BP Oil Spill

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Fabian, May 8, 2010.

  1. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Some interesting background information as to BP's ethics, operating procedures and political management.

    Greg Palast – Slick Operator: The BP I’ve Known Too Well
    May 7, 2010 by JackBlood
    Filed under Commentary
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    Wednesday 05 May 2010
    by: Greg Palast

    I’ve seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon’s name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was … British Petroleum (BP).

    That’s important to know, because the way BP caused devastation in Alaska is exactly the way BP is now sliming the entire Gulf Coast.

    Tankers run aground, wells blow out, pipes burst. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. And when it does, the name of the game is containment. Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf last week, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRP), which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.

    What’s so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates.

    That’s because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap.

    To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a “boom.” Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.

    But there’s one thing about the rubber skirts: you’ve got to have lots of them at the ready, with crews on standby in helicopters and on containment barges ready to roll. They have to be in place round the clock, all the time, just like a fire department, even when all is operating A-O.K. Because rapid response is the key. In Alaska, that was BP’s job, as principal owner of the pipeline consortium Alyeska. It is, as well, BP’s job in the Gulf, as principal lessee of the deepwater oil concession.

    Before the Exxon Valdez grounding, BP’s Alyeska group claimed it had these full-time, oil spill response crews. Alyeska had hired Alaskan natives, trained them to drop from helicopters into the freezing water and set booms in case of emergency. Alyeska also certified in writing that a containment barge with equipment was within five hours sailing of any point in the Prince William Sound. Alyeska also told the state and federal government it had plenty of boom and equipment cached on Bligh Island.

    But it was all a lie. On that March night in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef in the Prince William Sound, the BP group had, in fact, not a lick of boom there. And Alyeska had fired the natives who had manned the full-time response teams, replacing them with phantom crews, lists of untrained employees with no idea how to control a spill. And that containment barge at the ready was, in fact, laid up in a drydock in Cordova, locked under ice, 12 hours away.

    As a result, the oil from the Exxon Valdez, which could have and should have been contained around the ship, spread out in a sludge tide that wrecked 1,200 miles of shoreline.

    And here we go again. Valdez goes Cajun.

    BP’s CEO Tony Hayward reportedly asked, “What the **** did we do to deserve this?”

    It’s what you didn’t do, Mr. Hayward. Where was BP’s containment barge and response crew? Why was the containment boom laid so **** late, too late and too little? Why is it that the US Navy is hauling in 12 miles of rubber boom and fielding seven skimmers, instead of BP?

    Last year, CEO Hayward boasted that, despite increased oil production in exotic deep waters, he had cut BP’s costs by an extra one billion dollars a year. Now we know how he did it.

    As chance would have it, I was meeting last week with Louisiana lawyer Daniel Becnel Jr. when word came in of the platform explosion. Daniel represents oil workers on those platforms; now, he’ll represent their bereaved families. The Coast Guard called him. They had found the emergency evacuation capsule floating in the sea and were afraid to open it and disturb the cooked bodies.

    I wonder if BP painted the capsule green, like they paint their gas stations.

    Becnel, yesterday by phone from his office from the town of Reserve, Louisiana, said the spill response crews were told they weren’t needed because the company had already sealed the well. Like everything else from BP mouthpieces, it was a lie.

    In the end, this is bigger than BP and its policy of cheaping out and skiving the rules. This is about the anti-regulatory mania, which has infected the American body politic. While the tea baggers are simply its extreme expression, US politicians of all stripes love to attack “the little bureaucrat with the fat rule book.” It began with Ronald Reagan and was promoted, most vociferously, by Bill Clinton and the head of Clinton’s deregulation committee, one Al Gore.

    Americans want government off our backs … that is, until a folding crib crushes the skull of our baby, Toyota accelerators speed us to our death, banks blow our savings on gambling sprees and crude oil smothers the Mississippi.

    Then, suddenly, it’s, “Where was **** was the government? Why didn’t the government do something to stop it?”

    The answer is because government took you at your word they should get out of the way of business, that business could be trusted to police itself. It was only last month that BP, lobbying for new deepwater drilling, testified to Congress that additional equipment and inspection wasn’t needed.

    You should meet some of these little bureaucrats with the fat rule books. Like Dan Lawn, the inspector from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, who warned and warned and warned, before the Exxon Valdez grounding, that BP and Alyeska were courting disaster in their arrogant disregard of the rule book. In 2006, I printed his latest warnings about BP’s culture of negligence. When the choice is between Lawn’s rule book and a bag of tea, Lawn’s my man.

