BP’s Image Improves … Really


The Street
In a recent post on The Street, Eric Rosenbaum reveals that a new AP poll has people approving of the way BP is handling the oil disaster – up 15% to 33% from June until now. The poll also conveys that "concerns from Americans have turned to some of the longer-term environmental and human health issues, as anger at BP for all its botched efforts to stop the oil spill is declining." If only environmentalists and scientists had the marketing dollars and public presence to convince Americans about the severity of climate change. 

Posted August 19, 2010

By Eric Rosenbaum, The Street

NEW YORK (TheStreet) – BP(BP) has accomplished a feat that many Americans may not have believed the oil spill company was capable of: its image has improved, according to a new AP poll.

In fact, the public perception of BP's handling of the oil spill is improving at a faster clip than the public view of President Obama's role managing the oil spill.

BP is still much lower than President Obama from an overall poll numbers perspective. Now, 33% of Americans approve of BP's handling of the oil spill. That's up from 15% the last time the poll was conducted in June. Roughly 50% of the American public thinks that President Obama has done a good job handling the oil spill, but that number for the commander-in-chief is only up 5%, from 45% the last time the AP poll was conducted in June.

If one wants to look at the glass half empty for BP, 66% of the public still thinks that BP is doing a bad job of handling the oil spill, but that's down from 83% in June.

Maybe firing Tony Hayward and hiring an American to take his place is paying dividends. It's more likely, though, that the capping of the Macondo well by BP on July 15 has lightened the mood of the American public at least a little, and distanced the American public from the BP oil spill, too, a combination of news burnout and BP's success.

In fact, the AP found that only 60% of people think the spill is a major national issue, down from 87% the last time the poll was conducted. More Americans support increased offshore drilling than those who are against it — though that has been the same throughout the oil spill crisis. The support for offshore drilling nudged up to 48% from 45% last time the poll was conducted, while opponents of drilling declined from 41% to 36%, according to the AP.

The AP poll also reflects the fact that concerns from Americans have turned to some of the longer-term environmental and human health issues, as anger at BP for all its botched efforts to stop the oil spill is declining.

Roughly 54% of Americans surveyed by the AP said they still won't eat seafood from the Gulf of Mexico spill zone, and 55% remain wary of swimming at Gulf beaches.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen announced on CNN on Thursday morning that the final operation in the oil spill containment, the relief well, is now scheduled for the Labor Day week in September.

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