Tales from the Trail

BP chief apologizes… again

June 17, 2010

carlOne day in Washington — two apologies from BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

The second apology came for referring to Gulf coast residents  devastated by his company’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as “small people.”

“I spoke clumsily this afternoon and for that I am very sorry,” Svanberg said in a statement after his “small people” comment earlier on Wednesday drew widespread ridicule and condemnation.

“What I was trying to say — that BP understands how deeply this affects the lives of people who live along the Gulf and depend on it for their livelihood — will best be conveyed not by any words but by the work we do to put things right for the families and businesses who’ve been hurt,” Svanberg said in the statement.

Which brings us to the first apology. It came after the BP executive met with President Barack Obama at the White House, where the company agreed to a $20 billion fund to pay damage claims.

Svanberg, who is Swedish,  apologized for the oil spill and  mand the gaffe as he tried to convey his concern for those affected by the environmental disaster.

“I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies who don’t care. But that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people,” Svanberg told reporters.

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PHOTO CREDIT Reuters/Jim Young (PB Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg speaks to media after meeting with President Obama at the White House)

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