April 20,2010 Deepwater Horizon explodes in Gulf of Mexico: killing 11 workers.
May 18, BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward: "I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest." Most people considered this a "modest" understatement- especially since the oil continued to flow for months and months.
June 2, Tony Hayward: "I'd like my life back." A lot of people were offended- especially the families of the 11 workers who died.
June 8, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles says the spill "should be down to a relative trickle by Monday or Tuesday." Technically correct. Suttles apparently did not say which Monday or Tuesday.
June 16, BP board Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg says he feels badly for the "small people" affected by the spill. Many "small" people are not amused.
BP downplayed the effects of that massive oil- and BP's role in the disaster. To repair its image the company spent $50 million on damage control- namely a TV ad campaign that promised to help victims. Here's a link to one of those commercials:
BP Commercial: We'll "Make Things Right"
As you know, BP set up a $20 billion compensation fund for those who lost money because of the spill. To date, BP has paid out more than $3 billion to thousands of people. As I understand it, the $3 billion was doled out as PARTIAL payments for claims. So a lot of people want to know when they're getting FINAL settlement checks.
So today.... On the front page of my local paper is this headline: "BP has settled 1 of 91,000 claims" Those 91,000 people and businesses have filed for FINAL settlements. But it seems none of them has gotten a FINAL check.
It gets better. The story says the one claim that WAS paid was $10 million dollars- to a BP business partner. Citing confidentiality, BP won't identify its business partner but acknowledges it lobbied for the $10 million settlement. A BP spokesperson calls it "a unique situation". Let's just say that I call it a PR blunder.
The Associated Press quotes a Louisiana fisherman as saying the $10 million dollar settlement, "makes me sick". That fisherman claims he hasn't received a dime for $140,000 in lost earnings. The Mayor of Orange Beach, Alabama says , "It stinks".
And some people think that last comment could also be directed at BP's PR staff.
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