Almost as bad as news that yet another BP effort to stop the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico has failed, we now learn that BP – once again – is prioritizing public relations over actually solving the crisis. That’s because BP bused in “hundreds” of temporary workers paid $12/hour for just 24 hours to provide photo ops of an army of oil cleanup crews for Obama’s visit, and “as soon as the president left, they [the hundreds of temporary workers] were immediately put back on the buses and sent home.”
This is an outrage. On a day when America solutes those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms, we must also remember that 11 workers died from what appears to be yet another example of BP’s criminal negligence. This company is already on criminal probation after pleading to two separate criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Enough, Mr. President: it is time to fire BP and take command of this operation. We need to have a federal government employee – not a BP executive – giving the orders. That means that the government can order BP executives to use BP equipment to plug the oil gusher, or bring in engineers and equipment from other oil companies. BPs latest public relations ploy shows that this habitual corporate criminal continues to have disdain for American workers, our environment and our laws. Like we needed another reason to boycott BP.
Tyson Slocum is Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program