Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

'Outrageous': BP Ad Claims 'American Businesses' Real Victims of Gulf Disaster

Advocates for Gulf coast communities respond to claims by industry that compensation process has been too harsh for oil giant

Jon Queally

A full-page ad placed prominently in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on Thursday—paid for by BP and painting "American businesses" as the victim in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster—is just a bit too much for some.

Among those most angered by the BP-sponsored ad? The actual victims of the region's worst ever environmental disaster.

The ad, featuring comments from both the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, criticizes the process by which local residents, small-business owners, and impacted communities have been compensated. Saying that BP "had bent over backwards to make amends for the catastrophe" the letter from the Chamber's CEO Thomas Donahue says that in the future, businesses will be smart to "litigate" rather than "settle" with communities following industrial disasters.

"Outrageous," said Aaron Viles, deputy director of the Gulf Restoration Network, which works to support the communities and Gulf ecosystems so devastated by the 2010 disaster that gushed an estimated 5 million barrels of crude oil into the ocean.

According to Viles, making big business out to be the victim is absurd. "BP and their team of lawyers signed off on this deal, and now they are crying foul? The truth of the matter is that BP's historic release of oil and application of toxic dispersant made the Gulf and our communities the victims," he said. "BP needs to follow through on their commitment to our coast."

Here's the ad:

Describing the ad—a clear example of big oil rallying its industry friends to provide it public relations backing—the Wall Street Journal's Tom Gara calls it

... one part of a multi-front effort by the oil giant to push back against the mountain of compensation claims it is facing from Gulf Coast residents and businesses over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. On one hand, it has fought through the courts, challenging fraudulent claims and appealing against the process that awards compensation to victims.

By why now? And why bring in the Chamber and the NAM to speak on their behalf? According to Gara:

In short, [BP] is realizing the payouts it will be forced to make over the 2010 spill will be gigantic: Back in April, it said it expects total payouts to be “significantly higher” than the $8.2 billion it had estimated.

Part of the problem is that in the wake of the spill, it was so desperate to calm the firestorm of criticism — recall at the time, some believed the crisis could be the end of BP as we knew it — that it got itself into a compensation process that is turning out to be even more generous with payouts than it expected.

But Viles that's not how the real victims in the region—the people and the wildlife so devastating by the oil's destructive impact—see it.

"BP's oil is still here, and so it's only appropriate that they are still signing checks," he said. "This is a part of a clear pattern of BP doing everything possible to win the PR battle and convince the world that they are making things right.  They aren't."

__________________________________


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

AOC Warns That Corporate Lobbyists Would Love People to 'Give Up Before the Deal Is Done'

"It's way easier for them to try to get away with the things that they're lobbying for and against if people at home aren't watching," said the New York Democrat

Jon Queally ·


Tlaib Leads Call for Biden to Take 'Commonsense Steps' to Aid Afghan Evacuees

"Our country has long offered shelter to those seeking refuge from catastrophe. Now is the time to continue that tradition and stand beside Afghan evacuees in need."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Huge Win': Green Groups Applaud Biden Move to Protect Minnesota Watershed

"You don't allow America's most toxic industry next to America's most popular wilderness," said one environmental campaigner.

Brett Wilkins ·


Taking Aim at Predatory Equity Firms, Warren Leads Bill to 'Stop Wall Street Looting'

"Now is the time," asserted Sen. Bernie Sanders, "to end Wall Street's greed, protect workers, and create an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1%."

Brett Wilkins ·


Arizona Groups Demand Sinema 'Stop Obstructing' on Medicare Expansion

The diverse coalition called on the Democratic senator to back "bold drug pricing reform" and "critical improvements to Medicare's coverage" in the reconciliation package.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo