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April 20th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

Stories from the Gulf, one year on

Editor's note: "AC360º" returns to the Gulf Coast region a year after the worst oil disaster in U.S. history, at 10 ET Wednesday night. What has been done to clean up the mess, and who is accountable?

(CNN) - A daughter will walk down the aisle this year without her father. A rig survivor still awakens at night and screams. A native American tribe in Louisiana now eats pork, chicken and beans instead of oysters and crab.

And the voice of a Cajun musician puts everything into perspective about last year's oil spill. For years, Tab Benoit had strummed a dire tune of the pillaging of Louisiana's coast.

"Before all this, you'd try to warn people about problems that were coming, and they'd think you're a conspiracy theorist," he says. "The blowout wasn't a mystery. ... It's not like it was a surprise, ya' know."

A year into the nation's worst oil disaster, BP has launched a public relations campaign about "making it right." In a 20-minute video released on the company's website, group chief executive Bob Dudley sits at a polished wood table and says the disaster is a "tragedy we deeply regret at BP."

"In everything we've done since that day, we've tried to act as a responsible company should," he says. "I know it will take time to win back people's respect and it will take actions rather than words. But I hope this helps to demonstrate that we are sorry, that we learned the lessons and we are committed to earning back your trust."

The video then chronicles BP's efforts to contain the spill in the days, weeks and months following the April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform.

The plume of crude billowing into the Gulf of Mexico has stopped, and images of oil-soaked birds have subsided. But take a closer look at the Gulf region and you'll find shattered lives and angry - yet determined - residents.

Full story


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Gulf Oil Spill
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