June 10th, 2010
By Jean Eaglesham, Financial Times
Obama points the finger at BP
British business on Wednesday expressed alarm at the “inappropriate” and in-creasingly aggressive rhetoric being deployed against BP by President Barack Obama, warning that the attacks on the oil company could affect energy security and damage wider transatlantic industry relations.
Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, a leading British employers’ organisation, told the FT the presidential attack was “obviously a matter of concern – politicians getting heavily involved in business in this way always is”.
He suggested the White House strategy was misplaced, stating that “apart from anything else, BP is a vital part of the US energy infrastructure. So the US has an interest in the welfare of BP, as much as the rest of the world does.”
Miles Templeman, director general of the Institute of Directors, said he was “very concerned – this sort of political rhetoric is inappropriate.” Mr Templeman emphasised that British business appreciated the gravity of the Deepwater Horizon spill and the environmental damage being wreaked on the gulf coast. But he warned: “There is a danger that this will become a British business thing and there will be a prejudice against British companies because of it. The issue should be decided outside politics.”