The public should watch whether a potential settlement with BP includes these hidden tax subsidies. Any settlement amount will be substantially less than the headlines proclaim, unless the settlement prohibits a tax deduction.
Ever since BP's mammoth Deepwater Horizon rig blew 15 months ago, the lives of thousands of fishermen across the Gulf have never been the same. Many say they were poisoned by oil and chemical dispersants after being thrust into cleanup jobs they were woefully unprepared for.
In the Gulf, new information is confirming fears that fish and wildlife -- and millions of people on the Coast -- are being seriously impacted by the 4.9 million barrels of BP oil spewed from the ocean deep last year.
The oil in the gulf has devastated the livelihoods of many Gulf residents in a way that no BP lucre could repay. But something else had been dealt a deadly blow, something just as difficult to restore as damaged ecology and economic well-being: trust.
Why do we push to the ends of the Earth -- in the Gulf, in the Arctic, from the tropical forests of Ecuador to the boreal forests of Canada -- rolling the dice with irreplaceable habitat and life, to feed our insatiable demand for oil?