In its latest attempt to repair its decaying public image, BP
It's a noble strategy. Even if it's not the only party to blame for the bubbling crude in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has become the public face of this environmental catastrophe.
"We will get it done," the ad begins. "We will make this right."
However, several paragraphs down rests a promise that BP is unlikely to keep.
"Our efforts will not come at any cost to taxpayers," it reads.
I get it. BP is going to foot the growing cleanup tab, as it wrestles behind the scenes with Transocean
However, this is like committing a messy murder and agreeing to wipe up the blood. There's still a dead body here. There are costly implications beyond squeegee and mop-up duty.
I live in Florida and am already contributing to the state's pain. I was set to join several family members on a beach vacation in Sarasota later this month. We've called it off, given the oily water. Last I checked, all of the coastal resort towns that are going to be smacked down are taxpaying entities. If they forgo bookings, their respective jurisdictions will be lighter on tax receipts. Taxpayers are ultimately expected to cover the shortfalls, so what's BP going to do there?
The victims -- beyond the marine life and the 11 crewmen who died in the original explosion -- started out as a small cluster of local fishermen, but now entire states will be feeling the pinch. Some modeling now suggests that the oil may wrap around Florida and work its way up the Eastern seaboard.
What's up with that BP? Will you be covering any shortfalls at Disney
Speaking of cruising, how quiet do you think the call centers are at NCL, Carnival
Our efforts will not come at any cost to taxpayers.
Oh, it's your efforts -- and not your actions -- that won't burden the taxpayers. Nice save, BP. You missed a spot of splatter.
You will get this done, but something tells me that you won't make this right.
Will BP be financially culpable for lost business and bankruptcies caused by the oil leak? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't the activist type, but he's one irate Floridian. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, except for Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.