Its reputation is the one thing BP just can't clean up

 

Outlook The BP oil that spewed from the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico might have been cleared from the region's beaches, waters and wildlife. But still it sticks to BP.

The oil giant has been embroiled in an increasingly forlorn struggle to prevent companies in a fairly broad geographical area from claiming compensation for the spill if they are unable to show that their economic losses stemmed from it.

The subtext of the claim is that BP is now being used as a sort of regional economic development fund. There may be something to that, but it was always a little naive to think that judges in the region would be willing to stem the inflow of cash.

And so it has proved. A New Orleans appeal court declined to revisit the decision made by a lower court to block BP's claim. Serves the company right, you might think, not without some justification. When executives dream up cost-cutting plans in future, this should mean they won't be tempted to scrimp on safety.

There remains the chance of a petition to the US Supreme Court. But don't hold your breath. It looks very much like BP is going to have to take its medicine, however painful that might be for its shareholders, many of whom are American.

One of the conceits of the former chief executive Lord Browne was to garb the group in green, as if it were some sort of eco-friendly energy concern. If that ever had any credibility, Deepwater Horizon blew it out of the water. So perhaps the incumbent Bob Dudley might like to consider currying a little favour in his native land with a rebrand of his own, garbing the company in stars and stripes to better reflect its shareholder base?

Does that sound cringeworthy? No more so than the commercials BP ran featuring beaches, seafood and smiling friendly faces from the Gulf Coast region. These were badged with its logo and described as "greenwashing" by its many critics.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Research Associate / Asset Management Research Analyst

£40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...

The Green Recruitment Company: Graduate Energy Analyst

£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Summary: The Green Recruitm...

Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Financial Services - Central London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Fin...

Ashdown Group: Chief Technology Officer (CTO) - Glasgow

£90000 - £98000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportu...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food