The New British Invasion


In case you missed the BP Mideast dog-and-pony show – covered as though CEO Tony Hayward was a head of state – and the oil giant’s role in the release of an international terrorist to help secure oil deals, this is definitely no ordinary oil company.

Now BP is dispatching its newest cheerleader, the British Prime Minister David Cameron, to have a word with our President Obama. In media reports, we get this: “Mr. Cameron [said] that he did not want to inflame the row but that he would deliver a firm reminder to Barack Obama, US president, and congressional leaders of the importance of BP to the UK economy.”

Really? President Obama may need a reminder that the EPA isn’t doing its job in the Gulf or that claims are not being paid or that cleanup workers are not being protected, but I very much doubt he needs much reminding about BP’s economic clout.

James Carville, the Democratic strategist most willing to speak truth to power, got it right: BP invaded us. We are under attack because of the company’s actions. We have ceded our coastline to BP and its contractors, and the idea that our president needs to receive a “firm message” about going easy is just sickening.

Look, we have provided billions of dollars in tax breaks over the years, and during the spill have given BP immunity from any transparency, even in environmental testing, so it’s clear we’ve done quite enough for the British corporation. Far from “attacking” the invaders, if anything, we’ve only made a lot of public noise while appeasing them.

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

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