Give BP a Break! Yeah, I really said that...

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Gulf of MexicoI live on the Gulf of Mexico. Pensacola Beach to be exact, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as far as I'm concerned. I waited almost 43 years to fulfill my dream of living on the beach and just mere months into my dream-coming-true, this sh!t happens.

So, believe me, I'm annoyed.

But c'mon... can we get past all the bitterness and hostility toward BP and move forward?! Protests and boycotts and criminal lawsuits(??!) aren't helping solve the problem; in fact, I don't see how all this outrage can be doing anything but actually impeding the forward progress!

Yes, BP screwed up and is responsible for this disaster, but they ARE taking responsibility for it. Are they handling it perfectly? Probably not, but I'm guessing none of us would like being held to the standard we're attempting to hold them to. Do we really think this was intentional? That they don't want a resolution just as badly as we do, if not more?bp

Continuing to hammer on BP will do nothing but demoralize their people who are desperately trying to find and implement the solution. And yes, the PEOPLE who are working day and night to find that solution are PEOPLE who are likely feeling awfully unappreciated. And since when does criticism, complaints and negativity result in a better outcome?

And a criminal lawsuit? WHY? What earthly good is it going to do to divert BP's resources away from solving the problem by also forcing them to prepare a defense in a criminal case? To what benefit?

Listen, BP is sorry. Very very sorry. Maybe that sounds trite, but I believe they are doing their best. Let's NOT demoralize them any further - with the selfish goal of inspiring them to continue to do their best.

Okay, I'm bracing myself...


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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Tom - I've been thinking about that, too...

Christine - Of course we would!!

Kathy - thanks for your very well-spoken (written) thoughts. Pretty much what we're all feeling.

Jun 16, 2010 02:01 AM #57
Jerri McCombs
Hendersonville NC Relocation - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville NC Relocation

Having grown up in Florida with weekly visits to the beach I am horrified that these rigs have been allowed to run with no regulations at all for so long. There is an inherant trust in the people of our country that there are rules for safety in place to protect us from these kinds of things.

For us to learn that there were no protections in place, that the Oil Companies put forth ridiculous plans with no safety involved in them at all, and that the commision that was set up to check them failed miserably, tells us all that the people of this country have no respect at all.

Families that have made their living from the coast, whether in tourism or fishing, or anything else for that matter, will have lost everything for good. I cannot see any way that the ocean will come back after this. The wetlands and barrier islands along the gulf coast will disappear as we have known them, and I am so deeply saddened by the whole thing that I cannot watch the news any longer. The oil soaked birds struggling in the ocean is more than I can bare.

Who is to blame? A whole list of people. Greedy oil companies who put the interest of profit over the interest of accident prevention and a REAL plan in case of an accident. A government who failed to even look at the  "clean up plans" that were submitted. And with no government standards for companies to follow, and no inspections to make sure oil rigs met the standards I think there is a lot of blame to go around.

I agree that litigation will only slow the process and divert resources desperately needed to clean this mess up. And isn't the government just as responsible? After years of deregulation and allowing big companies to 'keep themselves in check' I think we are painfully aware that there is a need to get regulation back in the government, but this time we need real watch dogs to keep it clean. I don't know what the answer is, but something has to give. With the environment being trashed and the economy a mess, something has to happen before there is no counrtry left to govern and live in.

I cannot forgive the oil companies for their greedy behavior, but I cannot forgive the government for not doing their part to protect us and this precious land we call home. Let's just hope that they can get it together before too long and get this mess cleaned up. It will take years, and the longer they take to stop the leak the longer it will take to clean up.

Jun 16, 2010 02:15 AM #59
Charles Esters

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for your post. I agree with enough of the bashing of BP. As we used to say in the 60's and 70's, "Right on! ...Right on!"

Jun 16, 2010 02:20 AM #60
Steve Blaisdell

YES!!!!    what a breath of fresh air to hear some common sense !!!

Amen Sista !!!

Jun 16, 2010 02:34 AM #61
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Thank you John MacArthur (#44). So many seem to have forgotten the 11 real people who lost their lives. Yours is the first time I've seen their names, and a little about who they were.

Jun 16, 2010 02:43 AM #62
Teresa Thai

I believe that were it not for our insatiable need for oil (and this includes me), oil companies would not be drilling a mile under the ocean surface.  Perhaps we should all stand up and take responsibility, rather than pointing fingers and blaming.  Really.  Sure, BP messed up, but Chevron, Exxon (hello!) and the rest would have done no better - perhaps they would have been less responsive to the spill.  

