Double Standard: BP and Bhopal
By Bill Quigley and Alex Tuscano. Bill is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. You can reach Bill at email@example.com Alex directs Praxis, a human rights organization in Banglore India. You can reach Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org
When President Barak Obama went after BP and demanded a $20 billion dollar fund be set up for victims of the Gulf oil spill, the people of India were furious. They saw a US double standard. The US demonstrated it values human life within the US more than the lives of the people of India.
BP should pay $20 billion in compensation, probably even more. The people of India agree with that.
But people are angry because the US is treating the oil spill, called the worst environmental disaster in US history, in a radically different way than the US treated the explosion of a US-owned pesticide plant in Bhopal India, which some call the worst industrial disaster in history.