Edited by Andrew J. DuBrin
Chapter 2: Approaches to minimize choking under pressure
By June 19, 2010, the uncapped well left behind by BP’s Deep water Horizon disaster had been spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for two months. Around the world, television news coverage provided daily footage of oil spreading across the Gulf and stories of BP’s ineffective efforts to contain the spill. With each passing day, more and more oil gushed up from the sea floor, dirtying the beaches of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, endangering wildlife, and frustrating the people who made a living near Gulf waters. Reaction from American media and government officials had shifted from the initial shock and outrage to an indignant resignation. It had become clear that BP was not prepared to address a disaster of this magnitude, and what had started as an accident in April had turned into an economic and environmental crisis, not to mention an organizational and public relations nightmare for BP. It was on this day, June 19, 2010, that BP’s beleaguered CEO, Tony Hayward, took a “day off” to travel to the Isle of Wight. The news media followed, capturing Hayward as he watched his boat compete in the JPMorgan Asset Management “Round the Island” yacht race. The images of the CEO relaxing at the posh event were broadcast around the world, and juxtaposed against footage of the Gulf of Mexico’s animal rescue efforts, filthy shore lines, and out-of-work fishermen.
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