Recently the oil giant BP placed full-page ads* in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal pitying itself as the real victim in the aftermath of the Gulf Spill. BP claims it is being targeted by “unscrupulous trial lawyers” representing “thousands of claimants that suffered no losses” that “smell big bucks and want a piece of the action.”
It’s no surprise that the fifth largest company in the world, which raked in $388 billion in 2012 alone, is so out of touch with Gulf residents. Here’s the people’s side of the story since they don’t have millions of dollars to buy full page ads.*
“Our community has lived off of the water and now our community is dead… Everyone is suffering. BP made promise after promise and has not followed through.”
– Gary Barthelemy, Oyster Fisherman
“You’ve paid 30 percent of the claims. Seventy percent of the claims have not been paid. Where I went to school, that’s an ‘F’.”
– Jason Dyken, Gulf Shores City Councilman
“You can’t get answers from nobody. Nobody. Now, I’m 15 days past due on my rent. It don’t seem right to me.”
– Rudy Toler, Fisherman
“I’m afraid that oil spill has ruined us. We’re hardly unloading any brown shrimp at all.”
– Ken Lee, Shrimp Dock Owner
“This is the first time in generations we have had our waters taken from us. Our businesses and community has collapsed.”
– Byron Encalade, Oyster Fisherman
“Sadly, BP has broken its ‘commitment’ when it comes to compensating victims through a legal process it helped create. It’s an unfortunate pattern for BP, a convicted felon that has been suspended from doing business with the U.S. government for lack of corporate integrity, and pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter.”
– Jim Hood, Mississippi Attorney General
So the question for BP is: Who’s the real victim here?
*$100 million in ads were paid for by BP in just the first 4 months following the spill.