Perhaps because the US laws treat corporations as the same as individuals, where rights are concerned, thats how the people in the US begin to think of them, as individuals with feeling etc. They are not, they are public companies, with share holders across the globe, even in the US. We are all consumers of oil, and products made from oil, so everyone is responsible in some way for what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico.
I would like to see people looking at ways this could be prevented in the future, and fixed now. Who is going to be punished for this disaster, is not as important and how its going to be fixed, that can get taken care of later.
I hope this disaster will make us all more aware of how we use oil, and make changes to our own lives to minimize our use of oil and products derived from oil. This would be the biggest punishment that could be inflicted on the oil companies and their shareholders. A big drop in demand.