Natural gas fracking well in Louisiana, (c) 2013 Daniel Foster
Transocean Execs donate bonuses, but only after their PR mishap
I've been critical in the past of Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that blew up in the Gulf Coast last year. They have used whatever tools at their disposal to shed liability for their role in the Gulf accident and spill. They have restructured their corporation to shed nearly all of their US federal income taxes, despite the US being a central part of their business. So when I read that senior executives are donating their bonuses to the families of the victims, I was a bit skeptical. Turns out there was reason to be. The executives donated their bonuses after a little public relations mishap, when the firm claimed 2010 as their best safety record ever despite the worker deaths and rather large spill that put at risk key industries in the Gulf region. The timing of the donation kind of works against their claim to have done this because it "was the right thing to do"; and frankly, I'm rather surprised that given the accident the executives earned bonuses at all. Executives later announced it had not been their intent to "diminish the effect the Macondo tragedy has had on those who lost loved ones..." How strange people took it that way. The firm still denies any responsibility for the accident.