These facts about BP underscore why Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson’s decision to have upwards of $300,000 in BP stock in his portfolio was wrong. Should a company have an ethical balance sheet based on wise and conscientious decisions? Should an investor have a conscience about the types of stocks that make money for him/her? For all the faith that Johnson hopes the voters place in him, I suggest he broke faith with a moral code about the type of company one invests in. BP’s long laundry list of failings in the pursuit of a healthy bottom line did not seem to matter to Johnson, and therefore should give us pause when considering his candidacy?
When it is all too common for candidates on all sides to say what they think the voters want to hear, we must then find ways to better evaluate the person seeking our vote. I think the BP stock holdings make a statement about Johnson. There is no way that he was unaware of the grave errors in judgment that this oil company made over and over while pursuing profits. To blindly turn away and make stock decisions knowing full well the ethical lapses of the company is a statement about Ron Johnson’s character.
I know ethics and business often split away from each other. That is why investors need to be more mindful and concerned about the stocks they buy. Ron Johnson should never have owned BP stock.
The problems at Thunder Horse were not an anomaly, but a warning that BP was taking too many risks and cutting corners in pursuit of growth and profits, according to analysts, competitors and former employees. Despite a catalog of crises and near misses in recent years, BP has been chronically unable or unwilling to learn from its mistakes, an examination of its record shows.
“They were very arrogant and proud and in denial,” said Steve Arendt, a safety specialist who assisted the panel appointed by BP to investigate the company’s refineries after a deadly 2005 explosion at its Texas City, Tex., facility.