BP: Louisiana Leaders Guilty of ‘Political Grandstanding’ About Oil Spill

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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After Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) told a restoration council meeting that oil giant BP focused too heavily on its image than coastal recovery in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster, BP lashed out, accusing Louisiana leaders of “political grandstanding,” the Guardian reported Friday.

Jindal said BP spent more money on ads “telling us how great they are” than “actually restoring the natural resources,” reported WWL-TV.

"BP had the audacity to file statements with the court suggesting that they are not responsible for paying any of the up to $17 billion in RESTORE Act funding for Gulf Coast states, counties and parishes for recovery and restoration," said Garret Graves, the governor’s coastal restoration chief. "Their gross negligence and irresponsible behavior has no limits."

BP’s vice-president of U.S. communications, Geoff Morrell, said Jindal and Graves are full of “empty political rhetoric.”

“Statements by the governor and Mr. Graves that BP has spent more on advertising than on restoration are simply false and seem purposefully intended to mislead the public,” Morrell said. "Their political grandstanding contains patently false assertions, defies the demonstrated record of environmental recovery that has occurred across the Gulf and defames the massive efforts of tens of thousands of people to foster prompt recovery and restoration.”

The news comes just after a judge ruled against a BP move to limit compensation payments on the grounds of fraud.

"BP is not a victim of this disaster," Graves said in an email response to the Associated Press. "No matter what they say or do, the families of the deceased and the citizens of the Gulf are the victims and we are going to fight to hold BP accountable for their actions. BP's campaign to portray themselves as the victim is shameless."

He added: "For BP executives to try to call our concerns 'grandstanding' is laughable. They caused the worst oil spill in our nation's history and are doing the worst cleanup in our nation's history and we should sit idle and let them continue?"

On Thursday, BP said it “committed up to $1 billion” to address Natural Resource Damage claims.

Graves called that figure “simply a lie.”

"Only a small fraction of these funds have been paid," Graves told WWL-TV.

Sources: The Guardian, WWL-TV