BP Tries to Come Clean on Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary

Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP

Today is the one year anniversary of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, which caused the deaths of 11 people and the largest oil spill in U.S. history. BP and its CEO Bob Dudley have used the anniversary to speak to the developments over the past year and to express the company’s ongoing regret over the spill.

The BP homepage has a message from Dudley front and center, with a longer column written by the chief exec published in today’s Wall Street Journal that talks about the funding BP has chipped in to correct the problems caused by the spill, increased safety measures implemented, and new experts that have been brought on board to ensure that an accident doesn’t happen again. A video on the BP site also discusses what has happened over the past year.

We recently reported that BP’s reputation, while still pretty bad, appears to be on the upswing. BP’s efforts may deserve part of the credit. But other forces seem to be aiding the oil giant in its reputation recovery.

For one, many people have redirected their anger and blame away from BP and towards Congress for inaction after the spill. The Huffington Post has a long article about the lack of legislation in the wake of the explosion. And according to the Washington Post blog, the bickering in Congress continues.

That blog post also says that people have had a change of heart about drilling. According to a CNN poll, 69 percent now favor offshore drilling. Higher gas prices will surely be impacting that conversation going forward.

And in an effort to help with the recovery of the Gulf region, there’s been a lot of talk from local leaders, including Gov. Bobby Jindal on how clean the waters are, how safe it is to come down for a visit, and how great the seafood from the region is.

Still, there are those, like the NAACP with its recent report, that talk about the medical and socioeconomic impact the spill had. Some, like this columnist for Politico, still maintain that we don’t yet know the full effect of the massive oil spill. And The Guardian, as part of its anniversary wrap up, also includes a story about attempts by BP to manipulate research into the aftermath.

So while outrage may have abated, there’s still work to be done on a variety of levels.