After meeting with President Barack Obama, BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told the world that BP cares about the “small people,” contrary to popular belief about “greedy companies.” Under the command of the president, BP executives agreed today to establish a $20 billion escrow fund for the damages from its growing Gulf of Mexico disaster, and a $100 million fund for wages lost by oil industry workers idled by the deepwater-drilling moratorium. The president also cautioned the BP executives to “keep in mind” the families in the Gulf devastated by this catastrophe. After the meeting, Svanberg told reporters that he wanted to dispel the myths that “large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care”:
I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people.
Last month, Svanberg had a different depiction of what BP cares about. “The US is a big and important market for BP,” Svanberg told the Financial Times, “and BP is also a big and important company for the US, with its contribution to drilling and oil and gas production.”