Best Of New Orleans Blog – BP Oil Disaster: Day 92
Posted by: Alex Woodward
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says 290 oil-related exposure cases have been reported since the disaster began, including 216 from workers on oil rigs or doing cleanup, and 74 from those living along the coast. Some were reported through the toll-free line via the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, which handled BP’s exposure-related calls. Other reports came from Acadian Ambulance, doctors, clinics and emergency care facilities.
Mother Jones reports that for more than a decade, BP has operated a hotline in California allowing lawmakers and other politicos to call in and request concert tickets, killer seats at NBA games and other VIP treatments — totaling giveaways to the tune of about $300,000:
In the past five years, BP has given state officials more than 1,200 complimentary tickets to the Arco Arena, hosting them in its corporate suite to see Sacramento Kings games, World Extreme Cagefighting matches, and Britney Spears and Lil Wayne concerts. Getting the tickets is as easy as calling the BP ticket request line, an exclusive, unpublished phone number that appears to exist for the sole purpose of granting freebies to lawmakers, regulators, and their staffs.
“You make a request, leave it on the voicemail, and at some date the tickets either magically appear or they don’t,” says a legislative consultant who gave me the ticket line’s number and spoke on condition of anonymity. “They don’t talk to you; you just see ‘em or you don’t.”