BP spokesperson Geoff Morrell wrote an op-ed article for Politico Magazine defending the company from all of its past wrongdoings. The main theme of the article is Morrell saying “Hey, look, yeah the spill was bad. But it could have been worse. Please forgive us because we responded to something that was our fault in the first place.”
Morrell asserts that environmental damage from the oil spill wasn’t all that bad. Of course, he resorts to citing the mainstream media’s “predictions” of what kind of damage the oil spill would cause back in 2010. CNN said tarballs will pollute the eastern seaboard and Europe. CBS thought the Gulf seafood industry would permanently end.
Firstly, since when did the mainstream media become an authority on the effects of biological and environmental pollution and ocean currents? Just because the damage didn’t meet the apocalyptic predictions of the fear-mongering TV media doesn’t mean damage was completely non-existent.
Over 200 million gallons of oil pumped into the Gulf of Mexico because of BP’s reckless conduct. Unquestionably, that much oil caused damage. Many of the long-term effects on the environment will not be known for many years. According to 2012 study conducted by the Eberly College of Science at Penn State University, the oil-spill caused “deep-ocean impact.” The study found that nearby coral communities showed “widespread signs of stress.”
“We would not expect deep-water corals to be impacted by a typical oil spill, but the sheer magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its release at depth make it very different from a tanker running around and spilling its contents,” wrote Helen White, the study’s lead author. “Because of the unprecedented nature of the spill, we have learned its impacts are more far reaching than those arising from smaller spills that occur on the surface.”
Despite what BP may say about its cleanup efforts, there are still thousand-pound tar mats being found in the Gulf of Mexico that have been directly connected to the BP oil catastrophe.
Morrell touts BP’s “unprecedented response” of hiring 100,000 to help with cleanup efforts. However, he forgot to mention reports that BP mistreated and neglected many of its workers. While working cleanup for BP, Mark Mead of Alabama fell into an area of water heavily polluted with oil and other chemicals.
He was checked by a BP medical professional who told him he was fine and ordered him back to work. The only remedy was to wash off with paper towels and dish detergent. Mead now suffers from severe skin lesions and burning. BP has yet to compensate Mead.
“BP has fought paying Gulf Coast residents for the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, every step of the way,” commented Brian Barr, a partner with the Levin, Papantonio law firm and a member of the plaintiffs steering committee for the BP lawsuit.
Morrell brings up many “reasons” describing why BP is being unfairly treated and how it’s a victim of people crying wolf and overzealous attorneys. He concludes by saying “After all the faulty forecasts, it’s time to base our understanding of the Gulf’s condition and the spill’s impact on facts – not fiction.”
May we reiterate that talking-head speculation doesn’t serve as a credible forecast of scientific and biological events? Now, let’s say, purely for the sake of argument, that all these scientific and anecdotal claims are hyped up and overblown. That still doesn’t cover BP’s tail against the fact that the company’s profit based recklessness caused all this in the first place.
By now, the company’s disregard of expert safety recommendations, lying about oil spill data, and attempts to buy scientific opinion from Gulf Coast scientists is common knowledge for those who have been paying attention. Those facts remain the same. BP got greedy and acted dangerously and egregiously in order to turn more product to gain more profit, regardless of what anyone else said.
Morrell is trying to pass off a giant gash as a small scrape. The Gulf, and the ecosystems and animals within it, are still feeling the effects. For BP to say that they shouldn’t pay the settlements that it agreed to is arrogant, greedy, and stupid.