BATON ROUGE — British Petroleum, whose Deepwater Horizon crude oil extraction facility has historically done so much to liberate America from a debilitating reliance upon petroleum products provided by swarthy, untrustworthy foreigners, today announced its decision to sue Louisiana-based brown pelicans in federal court for the theft of valuable company assets.

“Many people have seen the pictures of these so-called ‘victims’ in the main-stream media,” said Mr. Waldorf T. Flywheel, a spokesman for BP’s Legal Affairs Division, “and leap to entirely false conclusions. These felonious waterfowl are anything but the blameless sufferers of alleged corporate malfeasance Americans have been led to believe. Instead they are little more than common criminals — pelican pirates, if you will — deliberately immersing themselves in private property in an attempt to abscond with it.”

Asked where the pelicans might be plotting to purvey the purloined petroleum, Mr. Flywheel speculated, “probably Venezuela. That would just totally figure.”

He went on to recommend that the Justice Department launch an investigation into the pelicans for possible violations of corporate espionage and perhaps international terrorism statutes.

“Why the hell not?” asked Mr. Flywheel.

According to Mr. Flywheel, the perfidy of the brown pelican is but a microcosm of how the entire Deepwater Horizon incident has been wrongly presented and perceived.

“This has been characterized as corporate misconduct and irresponsibility. However, BP is merely experimenting with a bold new oil access and retrieval system, by which petroleum is conveyed directly from its underwater source to America’s shores without the expense and danger of costly, traditional ‘boat-based’ delivery mechanisms.

“Those who question BP’s bold action in this regard may be well-intentioned. But they should ask themselves if they really want to stifle the spirit of American free-market innovation.

“After all, the costs of short-sighted calls for ‘regulation’ or ‘oversight’ or ‘criminal charges’ will ultimately be borne by the American taxpayer. Big government ‘solutions’ always lead to disaster,” said Mr. Flywheel, shaking his head sadly.

Mr. Flywheel then reaffirmed that anyone, human or feathered, who attempted to steal any oil currently being transferred to coastal retrieval stations would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. “Know that we have federal, state, and local authority supporting us in this position.”

Reached for comment, an oil-soaked brown pelican merely closed its eyes, coughed up a tar ball, and expired.

The tar ball was promptly seized by BP technicians and safely transported to a high-tech reclamation center.