When will big business learn? How many more Deepwaters before they learn to prepare for a crisis? And when the immediate crisis is over, how soon will they realize that their reputation is still at stake?
As the trial resumed yesterday to determine the size of the fine BP must pay for polluting vast stretches of the Gulf of Mexico, the soundbites began to bubble to the surface, releasing in some cases nothing more than hot air.
BP’s own lawyer used the word “extraordinary” to describe the company’s efforts to stem the flow of leaking oil. Not the most positive choice of words – in fact, BP’s critics would probably agree with the description.
The claimants’ lawyer is doing much better – “BP’s plan was nothing more than a plan to plan.”
In New Orleans federal court, soundbites will not determine the outcome, but in the court of public opinion, they still carry weight.