BP Scoops Up ‘Golden Poo Award’

What’s the worst company in America? You may have your own idea, depending on your personal experiences, but readers of one consumer website made their choice this week.

Consumerist.com says BP barely beat out Bank of America to pick up the Golden Poo Award as “the worst company in America.” Other companies vying for the dubious honor include BestBuy, Toyota, Comcast and Ticketmaster.

BP’s win as “worst” comes on the first anniversary of the oil rig blast and spill in the Gulf. I took my family to one of our favorite vacation spots, Destin, nearly two months after the spill and wrote several blogs about how people were affected by the ecological disaster, even though the oil hadn’t reached their shores. In one I wrote:

There’s a lot of anger though on these peaceful, white, sandy beaches. Anger from tourists, and locals who work at the beach. Anger towards BP and Obama.

Anger and fear. One man I met had recently bought a beach sport rental business. Here was part of our conversation:

  • Me:  How’s the spill affected your business?
  • Owner:  To be honest with you, I’m scared.  I spent a million dollars buying this business.
  • Me:  You bought it during the bad economy, and now this.
  • Owner:  I knew going in that the economy wasn’t the best, but in a way that wasn’t such a bad thing.  Many people, instead of going to Hawaii or Mexico, are staying closer to home.
  • Me:  That makes sense.
  • Owner:  Yeah, and I also bought it knowing that hurricanes can happen.  That’s always a gamble.  But I never, ever thought about an oil spill ruining my business.

I don’t know if we’ll make it back to Destin this summer.  If we don’t, it won’t be because of last year’s fear that the spill would ruin the sugary white beaches for decades. Clearly, that never happened.

This week an article in thedestinlog.com included an interview with David and Darlene Gillmore, owners of a unit at the same condo complex we stay at every year. Here’s an except:

After the spill, the manager of the condominium told them that the beaches were clean.

“We wanted to come see for ourselves,” David said.

The Gillmores visited Destin in May, July and August and said they only came across a few small tar balls. 

“We were concerned to see the drop off in tourism,” Darlene said. “There weren’t as many people here as there were normally.”

The Gillmores said they saw the biggest difference on Fourth of July weekend when the beaches are normally packed.

“Sterling Shores was offering walk-ins… Their sales were down 60 to 70 percent.” David said. 

The Gillmores are back again this year. They arrived in Destin on Sunday with their five children who are on spring break from Louisiana State University.

“Things aren’t going to be back to normal for a while,” David said. “The beaches are beautiful. A few tar balls aren’t going to make a dang bit of difference.”

Sure, the oil spill had far more devastating effects elsewhere, but it’s good to hear the Gulf beaches are as beautiful as ever. We can’t wait to get back.

One more thing. I want to congratulate BP for scooping up the Golden Poo award.


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