April 22, 2010 was Earth Day. But it was not a very good day for the earth – or for that matter, for BP. That’s the day the an explosion toppled over BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and the blowout preventer failed, causing the earth to begin leaking thousands of gallons of oil from 5000 feet below the surface of the Gulf. In a bit of irony, the original Earth Day was April 22, 1970, thirty years ago to the day of this year’s spill, begun in large measure in response to another oil spill caused from a blowout of a deep sea drill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.
Last week, the Gulf oil spill disaster surpassed the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill as the worst environmental disaster in American history. BP (the initials, which formerly stood for British Petroleum, have been changed to stand for “Best Polluter”) has taken full and complete responsibility for the oil spill. And by “full and complete responsibility”, BP CEO Tony Hayward went on to clarify that the Deepwater oil rig was owned and operated by Transocean, which, he went on to say was responsible for the safety on the oil rig. According to The London Telegraph, Hayward further clarified BP’s full and complete responsibility by saying, “This was not our accident. This was not our drilling rig. This was not our equipment. It was not our people, our systems or our processes. This was Transocean’s rig. Their systems. Their people. Their equipment.”