BP: a major tourism player?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Probably no single company has promoted tourism as much as BP. Billions have been poured into those US states surrounding the Gulf of Mexico as a penance for the catastrophic effect their oil spillage in 2010 had on the coastline, local industry, the wildlife and the environment.

A few months ago, BP tried – in court – to have a moratorium on payments because it felt that unscrupulous individuals and companies were taking advantage of its largesse to feather their own pockets. Wasn’t it ever thus? The oil company claimed earlier that it had been frozen out from new contracts in the US and has asked the British government to make representations on its behalf to try and stem this seemingly bottomless pit of money that is seeping from its coffers. I make no comment about seepage.

Now more grants have been announced for the rehabilitation of that part of the world’s tourism industry. $85 million, for example, is being spent on Gulf State Park. Other projects include restoring barrier islands, oyster beds and other habitats; to boat ramps to promote using some facilities again. The list of 44 projects would be spent in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas and they cost $627 according to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

In some quarters such as Governor Bentley of Alabama and group managing environmental restoration projects, this spend is being called an “improvement.” I hope he means the word to mean an improvement over the terrible effects and not an improvement over what the areas were like before the oil spillage otherwise he could be accused of profiteering from BP’s discomfort.

Whatever the situation, it still comes down to the fact that BP has spent billions on returning and propping up tourism in the US gulf states. I wouldn’t wish that disaster on any country but I do wonder whether other countries would have been so successful in their litigation.

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