Energy giant BP tried Wednesday to put a positive spin on a new report that highlights the devastating impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill using their official Twitter account.
“Annual #Beach Water Report released today includes info on improved conditions since #BP #oilspill,” the company tweeted.
But the report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said there had been more than 9,474 oil-related beach closings, advisories and notices in Gulf states since the spill and that the clean-up effort was still underway in Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi.
Four beaches in Louisiana are still closed because of the spill. According to the report, at of the end of January, 83 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline remained heavily or moderately oiled.
NRDC’s Rocky Kistner described the tweet as “Orwellian.”
“Perhaps it should come as no surprise that BP would try to put such an absurdly positive spin on the beach report,” he said. “After all, this is the same company that made some of the more memorable corporate PR blunders in history.”
“Well-funded oil industry PR campaigns will continue to try to deflect attention away from negative realities on the ground and at sea,” Kistner continued. “As the tweet about NRDC’s beach report shows, BP will continue to claim success in the Gulf cleanup, even when new reports demonstrate its failures.”
After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded last year, creating the worst oil spill in U.S. history, BP tried to rescue its damaged image by launching a $50 million public relations campaign.