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Friday September 19th 2014

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BP’s love for numbers


I reviewed my posts on the BP oil disaster. BP has had a love for statistics from the very beginning. Sadly many of them are meaningless.

My first encounter with BP was May 1 when Gov. Charlie Crist came over to meet with BP, Coast Guard and county officials—the meeting that I was kicked out of.

To prove that his company was serious about protecting Escambia County and Florida, Joe Oliveri of BP had a flip chart that showed BP’s booming: 54,000 feet of boom had been deployed, 10,000 feet was in reserve and another 35,000 was in route to NAS Pensacola.

Over the next few weeks, we heard the feet of booming had increased—-now we know that we should have been hearing about was how many skimmers were headed our way. The booms aren’t working.

The next stat that BP touted was the number of Vessels of Opportunity. When I started investigating that program, I found the boats weren’t all commercial fishermen and charter boats as BP told us, but instead were pleasure boats -including three sailboats.

Then we had BP VP Darryl Willis tells about all the claims BP was paying. He boasted that they were being paid with 48 hours. Escambia County sent BP its claim on June 11. On June 28, the County got a letter asking for its phone number before the claim could be processed.

BP loves to use numbers. Don’t pay attention to them.