Americans angry at BP, not Britain | Reuters

30 Апр 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
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Americans angry at BP, not Britain

Protesters and members of Guardians of the Gulf, an environmental and animal rights activist group, hold hands and display placards as they rally against BP under the Perdido Pass bridge in Orange Beach, Alabama June 12, 2010.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) — Americans are angry with BP because of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but most do not associate the company with its British origins and do not believe the accident should harm relations with the close U.S. ally.

Some British business leaders, politicians and newspapers worry that their country is being attacked by the White House over the ruptured deep-sea well that has allowed millions of gallons of crude oil to gush into Gulf for nearly two months.

But some Americans were surprised to learn that BP stood for British Petroleum.

I thought it was American. Wow, said Latonya Cox, 46, a hospital analyst from Toledo, Ohio, visiting New York’s Times Square.

BP was once a predominantly British company but now has global operations and a major presence in the United States. Around 40 percent of its shareholder base is in the U.K. and a similar proportion is drawn from the United States.

Many Americans did not think that the company’s British pedigree mattered and believed that the oil spill would not effect ties between the United States and Britain.

They should just be fixing it. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s British, American or Canadian, said Lori Tonizzo, 32, a print company project manager from Toronto. It’s about a company, it’s not about a country.

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke on the phone on Saturday, downplaying tensions over the oil spill and reaffirming close ties.

‘GLOBAL ECONOMY’

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Seth Gold, 50, a headhunter, from Astoria in the New York City borough of Queens, said that the company should be tarred and feathered, but the oil spill could have happened to an American company.

I don’t think it will affect ties between Britain and America, but certainly as a consumer I don’t currently buy fuel from BP, said Arthur Giacopelli, 45, who works for Morgan Stanley and is from the New York City’s Staten Island borough.

BP, a staple holding of UK pension funds, has lost tens of billions of dollars from its market value since the oil spill.

The company is under pressure from some U.S. lawmakers to suspend its dividend until the Gulf crisis is resolved and damages are paid out to individuals and businesses in the region. BP accounts for 12 percent of all dividends paid by British companies.


I don’t think it’s a British company. We live in a global economy and everybody’s pointing the finger at BP, but we’re all victims of this and were all responsible, said Raymond Ayala, 48, a sales manager from Staten Island.

Friends Barbara Zarret, 63, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Diane Rodman, 64, from Long Island, said the United States should be careful to avoid escalating the oil spill into a diplomatic spat.

We’re running out of allies, said Zarret. I think we ought to keep this one.

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