BP is already down and out, but President Obama has the power to force the petroleum company into bankruptcy once and for all.
An article published in the New York Post this morning details the 'nuclear option' in which Obama could yank BP's oil rig leases which generate more than $55 billion in revenue for the company.
The alternative? Work with the White House on developing a $50 billion clean up contingency plan. Either way, BP's fiscal resources are going to be seriously strained.
NY Post: Some experts believe BP could lose its federal leases unless it works out a deal with the White House and Congress to bankroll a possible $50 billion-plus cleanup of its massive Gulf oil leak and settle other conditions that might be imposed, such as paying unemployment claims for the hundreds of thousands of workers in the region idled by the crisis.
"We think there's a good chance the government not only doesn't allow BP to operate going forward, but could rescind operating control," said oil industry banker David Pursell of Tudor Pickering Holt, a Houston investment bank.
"It's a way to keep BP alive and a way for the government to say we've really done something to penalize BP," he told The Economic Times in Britain.
However, bankrupting BP could seriously impede cleanup efforts, so Obama needs to choose his actions wisely to avoid even more of a headache in the Gulf.
By. Vince Veneziani