(WKRG) – Taking in the beauty of the Alabama Gulf Coast, it’s hard to believe what happened here almost six years ago.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 crew members and sent five million barrels of BP oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
In a weekend interview, BP chief Bob Dudley said the disaster almost sank the company.
“It’s interesting his perspective is financial in money and assets and business and all of that is replaceable.” Gulf Shores mayor Robert Craft says there is no comparison in losing a business or destroying an entire eco-system. “Businesses like that are apt to declare bankruptcy from time to time and morph into something new and re-emerge in another place unhurt. That can’t happen with the environment.”
It’s ironic that Bob Dudley would use the phrase “near death experience” when describing his company because for the coastal communities it was exactly that.
“We had the near death experience, on our coast is where it was. Right here in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores.”
Orange Beach mayor Tony Kennon doesn’t talk much about the oil spill anymore. He would rather move forward. But, Dudley’s remarks seemed to hit a familiar nerve. “As far as near death goes, they are doing very well and I don’t believe for a minute that they were at a risk of going under. They just didn’t make as much as they would have made.”
BP spent 40 billion dollars on clean up, court costs, fines and payouts. The state of Alabama settled over the summer for two point three billion dollars. Governor Bentley says he is glad the company survived. They still owe the state a lot of money.