Google Should Use AdWords to Make BP Fund Oil Spill Relief

BP Logo mashupFor the past couple weeks I’ve seen headlines and tweets regarding BP’s leveraging of Google Adwords (as well as Bing and Yahoo!) to control the top (sponsored) search results for such terms as BP Oil Spill. This is a natural response to crisis for any corporation, no matter the depth of its PR 2.0 savvy.

But according to recent AdWords number crunches, BP is only paying an average of $1.33 per click or roughly $1 million each month (SearchEngineWatch, June 9). Perhaps as low as $1.22 per click.

Why so little? Nobody has been outbidding them in the AdWords marketplace. It’s time for some guerrilla tactics.

Here’s what I propose: Google should donate any revenues above $5 per click for any keyword to funds and charities dedicated to restoring the Gulf and/or to benefit those whose livelihoods have been shattered as a result of the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill.

Yes, this is a crazy idea and it could throw AdWords of its hinges. So let’s just do it for ONE DAY. Google can’t change the rules for specific keywords but they can change the rules across the board. All it would take is a few noble souls willing to launch a bidding war with BP up to say – $20 per click. And Google’s word that monies will be donated (a great PR move in itself).

Justice is: clicking a search result and having $15 transfer BP to a non-profit Oil Spill fund. With each and every click!

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BP Has So Much Money to Lose. But Who Should Manage It?

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. – Jeff Phillips, Environmental Contaminants Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, rescues a Brown Pelican from the Barataria Bay in Grand Isle, La., June 4, 2010. State and federal wildlife services pulled approximately 60 Brown Pelicans, in the last two days, covered in oil from the Barataria Bay area. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ann Marie Gorden. Who do we trust when an exploitative company that makes more money than god claims to be fixing its mess, but is the king of an industry that has colluded with the government for years?

This seems to be one of the broadest and most frustrating takeaways of the crisis resulting from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill.

Under current law (Oil Pollution Act of 1990), a leaseholder for a deepwater port is liable for no more than $75 million per spill plus removal costs. Transocean, owner of the sunken drill ship, is liable for up to $350 million under the same law.

BP reported more than $6 BILLION in PROFIT for the first quarter 2010. That’s $60 million each day. Revenues from 2009 sales totaled $239 BILLION (about the same as Finland’s GDP). BP must pay.

But Obama and the government have only teased the idea of lifting the $75 million cap, much less seizing BP’s assets entirely.

BP claims to have already spent $1 billion on cleanup costs and small bundles of cash to the affected states. but BP itself estimates the total costs to be $6 billion. Then there are the mounting health concerns for humans and animals encountering the dispersants being used, as well as liability for obliterating the sea-based industries of the Gulf. Not to mention lawsuits already filed by the survivors and surviving families of the April 20 blast that led to the gusher. Credit Suisse recently estimated those costs at an additional $14 billion.

These numbers don’t mean very much. What matters is that some organization, public or private, must be left responsible for managing recovery funds. One that is independent of both BP and the U.S. Government. But who?

UPDATE: David Axelrod appeared on Meet the Press this morning and hinted at Obama leaning toward a fund managed by a third party. Another empty signal or the start of something? – Obama will demand BP establish escrow account to handle oil spill claims. Obama may ask for as much as $50 billion to start the fund when he addresses the nation Wednesday. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Photo via Deepwater Horizon Response‘s flickr (taken June 4, 2010, Jefferson Pa., Louisiana).

Video the Vote – 2010 CA Primary Edition

i voted stickerAs has become a tradition, I video’d my vote this morning. There is never much of a line at my polling place, around the corner at Elysian Elementary School. But this morning I did something that I’ve never done before. I know… wait for it… I chose the Republican ballot.

“I really hope you reconsider and vote for Democrats in the fall,” said the poll worker — after i put my cameraphone down. I chuckled and looked down at the page in the precinct roll with my name on it. All Dem and one N/P. N/P for non-partisan (or “no pickles” in restaurant shorthand), otherwise known asdecline-to-state.”

I am a decline-to-state voter for various reasons: I’m an independent and don’t subscribe to the limited scope of a two-party system; I don’t want to be added to any more junk mail lists; because i don’t care what you call me just don’t call me a D or an R (“commie” is fine, “babykiller” is not).

But the main reason for doing so is for the opportunity to make a choice on the spot when it comes to the primary elections. FACT: Jerry Brown is going to run away with the Democratic nomination for governor of California and after he does, I will vote for him in November. But there was no point in voting for him today. So I took a Red ballot — granted, as a single person with no dependents or home ownership, I did not bother with the school council board items. But I cast a vote for an underdog candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary because I’m not a fan of either Meg Whitman or Steve Poizner. Poizner seemed OK at first, but the more I read about him, the more I detested him. So I voted for Bill Chambers. He likes freedom and has a dope mustache and a mullet.

Always feels good to vote — and I prefer to vote to change things for the better. on the Props I went — 13: yes 14: yes 15:yes 16:no :17:no.

Don’t forget to vote today — if you’re in LA you can find your polling place via lavote.net/Locator/, elsewhere, check smartvoter.org.