It’s one of the more ironic twists to the Deepwater Horizon tale. Just a few hours before the US Attorney General announced that a criminal investigation was to be brought against British Petroleum, Transoceana, and Halliburton for their roles in the Deepwater Horizon oil spillage, President Barack Obama met with his Peruvian counterpart, Alan Garcia.
So the ‘junk shot’ of golf balls and shredded tyres failed to plug the Deepwater Horizon gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. There was a strange circularity about BP’s idea of fixing this petroleum-fuelled nightmare by clogging it with petroleum-derived products.
Supporting development means providing energy. At current prices, the cheapest option for many countries is coal, even though burning it contributes heavily to climate change and local pollution. And that has left multilateral development banks with a dilemma: support the cheapest option to fund development, or push more expensive, yet more sustainable renewable alternatives? This dilemma reared its head recently, when the World Bank approved a US$3.75 billion for the Medupi coal power plant in South Africa.