    This just in: Becnel tells me that one of the platform workers has informed him that the BP well was apparently deeper than the 18,000 feet depth reported. BP failed to communicate that additional depth to Halliburton crews, who, therefore, poured in too small a cement cap for the additional pressure caused by the extra depth. So, it blew.

    Why didn’t Halliburton check? “Gross negligence on everyone’s part,” said Becnel. Negligence driven by penny-pinching, bottom-line squeezing. BP says its worker is lying. Someone’s lying here, man on the platform or the company that has practiced prevarication from Alaska to Louisiana.

  2. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

  3. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    fabian what you dont seem to understand is that our federal government has a protocol for this exact disaster. They are required to, and should have had, the booms on hand before the disaster. Why didnt they??? Why did we have to scramble and acquire booms from other countries???

    While im not trying to completely take the blame from bp... I know for a fact that this clean up falls directly on the hands of the federal government (a task to which they miserably failed due in large part to apathy)

    the language in that article you posted is a bit suspiciously biased and lacks any real evidence. I think its funny that at the end, this obvious enviro-whacko asks

    "Then, suddenly, it's, "Where was **** was the government? Why didn't the government do something to stop it?"

    The answer is because government took you at your word they should get out of the way of business, that business could be trusted to police itself."

    let me get this straight... when something bad happens the government was "supposed to get out the way of business" but when record profits are had the government better get in there and stop "greedy" business from "raping" the people?

    Fabian... let me give you some advice. Ignore simons comments and stop worrying about this thing. In time it will blow over just like everything else... just like when the TORREY CANYON dumped 37 million gallons of oil off the coast of England. I promise life will go on. Dont let it negatively affect your life in the short run.

    here let me help... I am attaching the federal governments "national oil and hazardous substances pollution contingency plan" ... I found it on the epa website here


    check out page 41 subpart B... "responsibility for organization and response"

    it specifically states that the sole responsibility to plan, coordinate, and execute an emergency response plan falls directly on the shoulders of the federal government as mandated by executive orders 12580 and 12777.

    dont believe every blog you read on the internet... you run the real chance of turning into spanky.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  4. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    I second what Vtec said.
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  5. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    what happened... dont agree with the rest????
  6. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    Just saving space. Figured since it was right after your post, no need to beat the horse twice in a row.
    Also I am unaware as to what simon said, but that does not matter to your overall points.
  7. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    So vtec, your presentation would have me to believe that environmental tragedy; containment and rectification efforts are the responsibility of the government for allowing corporate exploitation of a countries sovereign energy reserves, that the "people" may not necessarily want.

    Now i thought "the people of the land" and the ones supporting the pointy end of the tax pyramid would have some sort of objection to their tax dollars being used to fund environmental response measures created by trans-national companies, doing their best to avoid contributing a fair share to the taxation pie.

    By the reasoning proposed in legislation, BP is allowed to extract financial reward by removing energy resources from a country and then having little or no responsibility for disaster management and environmental rectification methods, yet able to manage the PR campaign by trumpeting their responsibility for spill cleanup, knowing full well that government has to foot the bill.

    No wonder a great many people of America want a revolution!

    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  8. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    I believe that if you look at the legislation passed in the 90's it does provide for reimbursement from the companies involved. As far as tax dollors at work, I am P.Od that my tax dollors were wasted by being spent on equipment that sits idle during the disaster it was purchased for.
  9. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    fabian... there was a time in history that this disaster would have been primarily the responsibility of BP. Unfortunately as part of the backlash surrounding the incident at puget sound, the federal government was sucked into the whole oil spill disaster mitigation business (when it had no relative experience to do so). It was mandated by the president that the government step in and take action in the future event of a catastrophe. Well.... today is the day of that catastrophe.

    What you see is the result of an increasingly large government... plain and simple.

    We have right before our very eyes, the result of the environmentalist whacko green mafia demanding control of corporate America. When you insist that government get involved and control almost every aspect of a business they know little to nothing about... dont get upset when they fail miserably.

    I would prefer that my tax money not go to many of the things the federal government spends it on... is that going to happen, nope. What is the solution???? Let BP handle the oil business and let the federal government preside over interstate commerce and the borders.

