Gulf Coast recovery continues two years later; BP says ‘we’re still here’

POSTED: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 10:36am

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 10:19am

With the BP oil spill anniversary coming up this week, the oil giant is trying to re-assure the Gulf Coast it is not forgotten. The company's chief operating officer participated in a fly over of the coast line yesterday

On April 20, 2010, what BP officials and the world saw from the air was the Deep Water horizon rig spewing flames and oil into the Gulf. Eleven workers died in the explosion. What came next was the most devastating environmental disaster the Gulf Coast has ever seen.

Convincing the Gulf Coast that BP really cares has always been a tough sell for the company since the spill nearly two years ago. And that's why today's fly over was so important to them. They say this is a sign they are committed until things get better."

Today, BP COO Mike Utsler took to the air over Alabama's Gulf Coast and what he saw this time was far more optimistic.

"And the fact that we're seeing ever less product is very encouraging for everyone," he said.

Gone are the long, brown slicks, as well as the pepper black tar balls on the sugar white sands. It looks nice, but Ustler knows it what might be lurking beneath the surface that still worries those who live, work and play here.

"What we saw was, we're in a holding pattern for West Dauphin Island due to environmental reasons, due to nesting birds,” he said. “We know we're going to have to go back out there this fall and be able to hit it hard again and be able to complete that cleanup.
“We know the impacts are still heartfelt and we know there are real impacts that we've got to help be a part of the solution for. And it will be through those actions."

What he's saying, and what the flyover was designed to demonstrate, are one and the same. We are still here, says BP, and we will be until the effects of the spill are gone.

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