The BP Nightmare. by Daniel Bruno
America’s Chernobyl and Its Censorship in the Land of Free Press and Free Speech
In Greek mythology, the five rivers of the Realm of Hades, and their symbolic meanings, are the Acheron (sorrow and woe), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegethon (fire), Lethe (oblivion), and Styx (hate), the river upon
which even the gods swore and in which Achilles was dipped to render him invincible. The Styx forms the boundary between the Earth and the underworld. The United States now drinks from these five rivers and risks being swept away by them.
As the philistines chanted “DRILL BABY DRILL,” the behemoth BP ( British Petroleum, the former Anglo-Persian Oil Company whose post WWII meddling helped set the stage for the current confrontation with Iran ) and its junior American partners Halliburton (of Dick Cheney and Iraq invasion intrigue) and Transocean, the Texas rig owner with headquarters in Cayman and Switzerland that registered the oil platform under the flag of the Marshall Islands, confidently plunged their drill bits 5,000 feet below the sea, where pressures are 25,000 pounds per square inch, and like a blood thirsty mosquito stuck, as it were, a proboscis through 18,000 feet of bedrock to drink of the devil’s sulphurous nectar. You see, there was money to be made, indeed, to be minted, and after 30,000 oil wells drilled all over the Gulf, the Deepwater Horizon appeared to be just another routine straw dipped into the devil’s honeydew. But the miserly oil oligopoly took the Don of the Underworld for a fool and didn’t pay him his cut.
With a propaganda campaign called Beyond Petroleum, the haughty number four of the Fortune 500 even bamboozled itself into thinking it could damn the river Styx at will…the devil be damned. With its disingenuous green leaf logo, the Big Pimper bluffed and beamed the Big Lie into the subconscious of millions of consumers who, with Al Gore’s help, had the inchoate notion that fossil fuels could ruin our world. Truth be told, a measly 0.4% of Big Phony’s energy production was alternative energy. Beyond Prosecution even elected to insure itself against casualty to avoid the Big Premiums demanded by greedy insurance companies ( Why don’t you try that with your car). After all, U.S. law, the supreme law, set a cap of $75 million on the liabilities an oil company could face, and that represented less than two days earnings at BP. Therefore the devil, with all his unknown and unknowable unknowns like Rumsfeld at a press conference about Operation Iraqi Oil, obtuse mathematics, laws of physics, probabilities and Black Swans unleashed by Nicolas Nassim Taleb, could be kept at bay because at the end of the day his mischief was only worth $75 million. Touché! You see, lobbyists and campaign contributions are a good investment.
The fourth richest corporation on Earth didn’t even want to bear the cost of sound business practices: According to U.S. lawmakers, BP used six instead of the standard twenty one centralizers before cementing the well, didn’t test the cement bond, chose a cheaper method to prevent explosive gas from rising unchecked to the surface, and stinted on a backup blowout preventer — all to “save time/money,” to borrow a phrase from one internal BP e-mail. . “Once they realized they had oil down there, all the decisions they made were designed to get that oil at the lowest cost,” said Peter Galvin of the Center for Biological Diversity, which has been working with congressional investigators probing the disaster. “It’s been a doomed voyage from the beginning.” