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"To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free...to a time when truth exists, and what is done cannot be undone...From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink--greetings!" - George Orwell, 1984
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Global Research, May 29, 2010
It's been 37 days since BP's offshore oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the
Though BP officially admits to only a few thousand barrels spilled each day, expert estimates peg the damage at 60,000 barrels or over 2.5 million gallons daily. (Perhaps we'd know more if BP hadn't barred independent engineers from inspecting the breach.) Measures to quell the gusher have proved lackluster at best, and unlike the country's last big oil spill -- Exxon-Valdez in 1989 -- the oil is coming from the ground, not a tanker, so we have no idea how much more oil could continue to pollute the Gulf's waters.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster reminds us what can happen -- and will continue to happen -- when corporate malfeasance and neglect meet governmental regulatory failure. [We need these occasional reminders that for all Obama's mad socialism, capitalism is no better and we really shouldn't be forgetting eight years of Jug-Ears and his little Jewish friends. - HAC]
The corporate media is tracking the disaster with front-page articles and nightly news headlines every day (if it bleeds, or spills, it leads!), but the underreported aspects to this nightmarish tale paint the most chilling picture of the actors and actions behind the catastrophe. In no particular order, here are 10 things about the BP spill you may not know and may not want to know -- but you should.
1. The oil rig owner has made $270 million off the oil leak.
Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP, has been flying under the radar in the mainstream blame game. The world's largest offshore drilling contractor, the company is conveniently headquartered in corporate-friendly
This experience undoubtedly influenced Transocean's decision to insure the Deepwater Horizon rig for about twice what it was worth. In a conference call to analysts earlier this month, Transocean reported making a $270 million profit from insurance payouts after the disaster. It's not hard to bet on failure when you know it's somewhat assured.
2. BP has a terrible safety record.
BP has a long record of oil-related disasters in the
With Deepwater Horizon, BP didn't break its dismal trend. In addition to choosing a cheaper -- and less safe -- casing to outfit the well that eventually burst, the company chose not to equip Deepwater Horizon with an acoustic trigger, a last-resort option that could have shut down the well even if it was damaged badly, and which is required in most developed countries that allow offshore drilling. In fact, BP employs these devices in its rigs located near
SeizeBP.org estimates that BP makes $500,000 in under eight minutes.
3. Oil spills are just a cost of doing business for BP
According to the Harte Research Institute for
BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, has solemnly promised that the company will cover more than the required $75 million. On May 10, BP announced it had already spent $350 million. How fantastically generous of a company valued at $152.6 billion, and which makes $93 million each day.
The reality of the matter is that BP will not be deterred by the liability cap and pity payments doled out to a handful of victims of this disaster because they pale in comparison to its ghastly profits. Indeed, oil spills are just a cost of doing business for BP.
This is especially evident in a recent Citigroup analyst report prepared for BP investors: "Reaction to the
4. The Interior Department was at best, neglectful, and at worst, complicit.
It's no surprise BP is always looking out for its bottom line-- but it's at least slightly more surprising that the Interior Department, the executive department charged with regulating the oil industry, has done such a shoddy job of preventing this from happening.
Ten years ago, there were already warnings that the backup systems on oil rigs that failed on Deepwater Horizon would be a problem. The Interior Department issued a "safety alert" but then left it up to oil companies to decide what kind of backup system to use. And in 2007, a government regulator from the same department downplayed the chances and impact of a spill like the one that occurred last month: "Blowouts are rare events and of short duration, potential impact to marine water quality are not expected to be significant."
The Interior Department's
Is it any wonder that Deepwater Horizon was given a regulatory exclusion by MMS?
It gets worse. Since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, the Interior Department has approved 27 new permits for offshore drilling sites. Here's the kicker: Two of these permits are for BP.
But it gets better still: 26 of the 27 new drilling sites have been granted regulatory exemptions, including those issued to BP.
5. Clean-up prospects are dismal
The media makes a lot of noise about all the different methods BP is using to clean up the oil spill. Massive steel containment domes were popular a few weeks ago. Now everyone is touting the "top kill" method, which involves injecting heavy drilling fluids into the damaged well.
But here's the reality. Even if BP eventually finds a method that works, experts say the best cleanup scenario is to recover 20 percent of the spilled oil. And let's be realistic: only 8 percent of the crude oil deposited in the ocean and coastlines off
Millions of gallons of oil will remain in the ocean, ravaging the underwater ecosystem, and 100 miles of
6. BP has no real cleanup plan
Perhaps because it knows the possibility of remedying the situation is practically impossible, BP has made publicly available its laughable "Oil Spill Response Plan" which is, in fact, no plan at all.
Most emblematic of this farcical plan, BP mentions protecting Arctic wildlife like sea lions, otters and walruses (perhaps executives simply lifted the language from Exxon's plan for its oil spill off the coast of
The whole thing totals 600 pages -- a waste of paper that only adds insult to the environmental injury BP is inflicting upon the world with Deepwater Horizon.
7. Both Transocean and BP are trying to take away survivors' right to sue.
With each hour, the economic damage caused by Deepwater Horizon continues to grow. And BP knows this.
