. As the Gulf debacle continues, BP is spending heavily on advertising to convey the message that it is doing everything in its power to address the problem. Once it is designated a probation violator, it should be barred from that sort of crisis marketing.

Public admission of fault. At the point that BP pleads guilty to another criminal offense, an appropriate penalty might be to force it to take the money now being spent to repair its image and use it to run ads admitting its misbehavior. Nothing would be more satisfying than hearing BP admit that its purported devotion to corporate social responsibility has been a sham.”

For the full posting, go here. It’s unclear as yet which of these, aside legal costs, the company will have to bear.

BusinessWeek has the latest on what’s happening to stem the flow of oil. Go here for that.

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