April 20th (4/20) is a celebratory day for a certain subset of the population (if you know what I mean,) but 5 years ago, April 20th became the mark of a much more devastating event in environmental history. At exactly 10:50 p.m. EST on April 20, 2010, disaster struck in the Gulf of Mexico when a BP deepwater oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers, and resulting in a staggering 87-day oil well gusher. Following the disaster, an immense and understandable backlash towards BP ensued from inhabitants of the states that the spill affected, as well as many across the country.
Now, 5 years later, BP’s quest for forgiveness continues in their latest PR and advertising spots. According to their site, BP has spent more than $28 Billion “to restore the Gulf economy and environment.” Additionally, BP suggests that its efforts were successful – “The Gulf Coast economy has rapidly rebounded, with numerous tourism records being broken every year since the spill. Extensive scientific data (…) show that the impact to the environment was of short duration and limited in geography…”