Reject False Claim That Oil Spill Caused No Lasting Damage

washing oiled gannet

Target: Laura Folse, Executive Vice President with the BP Gulf Coast Restoration Organization

Goal: Demand that the company stop disputing the fact that its Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused lasting damage to Gulf habitats and wildlife

Years after the disaster, researchers have found oil from the 2009 Deepwater Horizon spill in ocean sediments stretching across 1,200 miles. Aside from the known damage to the Gulf of Mexico’s fragile food webs, experts argue that it may be years before we fully understand the extent of the harm done. British Petroleum (BP), one of the companies responsible, continues to dispute any lasting impacts of America’s largest marine oil spill–likely hoping for a reduction in the billions of dollars in penalties it could be forced to pay.

An independent report from the National Wildlife Federation describes the loss of 12% of all brown pelicans and 32% of all laughing gulls in the Northern Gulf as victims of the BP spill. Toxic chemicals BP used to disperse the oil are still found in bird eggs in areas far from the spill site. Yet the company insists its own findings “do not indicate a significant long-term impact to the population of any Gulf species.”

Demand an end to BP’s misinformation campaign. Call on the company to stop making false claims about the extent of damage caused by the failure of its Deepwater Horizon oil well.


Dear Ms. Folse,

While your company’s own Five Year Report proclaims a near total recovery from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, independent researchers have found indisputable evidence of ongoing damage to the Gulf. In your introduction to the report, you describe BP’s noble cleanup efforts. Critics have pointed out the failure of the company’s containment attempts, and the lingering effects of toxic dispersant chemicals which sank the oil to the sea floor rather than remove it from the environment.

Through it all BP has downplayed the seriousness of this disaster: first claiming that only “very minute quantities” of oil had leaked, and now claiming that there has been no lasting harm to the environment. Yes, Gulf cleanup efforts have already cost BP a fortune. An investigation led by the National Academy of Engineering found decisions BP made to save time and money, compromising safety in favor of profits, were largely to blame for the oil spill. The fact that billions of dollars in additional penalties could cripple your company is no reason to reduce them.

This propaganda may be an attempt to avoid taking full responsibility, but it cannot change the facts. I must insist that BP stop making false claims about the lingering impacts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Les Stone via International Bird Rescue Research Center

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