'When pitching a proposal to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight of the southern coast of Australia in 2016, according to newly revealed documents, oil giant BP attempted to allay regulators' concerns by claiming that any future oil spill would actually be a 'welcome boost' to the local economy.
In documents Climate Home News obtained through freedom of information laws, BP told the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) that any cleanup efforts undertaken after a potential oil spill would be beneficial to coastal cities.
"In most instances, the increased activity associated with cleanup operations will be a welcome boost to local economies," the company wrote.
Oil spills, it claimed, were "socially acceptable" with "no unresolved stakeholder concerns."
NOPSEMA vehemently disagreed with BP's assessment, saying the company had not considered the potential impact of drilling's sound pollution on whales and dolphins as well as the danger a potential spill would hold for those species and others. Offshore drilling would also have negative effects on the area's tourism industry, the regulators said.
The exchange came six years after BP's destructive Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which sent an estimated 200 million gallons of oil gushing into the marine ecosystem and unleashed untold damage on coastal communities and wildlife throughout the region.'
Read more: 'Callously Indifferent' BP Argued Oil Spills Would Provide 'Welcome Boost' to Coastal Economy
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