[BP CEO Bob] Dudley acknowledged in his October 25 speech in Houston that BP had a long way to go to rebuild trust with the public. “When people look at a BP logo on a gas station today they probably associate it with the accident and the spill,” he said. “But our actions can help inform perceptions. And I would hope that people are starting to think about the magnitude and intensity of our response to that spill and the way we are doing as much as we can to restore livelihoods, look after the environment and rebuild relationships.
“I would hope they would also see a company that has suffered a terrible accident but has the humility and courage to learn from that incident and prevent such a thing happening again. I’d hope they would also see a company that is determined to do the right thing by the people of the Gulf region and across the United States. I prefer to look our customers in the eye and say to them, ‘We’re sorry about what happened, but we’re not running away and we’re going to make it right.’”
Two days after its CEO spoke those words, BP was doing all it could to run away from a toxic waste site in the heart of America that was the legacy of the very “heritage companies” Dudley had proclaimed as his own.