The problem isn't BP at all.  It's us.  I wish everyone who spends their time and energy on getting angry and blaming and boycotting would transfer that energy to heading down to their local beach and cleaning it up.  

Thank you Jennifer, for serving up a refreshing slice of common sense.


Jun 16, 2010 03:23 AM #63
Kat Becker

I agree with you Jennifer. If we boycott BP for a mistake (mind you it IS a HUGE one) what are our alternatives? Go buy our gasoline from Citgo and line the pockets of Hugo Chavez? I'll buy my gas from BP thank you.

Jun 16, 2010 03:36 AM #64
Nogui Aramburo
Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® - Raleigh, NC
Real Estate Professional in the Raleigh Area

If laws were broken they should be criminally liable and should pay. That is all. I'm glad the president is making sure that they pay up now, instead of making them wait 20 years, like the Exxon Valdez disaster. Maybe some people could recoup some money now. The region is destroyed for a few generations at least.

This is another example of what years of deregulation, lax oversight and massive lobbying does to an industry.

Until America finds the will and determination to find develop alternative energy, we will continue down this road of environmental catastrophe. 

Jun 16, 2010 04:02 AM #65
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale


I agree that positive energy leads to better solutions, but I can't turn my head and not be angry at BP.  In my opinion, this is the result of lack of government oversight and stringent mandatory precautions designed to protect people and the land.  It kind of reminds me of the banks running amok with little regulation and oversight during the bubble years, and then the mortgage meltdown leading to the recession.  In the end, I still hear about banking CEOs getting ridiculous bonuses and shareholders getting dividends, while the average taxpayer is left holding the bag.  I don't believe our government should run our lives, but these huge corporations seem to be proving over and over again that they can't adequately police themselves.  And I agree with Teresa's comment #63, that our nation's insatiable thirst for oil is contributing to this problem.  I would much rather see more energy and funding directed toward cleaner alternative energy sources.

Thanks for your post and for generating conversation on this!

Jun 16, 2010 04:45 AM #66
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thanks for all the comments... agreeing... and dissenting. I shall return later and share some more thoughts on your thoughts.

But for those who say that we SHOULD be mad at BP - hey, no argument there. As I sit here at my computer, all my windows and doors are closed, my nose and lips are burning and my mouth feels raw from the heavy smell of oil in the air. It stinks... literally and figuratively.

So, no, this is not a Kum Bay Ya (sp?) for BP, but a practical call to action to do whatever can be done to move the process along as fast as possible.

Jun 16, 2010 04:56 AM #67
Rick Schwartz
William Raveis Real Estate - Danbury, CT

Sadly Jen, you hit the nail on the head in one of your comments to one of the comments when you said  that you wanted to keep politics out of this.

The media makes it impossible to keep politics impossible out of ANYTHING.  Within 2 or 3 days after the disaster Fox News was asking "Is the oil spill Obama's Katrina?"

While there have been people on both sides of the issue that have been critical of the administration's handling of this situation it became political from the moment it happened.

Nothing is sacred when it comes to one party trying to blame the other for everything. They have to do that because they are trying acquire or maintain control of the legislature.

Look back at Jimmy Carter. There are lot of reasons that one can criticize his 1-term Presidency but there are many historians say that he lost re-election because of his inability to rescue the 52 hostages being held in Iran.  They were taken hostage in November of 1979 - just before our election year.

Even then without 24 hour a day news, his opposition used his inability to rescue the hostages (some even blame him for the hostages being taken in the first place) as political fodder to get him out of office. The hostages were released on January 20, 1981 - the day that Ronald Reagan took office.

Whether you are an Obama lover or an Obama hater, the success or failure of his Presidency will be measured in years to come on a number of issues. Regardless of the widely argued policies, the issue of the BP Oil spill could indeed cost him re-election. 

Americans want action to get the leak stopped, clean up the oil that has spilled and restore the gulf coast.

I don't have any idea if there was a better way to handle this after it happened - it was unprecedented.

Like it or not, our system of government and electing people to office (or re-electing them) is based on the candidates stated positions as well as their actions.

Every President, since the advent of television in the 1950s, regardless of their party, has always had to walk on the edge of doing and saying the right things along with trying to keep themsleves as popular as they can.

