Citing strong tourism revenues, British Petroleum is attempting to adjust the formula used to determine payouts to local businesses. In a court filing last Friday, the petroleum giant cited "the strength of the gulf economy" as an indication that certain areas along the Gulf Coast have recovered from the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 and that "there is no basis" that local claimants "will incur a future loss related to the spill." Despite mixed messages about the progress--some scientists claim the ocean floor is still coated with oil despite the "recovery mission accomplished" filing--BP seeks to reduce the amount of money paid to local business for future losses, reports The New York Times. Locals admit that tourism is good this summer, but "it's not that good."
One obvious argument against the proposed reduction is that BP has been underestimating the scale of damage all along. Consequentially, it's logical that they would overestimate progress made towards recovery. Environmental scientists have debunked claim after claim from BP's recovery team, but with $20 billion committed to recovery, it's not hard to imagine why BP continues its sunny estimations. Tourism is responding well to these initial signs of progress, but the full picture of the economy is more complicated, locals say.