Sunday, May 23, 2010

Après le Deluge

As soon as the flood of oil started gushing from the remnants of the Deepwater Horizon well, BP started a full court press to control the damage.  Not the damage to the environment, but the damage to their corporate reputation.  They’ve been spending tens of thousands of dollars running full-page advertisements in national print media.  Here’s a handy guide to translate BP’s response into plain English. 

What BP Said (source: BP’s ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/23/10)
How to Interpret
Since the tragic accident on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon rig first occurred, we have been committed to do everything possible to stop the flow of oil at the seabed, collect the oil on the surface, and keep it away from the shore.
The rig was owned by Transocean, but we are helping with the cleanup out of the goodness of our corporate hearts.  But as far as the oil that is not mentioned (the thousands of gallons that are neither on the seabed or the shore), we have no clue on how to clean that up.
BP has taken full responsibility for dealing with the spill.  We are determined to do everything we can to minimize any impact.  We will honor all legitimate claims
We discovered that pointing the finger at Transocean and Halliburton does not work, so f##k ‘em.  We get to determine what a “legitimate” claim is.
This is an enormous team effort.  More than 2,500 of our operational and technical personnel from around the world are working tirelessly in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard and federal, state, and local government agencies.  We are also getting tremendous support from specialists across the industry to resolve an unprecedented set of technical issues.
We are happy that the American taxpayer is footing the bill for our errors.  Clearly, our ability to manage drilling technology is a dismal failure, having ignored safety rules and regulations.  So we’re counting on others to help us get out of this mess.
On the seabed, we are using multiple technologies to reduce the flow of oil and ultimately stop it.  On the surface, hundreds of boats of all sizes, including local fishing fleets, are working together to contain the spill.  Over 4 million gallons of oil/water mixture have been collected.  More than 1.2 million feet of boom have been placed to protect the shore.
The stuff we used to disperse the oil was highly toxic, but at least we are polluting the ocean in a different way.  Reluctantly, we are now using a less-toxic mix to clean up the oil, but we have to buy it from our competitor.
Our efforts along the coast are being organized through 14 staging areas across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, coordinated by three command posts in Houma, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; and St. Petersburg, Florida.
We hope we don’t have to set  up any more in Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey.
But the greatest response of all is from the more than 15,000 people working for BP full-time or as volunteers.  We are also grateful for the dedicated support of the federal, state, and local government officials and emergency responders.  None of this would be possible without the tremendous commitment of these volunteers and officials.
Wow!  Lots of free and taxpayer-funded labor to help us get out of this jam.  Bailouts are great!
We will continue to keep everyone fully informed about the events as they unfold.
We are just another “too big to fail” near-monopoly.  So we’ll take what we can get now, and expect the congressmen on our payroll to look out for our best interests in the future.

Update 5/24/10: BP has refused to obey the order from the EPA to stop using the toxic dispersant.

1 comment:

  1. I am a resident of Louisiana and I want to thank you for your post. We are fed up with the Federal Government taking and taking and taking our natural resources, returning pennies on the dollar to our State's coffers, and then turning their backs when we genuinely need help. Read: Katrina, Rita, and now BP. When Saddam Hussein fired up the oil wells in Kuwait, it was called "environmental terrorism". But when BP essentially does the same thing 50 miles off of MY coastline, it's just an "unfortunate accident".