So, the administration is walking a tightrope in their position.  Hopefully they are doing all they can to clean things up (I can't conceive that they are not doing all they can) but in addition they MUST say and do ALL the right things to make as many Americans as possible support his efforts.  As you can see from the comments above - there are lots of differing opinions.

Clearly the President and his administration feel that this kind of talk about lawsuits against BP will make more Americans believe in him - and you cannot blame him, even if you disagree with him.  Whether you are a local councilman, a senator or a President, our system has defined their primary job as getting re-elected.

That's the reality of Democracy - and as Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time"

Jun 16, 2010 05:17 AM #68
Paula Smith
Red Rock Real Estate St. George - Saint George, UT
Paula Smith Red Rock Real Estate

Sorry, but BP has the WORST safety and environmental record of ANY oil company operating in America.  They are repeat offenders and commonly overlook noncompliance in order to save money--at the risk of it's own employees and now our environment.  They have paid two of the largest fines in OSHA history.  Clearly they do not learn.  CLEARLY THEY HAVE HAD ENOUGH BREAKS! Love ya Jen, but I TOTALLY disagree with you on this.

Jun 16, 2010 07:29 AM #69
Dan Alcorn


I received your email about subscribe / unsubscribe options.  I very much enjoy your blogs posts as your writing is genuine.  I serve the commercial real estate market and find useful insight in your posts so, yes, please keep me on your list.

Now, on that BP matter.  I find that most of the president's critics and cheerleaders are carrying over their sentiments from the election of 2008.  Opinions I find interesting are Obama voters who express dissappointment in his presidency (and why) and Obama detarctors who can find something to agree with him on.  Otherwise, we're really just continuing the perpetual campaign.

The president is correct when he says it mayfeel good to demonize, yell and scream but that doesn't "plug the hole" or help the families and businesses on the gulf coast.  If a company causing human and environmental damage is found to have been reckless with safety then, yes, they deserve full throated criticism.   And, in my opinion, the regulatory environment has been far too cozy with the financial, energy and medical industries.

I love your blog and applaud your wading into murky waters.  (bad pun)


Jun 16, 2010 09:39 AM #70
Russ Gladden

Sorry Jennifer, but this time I'm with Robin Sherman and Paula Smith. I also agree with quite a bit of what Ruthmarie Hicks had to say. Do you think that BP is not going to try every trick in the book to minimize payments to folks who have been devastated? If so, then I have some fabulous oceanfront property in Tucson to sell you. You'll love it! C'mon Jennifer, you're smarter than that.

While I agree that all energies need to be directed to repairing the hole and cleaning up the mess, I don't think for one second that we can even think about letting BP off the hook.

On the other hand, who is really responsible for this? Look in the mirror. We all must take at least some responsibility for it because we are such oil hogs. Standing in lines for hours to buy gas in the 70's didn't work to make us less dependent on oil. The 9/11 terrorist attacks didn't do it. The Great Recession didn't do it. Maybe the silver lining here is that this ecological disaster might finally wake us up to what we all must demand and do. Do I think it will? Call me jaded, but no. There is just too much money in Big Oil.

While you don't see any value in finger pointing and blame, I don't see much value in the oh-let's-just-go-clean-up-the-beach-and-forget-about-it approach either.


Jun 16, 2010 11:20 AM #71
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thank you to everyone who has commented on this blog, and sent me private messages throughout the day. Your thoughts and passions are very much appreciated, even when your thoughts and passions directly conflict with my thoughts and passions. Aside from a very few rather venomous attacks on my character, I really enjoyed reading what y'all have to say.

There is such a striking polarity between what appears to be, in rather simple terms, the right-wingers and the left-wingers. I'm on the right, no secret there. I wouldn't call myself a "right-wing nut-job" as I was referred to elsewhere on AR, but yes, I lean toward the conservative. No apologies... and I certainly don't expect those on the left to apologize for their ideology either.

We aren't going to convert each other to the other political viewpoint (that is, our own), and it would be silly and disrespectful to try.

But let me say, for the umpteenth time, that I'm in no way happy with BP or the government or anyone else who was involved in causing this disaster that is getting worse by the minute. I don't propose that we let them off the hook for their role in the mess. I do care deeply about the men who died, the animals who are suffering and the thousands of jobs that will be lost and lives disrupted.

And, if it's proven that there was criminal negligence involved, I expect that to be dealt with at some point.