So while it outwardly is putting on a nice face, even pledging $500 million to assess the impacts of the spill, it has all the while been trying to ensure that it won't be held liable for those same impacts.
Just after the Deepwater explosion, surviving employees were held in solitary confinement, while Transocean flacks made them waive their rights to sue. BP then did the same with fishermen it contracted to help clean up the spill though the company now says that was nothing more than a legal mix-up.
If there's anything to learn from this disaster, it's that companies like BP don't make mistakes at the expense of others. They are exceedingly deliberate.
8. BP bets on risk to employees to save money -- and doesn't care if they get sick.
When BP unleashed its "Beyond Petroleum" re-branding/greenwashing campaign, the snazzy ads featured smiley oil rig workers. But the truth of the matter is that BP consistently and knowingly puts its employees at risk.
An internal BP document shows that just before the prior fatal disaster -- the 2005 Texas City explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 170-- when BP had to choose between cost-savings and greater safety, it went with its bottom line.
A BP Risk Management memo showed that although steel trailers would be safer in the case of an explosion, the company went with less expensive options that offered protection but were not "blast resistant." In the
Although BP has responded to this memo by saying the company culture has changed since
Reports this week stated that fishermen hired by BP for oil cleanup weren't provided protective equipment and have now fallen ill. Hopefully they didn't sign waivers.
9. Environmental damage could even include a climatological catastrophe.
It's hard to know where to start discussing the environmental damage caused by Deepwater Horizon. Each day will give us a clearer picture of the short-term ecological destruction, but environmental experts believe the damage to the
In the short-term, environmentalists are up in arms about the dispersants being used to clean up the oil slick in the Gulf. Apparently, the types BP is using aren't all that effective in dispersing oil, and are pretty high in toxicity to marine fauna such as fish and shrimp. The fear is that what BP may be using to clean up the mess could, in the long-term, make it worse.
On the longer-term side of things, there are signs that this largest oil drilling catastrophe could also become the worst natural gas and climate disaster. The explosion has released tremendous amounts of methane from deep in the ocean, and research shows that methane, when mixed with air, is the most powerful (read: terrible) greenhouse gas -- 26 times worse than carbon-dioxide.
Our warming planet just got a lot hotter. [Global warming is now pretty much proven to be a liberal hoax. - HAC]
10. No one knows what to do and it will happen again.
The very worst part about the Deepwater Horizon calamity is that nobody knows what to do. We don't know how bad it really is because we can't measure what's going on. We don't know how to stop it -- and once we do, we won't know how to clean it up.
BP is at the helm of the recovery process, but given its corporate track record, its efforts will only go so far -- it has a board of directors and shareholders to answer to, after all. The
Here's the reality of the matter -- for as long as offshore drilling is legal, oil spills will happen. Coastlines will be decimated, oceans destroyed, economies ruined, lives lost. Oil companies have little to no incentive to prevent such disasters from happening, and they use their money to buy government regulators' integrity.
Deepwater Horizon is not an anomaly -- it's the norm.
YAAAAAH WICKED WICKED CORPORATIONS CORPORATIONS ARE EVIL OOOOOOG AAAAAARGH MUST HAVE SOCIALISM MUST HAVE SOCIALISM ygggggg....
Okay, I made that last part up, but this chick demonstrates one of the major follies of leftism, this idea that somehow, some neo-Marxist "Utopia" run by the nigger Barry Soetoro would be in some way better. Daniela, I hate to tell you, but your way has been tried before and it turned out to be the worst horrror story in human history. Ever hear of a gent called Joseph Stalin?
Daniela Perdomo is a staff writer and editor at AlterNet. Follow Daniela on Twitter. Write her at danielaalternet [at] gmail [dot] com.
[The following is an excerpt from H. A. Covington's Northwest independence novel, A Mighty Fortress. A young Northwest Volunteer, Cody Brock, is riding on his first NVA assassination through the streets of Seattle with a couple of more experienced older Volunteers.]
[This Obongoid visitation happened about a month ago, but someone just sent me this.]
[Okay, it’s no secret that Ed Steele and I are no longer on one another’s Christmas card list and haven’t been for some time. Be that as it may, I will never deny that back in his day, Steele was one of the best polemicists we ever had.
Holy Christ, Harold, it's happened again!
[Wandered in off the Net]
Ever since I began ranting about racial problems way back when, I've received tons of emails both pro and con about my work. Some were somewhat supportive, some were fanatically supportive, and others were negative to the point of being homicidal. I've been called every kind of racist, bigot, lowlife, fanatic, redneck hate monger, backwards hick, and a hundred other choice expletives that anyone in my field of endeavor can attest is an integral part of the job.
Dear Comrade Covington:
Greetings, racial comrades:
Radio Free Northwest #17, dated May 20th 2010, is now available for download from the Party web site at
In this broadcast I talk about Freemasonry, a White dating service, the other
As of this date, Americans have been lied to and manipulated so much by this government that they don't know up from down. It would actually be funny if it weren't so stinking deadly in its intent. We all know that OKC, 9\11, Waco, and Ruby Ridge among others were pure unadulterated bullshit. The only things about those tragedies we can be sure of, is that a lot of innocent white people died. But almost nobody has yet realized what's really going on behind the BP oil spill..it's not a spill.