Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, in an interview with The Guardian:
In an bullish interview with the Guardian at BP's crisis centre in Houston, Hayward insisted that the leaked oil and the estimated 400,000 gallons of dispersant that BP has pumped into the sea to try to tackle the slick should be put in context.
"The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume," he said.
Riiiight. And let's put 9/11 in context, too. "Attack on America?" No…. America is a big place. The WTC and the Pentagon were only a couple dozen acres, at most.
I wonder what Tony Hayward would say if he was served a four-course meal, some of which was laced with a few grains of anthrax. Contextually speaking, that's not a lot of anthrax, so, according to his logic, what would be the fuss? (Note: I'm obviously not advocating that this be done; I'm making a point).
Hayward may be correct that the volume of oil in the Gulf is small compared to the total water volume, but the point is that the spilling oil does not disperse in the Gulf's water… so it is kind of big deal. It floats around killing wildlife, ruining livelhoods, polluting natural shores millions of years in the making. The oil doesn't dilute. Hayward seems to forget that oil and water go together like, well, oil and water.