But not today. Today we have a mess to clean up. I won't reiterate my opinion on that here, since I think I said it fairly well in the blog itself.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this discussion!



Jun 16, 2010 11:38 AM #72
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~

Jennifer, there is so much I could say, but won't...  just this...  you have your head on straight, don't let anyone convince you otherwise!

Jun 16, 2010 02:03 PM #73
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

My sister sent me this Letter to the Editor from the Kansas City Star... I think this gentleman says what I was trying to say very well, although he's referring to our leaders and I was speaking to us regular folk...

During a June 7 press briefing, President Barack Obama explained that the meetings he has been conducting with gulf fishermen and oil-spill experts are not academic exercises. "They are so I know whose ass to kick," he said.

While this appeals to those of us who share Obama's ire, it is a clear indication of misplaced priority and a great example as to why we don't want lawyers running our country. A lawyer's business and training is to find fault - not to find solutions.

Today our leaders should be on single-minded quests to find solutions. Only when solutions are found and in place should the priority be to look for the person at fault.

This "whose ass to kick" mentality is symptomatic of what's wrong in America today. Far too many Americans are looking for who or what to blame rather than looking for ways to leverage freedom, opportunity and talent to generate success. We are not looking for solutions and opportunities - just someone to blame.

Paul McWilliams

Overland Park


Jun 17, 2010 10:28 AM #74
Christa Ross
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes

I consider myself a tree hugger but I actually find myself agreeing with you. It's not that I like BP, it's just that I don't really think all the bashing is helping in the process of getting the mess under control. I expect BP to clean up and pay for all the damage, period.

But we must all accept responsibility for the fact they they are drilling for a resource that this country has an unquenchable thirst for and until we find clean alternatives this is the mess we all have to accept responsibility for, not just one company. And this won't be the last spill either!

Jun 21, 2010 03:43 AM #75
Fred Hookham
Keller Williams - Milton, WI


Leave my subscription intact. While I am less patient and more prone to "punish the guilty right NOW". I appreciate your reasoned approach to this complex problem. You even changed my thinking a bit about concentrating on the solutions.

One of our biggest problems as a country right now is we think the presidential election campaign should be an ongoing and continuous process. Oil leaks, health care, schools - I will gladly support anyone of any party actually working on IMPROVEMENT. (Sorry about the shouting, but it's hard to be heard in the midst of all this noise....)

Jun 22, 2010 07:29 AM #76
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Licensed in Florida and Washington

Hi Jennifer.


I would agree with you but the Gulf Coast will suffer for YEARS and 11 men were killed and BP has YET to pay for their lives:


  1. Jason C. Anderson, 35, Midfield, Texas, father of two. 
  2. Aaron Dale Burkeen, 37, Philadelphia, Miss., married, father of two (14-year-old daughter Aryn and 6-year-old son Timothy), died four days before his 38th birthday.
  3. Donald Clark, 49, Newellton, La., married to Sheila Clark. 
  4. Stephen Ray Curtis, 39, Georgetown, La., married and had two teenagers. Taught his son to hunt and play baseball and was active in his church.
  5. Roy Wyatt Kemp, 27, Jonesville, La., married to Courtney Kemp. 
  6. Karl D. Kleppinger Jr., 38, Natchez, Miss., U.S. Army veteran of Operation Desert Storm, enjoyed NASCAR and cooking barbecue. Married with one son, Aaron.
  7. Gordon L. Jones, 28, Baton Rouge. Wife Michelle Jones was nine months pregnant with their second son when he died.
  8. Keith Blair Manuel, 56, Gonzales, La., father of three (Kelli Taquino, Jessica Manchester and Ashley Jo Manuel). Engaged to Melinda Becnel. Had season tickets to Louisiana State University baseball and football games. 
  9. Dewey A. Revette, 48, State Line, Miss., married with two daughters. Had been with Transocean for 29 years. 
  10. Shane M. Roshto, 22, Liberty, Miss., married to Natalie Roshto, father of 3-year-old Blain Michael.
  11. Adam Weise, 24, Yorktown, Texas. During time off, the former high school football star spent time with his girlfriend, hunted deer and fished from his boat.



I hope they continue to protest and make BP pay and pay dearly. I'm glad that despite being criticized some people are still protesting and hope they continue.


In memory of those who were killed and their loved ones. Their wives lost their husbands and the fathers to their children. I FEEL for them....



Jul 03, 2010 06:32 AM #77
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