    My money says this... had they been left alone, the people at BP would already have this under control. I will bet it was the bureaucratic red tape and incompetence of having the epa and coast gaurd involved that doomed this disaster to the catastrophe it has become.... right from the start.

    like i said before... it wouldn't surprise me if this administration sat around for a couple days just to make a "good disaster better". The proof will be in any resulting legislation that is passed concerning off-shore drilling.
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  10. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    vtec, please do everyone a favor and leave your political poleminizing and prognosticating out of the White Zone. There is a thread on this topic in the Combustion Chamber where it is welcome.

    No one needs to hear about the nanny state here.

    There is more thana sufficiency of blame to drown all parties concerned, from BP to the federal government.
  11. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    so then... what you are saying is that an increasingly invasive federal government wasnt at all involved or to blame??? And they most certainly didnt botch the cleanup from the get-go... right????

    I thought so...

    So until people stop demanding the federal government get involved in every aspect of our lives... the nanny state comment is totally relevant here. The oil spill should have been the responsibility of BP, and the feds should have kept their bureaucracy out of it... live with it simon.

    besides... my statement totally agreed with the op. The federal government should not be involved, and therefore should not spend valuable tax dollars on a cleanup that should be the responsibility of BP.

    Only problem I see is that it is almost impossible to have it both ways. You cannot have a government get involved and then step back when it gets inconvenient. The two are diametrically opposed to one another. So when the government forces a contingency plan in place, then they fail to implement it... you get people like me pointing out that this situation and politics are intertwined. If the mods want to delete this thread thats fine... but they should have done it right after the op.

    On a side note to fabian... I think the people at "pointed end of the tax" pyramid are going to be taxed the same regardless of the oil spill or not. I doubt it makes a difference to them what the govermnet spends their money on... the only relevancy to them is that government is taking it to begin with.
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  12. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    for the record simon...

    the op was political in nature... which is one reason I responded to it. My comment was nowhere near out-of-place.... and yet, here you are again singling me out by name.

    What I want to know... is where is your comment to fabian about starting another BP oil spill thread outside the green zone... one as political in nature as this??? You know "There is a thread on this topic in the Combustion Chamber where it is welcome".

    Paranoia??? Or just simon enjoying a good opportunity to b**** at me. You can gaurentee I will point it out to you everytime from now on simon... so just expect it.
  13. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    For the record, vtec - I was making the request because you have already once accumulated sufficient infraction points to get a temporary ban - I have no wish to see it happen again.

    Also, you are welcome to make any assumptions you desire regarding my attitudes and responses to this situation in the Gulf. Your assumptions and a couple of dollars will buy you a cup of coffee in most restaraunts, but then, so will the $2 - which tells us what your assumptions are worth.

    Does your martyr complex make you feel fulfilled when you get slapped down by administration, or what?
  14. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    this thread is not in the green zone... and if the mods wish me to remove any of my comments, all they have to do is ask me and I will kindly oblige.

    look, if you want to continue this please PM me... if not, I would like to avoid cluttering up this site with our "utter garbage" as per the mods request.

    Please grow up and stop poking at me in the general area where you know I am restricted in my defense... its cowardly.
  15. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Poking at you? Not hardly, my boy. I merely made a civil request that you adhere to the rules for this forum, that's all. Admittedly, the "martyr" comment was perhaps beyond that, but your attitudes are truly remarkable, and I just wonder what prompts them sometimes.

    You do NOT know me, nor I you. Nor are we ever likely to meet IRL. So, in the interests of not feeding your paranoia, I'll let this one drop - but please - drop the politics here.
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  16. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    if what I said was wrong... then prove me wrong. Otherwise you are trying to censor truth... a very slippery slope.
  17. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Vtec - take it to the CC.
  18. Arnold's against the oil why don't he clean up the pacific dump?

    There's a dump site twice the size of Texas of floating plastic and Lord knows what in the pacific from China and California primarily. If I was mother earth I'd be taking a laxitive LOL.
  19. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    The Pacific gyre contains debris from every coastal nation on the pacific rim, plus a heck of a lot of that debris was/is dumped by ships at sea.

    If you want an exercise in horror, go to any sandy beach, anywhere on the planet, and scoop up a shovel full of sand into a bucket of water, and stir/swirl it around for a couple of minutes, then let it settle. In the middle will be a circular area of little greyish-white pellets the size of sand grains, but much lighter. That is NOT sand, my friends - it is plastic granules. They are EVERYWHERE.
  20. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    yeah its sad.... you can go to any beach (anywhere that isnt regularly maintained by humans) and find some sort of garbage. To the best of my knowledge it doesn't break down much further than those little particles... correct????

    It will be here long after us... its our legacy in a way. Well.... that and the roads.