Instead of being obsessed with trying to save the environment of the Gulf of Mexico, BP seems obsessed with trying to cover their rear ends and with limiting their legal liability. The truth is that instead of conducting an open, honest and transparent cleanup operation, BP has been intimidating reporters, lying to the public and abusing those who are trying to help. Not only that, but BP has now even gone so far as to hire professional mercenaries to protect their interests in the Gulf region. No wonder the American people are rapidly turning against BP. This has got to be one of the greatest public relations disasters in U.S. history.
Of course it is already the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Unprecedented numbers of dolphins, sharks, turtles, fish and other sea creatures are showing up just off the Gulf coast in a desperate attempt to get away from the oil spill, but once the oil reaches shore there will be nowhere else for them to go. The tragedy that will shortly unfold is going to be absolutely unprecedented.
But BP seems much more interested in rescuing their corporate image than in rescuing those sea creatures. The following are 10 ways that BP is behaving very badly right now….
#1) Over the last several weeks, journalists and reporters attempting to cover the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been yelled at, harassed, kicked off public beaches and threatened with arrest by representatives of BP.
#2) The chemical dispersants that BP is using in the Gulf are much more toxic than even the oil is. In fact, because it is so incredibly toxic, the UK’s Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the North Sea, BP would not be able to use it. But BP sees no problem with dumping over a million gallons of highly toxic dispersants such as Corexit 9500 into the Gulf of Mexico.
#3) The Louisiana Environmental Action Network is reporting that British Petroleum is threatening to fire fishermen hired to help with the oil spill cleanup for using respirators and other safety equipment that was not provided by the company.
#4) BP’s treatment of American citizens along the Gulf coast is becoming so brutal that one prominent health expert recently told the media that BP is “running the Gulf region like a prison warden”.
#5) BP has now hired private security contractors from a company called “Talon Security” to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites.
#6) It is even being alleged that BP has actually tried to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo in an attempt to control what we see and hear about the oil spill.
#7) The judge that BP is pushing for to preside over an estimated 200 lawsuits on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster gets tens of thousands of dollars a year in oil royalties and is paid travel expenses to oil industry conferences.
#8) BP is finally admitting that oil is escaping from the leak at such high pressure that if they try to cap it the entire well may blow. Why didn’t they admit that from the very beginning?
#9) BP has had a dismissive tone towards the public from the very beginning. Carl-Henric Svanberg, the BP chairman, has finally apologized for referring to those affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as “small people”.
#10) Eight days ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. But today, against the governor’s wishes, the Coast Guard has ordered those barges to sit idle, even as more oil flows toward the Louisiana shore. All along the Gulf Coast anyone who tries to clean up oil without being under BP’s supervision is being shut down and turned away.