Tag: BP

It’s lonely at the top

July 27, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More
It’s lonely at the top

Pity Tony Hayward, erstwhile boss of BP. He’s really had it rough. He’s been “demonized and vilified”, to use his own words. The poor CEO was so busy dealing with the massive oil spill perpetrated by his company that he almost missed watching his yacht race in a very important race! Almost, but he was able to watch the race anyway. Because, you know, someone else was probably working on cleaning up the oil fouling the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not really the CEO’s job, you see. It’s more of a job for the “small people” of the world.

“Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you step off the pavement and get hit by a bus,” Hayward said recently. Yes, that’s true. And sometimes, you end up the CEO of one of the most powerful oil companies in the world. A company that has a long history of criminal and ethical violations that should make them unfit to operate a lemonade stand, much less a major multinational corporation with power to contaminate the entire Gulf of Mexico– and perhaps, Beyond!

Share

Read More

BP now controls federal, state and local law enforcement

July 6, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More
BP now controls federal, state and local law enforcement

This headline sounds absurd. It MUST be hyperbole, right? Wrong. Glenn Greenwald has the details. There is a war against the press and BP is operating a police state, thanks to BP largess and government acquiescence.

Obviously, the U.S. Government and BP share the same interest — preventing the public from knowing the magnitude of the spill and the inadequacy of the clean-up efforts — but this creepy police state behavior is intolerable.

Greenwald links to Raw Story for more details and a video featuring Anderson Cooper.

Share

Read More

News on the ground: BP is not cleaning up, but covering up

June 27, 2010 | By | Reply More
News on the ground: BP is not cleaning up, but covering up

BP has been given substantial access to BP operations and meetings to a Louisiana shrimper’s wife named Kindra Arnesen. What she is now saying won’t make BP happy. BP is putting on lots of dog and pony shows in the Gulf, and Arnesen is voicing safety concerns too.

Share

Read More

Putting the incentives in the wrong place

June 23, 2010 | By | Reply More
Putting the incentives in the wrong place

At Slate.com, Eliot Spitzer argues that the BP disaster and the Wall Street disaster have something in common:

The law of incentives is what links the Wall Street cataclysm and BP’s ongoing eco-disaster: In each case, we socialized risk and privatized gain, creating an asymmetry that created an incentive for private actors to accept and create too much risk in their business model, believing that at the end of the day, somebody else would bear the burden of that risk, should it metastasize into a disaster.

He mentions the astounding fact that in their current risk analysis of the too-big-to-fail banks, the Wall Street agencies assume that the federal government will come to the rescue with future bailouts. What we have is amazing. Public risk and private gain don’t begin to pass the smell test. We are doling out corporate welfare where it is not needed and where it is not in the best interest of the taxpayers. And somehow, this catastrophic system passes as “the free market” among many modern-day free market fundamentalists.

Spitzer points out that there are two ways to deal with businesses that engage in dangerous activities, tort liability and regulation, and that the public will be protected only if we have at least one of these.

A regime of full tort damages and recoveries is one way to balance safety and exploration, or investment and risk, or whatever economic activity we are discussing. But there is another way: meaningful and vigorous oversight to impose safety standards that are dictated not by the market for insurance but by the judgment of serious experts in a regulatory context.

Share

Read More

How did democracy cease to be in Iran?

June 17, 2010 | By | Reply More
How did democracy cease to be in Iran?

What happened to democracy in Iran? It didn’t die a natural death. Iranian democracy was killed by well known actors that included British Petroleum and the United States. You can learn more by listening to Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times reporter, who was iran-oil-creative-commonsinterviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now (video interview). From the 1920’s through the 1940’s Great Britain controlled all of the oil in Iran, thanks to “a corrupt deal that they had struck with a few representatives of the old declining Iranian monarchy, all of whom had been paid off.” The troubles began when Iran began to assert ownership of its own oil:

[A]fter World War II, when the winds of nationalism and anti-colonialism were blowing throughout the developing world, Iranians developed this idea: we’ve got to take our oil back. And that was the general—the kind of national passion that brought to power Mohammad Mosaddegh, who was the most prominent figure in the democratic period of Iran during the late ’40s and early ’50s. It was Mosaddegh’s desire, supported by a unanimous vote of the democratically elected parliament of Iran, to nationalize what was then the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. They carried out the nationalization.

The British and their partners in the United States fiercely resisted this. And when they were unable to prevent it from happening, they organized the overthrow of Mosaddegh in 1953. So that overthrow not only produced the end of the Mosaddegh government, but the end of democracy in Iran, and that set off all these other following consequences. The Shah ruled for twenty-five years with increasing repression. His rule produced the explosion of the late ’70s that produced the Islamic regime. So, it was to protect the interests of the oil company we now know as BP that the CIA and the British Secret Service joined together to overthrow the democratic government in Iran and produce all the consequences we’ve seen in Iran over the last half-century.img_0083

Why was the United States willing to get involved in this despicable overthrow? Kinzer suggests that the U.S. was more than willing to believe that there were “communists” in Iran, despite any supporting evidence. The British merely took advantage of this American paranoia. Therefore, the U.S. facilitated the overthrow of a sovereign Middle Eastern country without any justification.

Share

Read More

How BP is handling the spill

June 9, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More
How BP is handling the spill

How is BP handling the Gulf oil spill? This video nails it.

Share

Read More

What Obama is doing about the oil spill disaster

June 9, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More
What Obama is doing about the oil spill disaster

Rolling Stone has published a blistering expose on President Obama’s failures regarding the Gulf Oil spill disaster. Yes, the Bush Administration was spectacularly at fault, but President Obama is carrying on Bush’s tradition with exuberance:

For weeks, the administration had been insisting that BP alone was to blame for the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf – and the ongoing failure to stop the massive leak. “They have the technical expertise to plug the hole,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs had said only six days earlier. “It is their responsibility.” The president, Gibbs added, lacked the authority to play anything more than a supervisory role – a curious line of argument from an administration that has reserved the right to assassinate American citizens abroad and has nationalized much of the auto industry. “If BP is not accomplishing the task, can you just federalize it?” a reporter asked. “No,” Gibbs replied.

At page 6 of the online article, Rolling Stone documents the absurd government dishonest downplaying of the extent of the damage. Further, the U.S. government continues to allow BP to operate in near secrecy. See also this excerpt from this excellent highly-detailed article in Rolling Stone:

On the campaign trail, Obama had stressed that offshore drilling “will not make a real dent in current gas prices or meet the long-term challenge of energy independence.” But once in office, he bowed to the politics of “drill, baby, drill.” Hoping to use oil as a bargaining chip to win votes for climate legislation in Congress, Obama unveiled an aggressive push for new offshore drilling in the Arctic, the Southeastern seaboard and new waters in the Gulf, closer to Florida than ever before. In doing so, he ignored his administration’s top experts on ocean science, who warned that the offshore plan dramatically understated the risks of an oil spill and petitioned Salazar to exempt the Arctic from drilling until more scientific studies could be conducted.

Share

Read More