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BP Chairman: “We Care About the Small People”

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg announced at the White House today that BP cares about “the small people” harmed by his company’s oil spill, contradicting widespread assumptions that the company was looking to screw them.

BP Execs, led by Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, approach the  mikes
BP Execs, led by Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, approach the mikes

Svanberg, who emerged just moments ago from a meeting with President Obama and other top White House officials, said he sensed Obama’s concern with people in the Gulf who are more mediocre than senior BP officials. BP is committed to addressing any “legitimate” claims against the company.

Speaking just before Svanerg and other BP officials appeared on the White House driveway to talk to reporters, Obama announced that BP had agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to take care of those with claims against the company. Obama noted that the fund does not include additional claims that could be filed in court by states or private citizens.

Svanberg decline to comment on reports that BP cut back on safety measures with regard to the ruined rig in order to save money.

But he did say he was sorry.

BP CEO Tony Hayward at the White House

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the American people on behalf of all the employees in BP, many of whom are living on the Gulf Coast,” he said. “Through our actions and commitments, we hope that over long term that we will regain the trust that you have in us.”

Over the very long term or after BP goes bankrupt and renames itself “Leakfree Oil” or something.

Obama and Svanberg both called the meeting “constructive.” In politicalspeak, this means that everyone was direct but got along. The term is a step removed from “frank,” which means people were yelling at each other.

BP Execs, led by Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, approach the  mikes
BP Execs, led by Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, approach the mikes
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6 Responses to BP Chairman: “We Care About the Small People”

  1. Small people, huh. What happened to the phrase, ordinary people? Average American? Well, there is nothing smaller than an overprivileged executive or even Chief Executive who thinks he or she is “bigger” than a guy who hauls heavy nets over the side of a boat all day long. Again, the speaker of the phrase says more about himself than the person he is talking about.

  2. As for whether BP and those two other companies were cutting corners, doesn’t anyone watch 60 Minutes? One of those “small people” jumped off that rig into the flaming sea and lived. But before he did this, he saw pieces of a rubber gasket or safety device coming up in the drilling mud and pointed it out and was told it was nothing. Funny story–pieces of a safety device can be “something.” Ka-boom.

  3. The correct analysis would be that of English not being his mother tounge. He is Swedish, as me, and the older generation clearly does not speak perfect english. Dont argue about the “small people” as I believe there was no additional meaning put into the phrase compared to “ordinary people” or any other phrase that you would not react as strongly upon.

    Cheers,
    /J