On Sunday, April 20th, the nation marked four years since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf, resulting in the release of over 200 million gallons of oil and use of almost 2 million gallons of toxic dispersants. BP is mounting a massive PR effort to declare “Mission Accomplished” in the wake of the disaster, but their spin doesn’t change the facts on the ground.
BP America’s President John Mingé declared this week that “[n]o company has done more to help a region recover.” We beg to differ. As BP spends millions on ads and PR to downplay their damage, the residents of coastal communities and scientists that study the Gulf are painting a much different picture.
Tarballs continue to wash up on our beaches and coastlines. New studies are linking BP’s oil to heart defects in tuna and amberjack. In Louisiana’s Barataria Bay, which was heavily oiled, scientists have found that dolphins are showing signs of severe illness consistent with exposure to oil. Just last week Gulf Restoration Network discovered tarballs and a dead dolphin along the shores of Barataria Bay and Grand Isle.
The oil is still here and continues to impact our communities and environment. Together we can raise our voice and send a clear message to BP and the government: BP must take responsibility for their actions, complete the clean-up, and pay in full for the damages they caused.
Steve Murchie is GRN's Campaign Director.