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Posted at 7:00 PM ET, 07/ 7/2010

Oil spill has already reached Virginia

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

Oil has seeped onto Virginian turf in the wake of the massive Gulf of Mexico spill.

But it's not by way of our beaches; it's by way of BP stock. The company's plummeting share prices have cost Virginia's state pension fund
close to $40 million ever since the April explosion.

Before the spill, the fund held 8.5 million BP shares worth $82 million. Since then, BP stock has lost half its value.

It's a tiny sliver of the pension pie, to be sure, equaling only 0.1 percent of Virginia's total retirement assets. Not a huge loss, considering our pension fund is around $48 billion.

But the BP stock landslide reminds us of more than just the importance of placing one's eggs in multiple baskets. When you're looking decades into the future, strategy is way more important than stock selection, I'm told. Long-term investments can't be pummeled every which way by the news of the day.

Similar things could be said for offshore drilling in Virginia. News of the massive disaster in the gulf brought cries to abandon offshore drilling in Virginia, perhaps forever. For hard-and-fast opponents, the spill offered a flashy and effective argument against drilling. A month into the leak, President Obama declared a ban on drilling in the Atlantic.

As they should, tragedies scream at us amid all the cable news, Internet, Twitter and Facebook hubbub. But we ought to receive their message while not allowing them to push us into rash decisions.

Current headlines don't cause our retirement officials to dump BP stock into the bay. Neither should today's news derail our train towards energy solutions. It should cause us to tap on the brakes.

Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | July 7, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia, environment  
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Comments

8 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico
To day is 80th day, since the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Oil keeps gushing from the leaking well into the Gulf of Mexico. The amount of spilled oil now is around 336 000 000 gallons.
BP significantly reduces this rate motivated by the fact that the daily capturing 15-20 thousand barrels of oil.
I have repeatedly explained, no matter how much oil BP capturing from the Cap, because the pump creates inside the Cap additional negative pressure which immediately compensated by the pressure in the petroleum layer and accompanied by an additional release of oil, correlated with this negative pressure.
So, the amount of gushing oil unchanged or unaltered is about 90-120 thousand barrels per day.
There are many people like myself, who would like to give alternative methods to BP and the government but lack the contacts to meet the right people. BP lacks thinking “outside of the box” and continues to solve its problems to the “best” of their knowledge.
Using my know-how and liquid nitrogen oil freezing equipment we can shut the well during the nearest 3 weeks.
Constantine Balakiryan, PhD, Professor.

Posted by: bconstantine | July 7, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

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