New BP Commercials Make a Mockery of What’s Really Happening on the Gulf Coast


This is what we’ve been reduced to: One Louisiana shrimper, Elmer Rogers, literally on his knees begging BP claims czar Kenneth Feinberg for attention and then discovering his claim was blocked all these months by a “technicality.” At the same time, another Gulf shrimper stars in a slick new BP television ad saying he just showed what he made and “BP wrote a check” – and also that things are good now down on the Gulf, with people getting back on their feet.

Frankly, both situations should underscore that the Gulf Coast Claims Facility still refuses even the most basic levels of transparency. The Facility lists the number of claims “paid,” without saying how much is being paid and how many victims are getting full compensation. What we hear is that full compensation is rare. In fact, the shrimper in the ad doesn’t claim full compensation, just that “BP wrote a check.”

Transparency? Hell, we don’t even know how much Mr. Feinberg is being paid, though news organizations found out that BP funnels $850,000 to his D.C.-based law firm every month. And remember, disclosing his income is a promise he made to Congress quite some time ago.

The happy shrimper in the new ad also reminds us that BP kept “everyone who wanted to work” employed during the spill. Right – and it took a court order to prevent BP from requiring workers to sign away their legal rights, and the company ignored safety procedures and cleanup workers who talked to outsiders lost their jobs, and the list rambles on. “Employer of the Year” BP was not.

Trust me on this: There are many, many more Elmer Rogers – literally brought to their knees by this disaster – than BP apologists (like our happy shrimper in the ad). But, just like those infuriating “We’ll Make It Right” ads, we should prepare ourselves for another insulting wave of BP bull.

Here’s a link to the disturbing story of Elmer Rogers on WWL-TV in New Orleans:

Here’s the “all’s well” BP ad:

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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