Obama’s comments about the BP oil spill were not anti-British, the American
ambassador to London
angered many in the UK
by referring to the multinational company by its old name of British Petroleum
when making criticisms.
Louis Susman said the president “would have said the same thing” if it had been
Horizon rig exploded in the Mexican
Gulf on 20 April, killing
11 workers and creating a huge leak.
Mr Obama has
said he would have fired BP’s top executive Tony Hayward if he were in charge
of the company and has supported the idea that it suspend its quarterly
dividend for shareholders.
have provoked anger among many business people and pensioners in the UK, many of
whose pension funds have investments in the oil giant.
BP, which has
many US, as well as UK,
employers and shareholders, has not been known as British Petroleum since 1998.
“I think the
president potentially spoke that one time where he said British Petroleum and
he’s very keen to say ‘BP’ at this point.” said Mr. Susman.