Residents from the Gulf of Mexico region are putting pressure on British prime minister David Cameron to withdraw his support for oil giant BP, which was responsible for the environmental and economic devastation of the area in 2010.
Anger among residents has been widespread since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which saw 20m gallons of oil spill into the ocean after from one of BP’s offshore rigs.
The firm has been at the centre of a large-scale legal battle over compensation payouts and liability for the incident, including a ban on all government contracts imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which BP condemned as “inappropriate and unjustified”.
The British government backed BP in its legal complaints against the ban earlier this month, but has since come under criticism from residents over its support.
Gulf locals have written to prime minister David Cameron to withdraw his support for the oil giant, which they say has mismanaged the whole situation. They add that the ban should be upheld.
They say BP has consistently mislead the public, manipulated markets, pleaded guilty to illegal conduct and attempted to get out of paying compensation.
Cherri Foytlin, a Louisiana resident said, “BP’s oil still invades our shores and many of our peoples’ health continues to be gravely effected by the toxic effects of BP’s oil and dispersant mix. Our fishermen are reporting historic and devastatingly low catches and a newly released study found dolphins exposed to BP’s crude to be some of the sickest ever studied.”
The residents have extended an invitation to Cameron and other UK officials to visit the region and see the devastation first-hand.
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