As I was driving home from work last night I heard a commercial on the radio that caught my attention. The commercial was narrated by a man that runs a business on the beach in Destin, Florida. That narrator, Rick Scali, is in the business of renting beach and vacation equipment to tourists. According to the commercial, all is well, the beach is clean, the oil is gone, and BP “is doing the best they can in a very difficult situation.” While I disagree with Mr. Scali, I am happy that the claims process went well for him and his family. I am not happy that BP (British Petroleum) continues to spend money on advertising campaigns rather than take that same money and use it to compensate those that have lost everything due to BP’s callous regard for safety, human life, and the gulf coast. If BP is truly doing the best it can, then why is it spending money patting itself on the back through these ads?
It is not difficult to understand why Mr. Scali is willing to promote the local beaches and their cleanliness – his income and the local economy depends on tourism. This is like in the movie Jaws – where town mayor of Amity Island vocally proclaimed all throughout that the beaches were safe for swimming. He was dead wrong, and just like in the Spielberg classic, danger is also lurking below in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to reports and photographs from marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia, oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. According to Joye and other scientists, the photos clearly show that the oil is not degrading as hoped and it has decimated life on parts of the sea floor. Joye and her team embarked on five separate expeditions, took 250 core samples from the sea floor, and traveled across 2,600 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico. The photos Joye recently produced also depict oil-choked bottom-dwelling creatures, some of which are so full of oil that they suffocated.
Joye’s report and photos contradict a recent report from BP indicating that “all would be well by 2012.” Either BP is flat-out lying, or BP did not bother to look anywhere other than Destin, Florida.