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Summing up, BP has taken responsibility

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8/7/2010 -- Summing up, BP has taken responsibility

Tadaa! Finally we are taking the oil spill counter off the homepage because all is fine again. Heck, we hardly find oil any more. Three quarters are somewhere "else" in the biosphere and by this do not go into the equation any longer (as if they cannot do any harm there) - and anyway, the oil is said to be of a "lighter, sweet" type, something the gulf environment will certainly appreciate. If still in doubt or concerned about the remainder, remember that BP has taken "full responsibility for cleaning up the spill in the Gulf" (as announced early June in a TV campaign), i.e. it's been taken care of.

Hence we are stopping our counter; today's last status for the records (on the lower end of the estimates by the way):

Oil spill counter from ysmad's homepage

Second thoughts ... what did that mean "taking full responsibility for cleaning up the spill"; it certainly does not mean that BP takes responsibility for the oil spill itself. When it comes to legal questions they can be pretty accurate in their wording. In the same TV ad, BP also recognized that "it is our responsibility to keep you informed", which I assume meant something like "we should keep you informed (but actually we don't intend to)". It manifested itself in disinforming the public (who really believes BP didn't know that their own well "spilled" 10 times as much as the announced 5000 barrels a day?), engaging in denial- and hairsplitting games like arguing over terms ("it may be down to how you define what a plume is here"), to plainly holding back information by providing low-res videos of the gusher and keeping the more revealing HD videos for themselves (for several weeks until being forced to release them). Being really sarcastic, you may wonder if the emphasis was meant to be on "it is our responsibility", i.e. it is not yours to inform yourself, which would explain the "BP rules" and some extensive flight restrictions which hindered reporting and recently even spurred speculations BP might have hidden areas where dead animals have been processed out of sight (- with BP's track record of (mis)information, would we be surprised?).

So much for responsibility.


Should somebody really be at a BP station in the near future and wait for the car to be filled up, he or she may ponder about the sign "Do Not Leave Pumps Unattended - You Are Responsible For Spills" , which went somewhat viral a couple of weeks ago.

After a small mishap you may start a discussion that "it may come down to how you define 'spill' here". With some justification: if we collectively consider a 150 million gallon oil catastrophe a "spill", you may have a good point relabeling your puddle something more cute. Consider including the words "light" and "sweet".

You may also try to argue over the meaning of "being responsible" and go by the example given by BP.
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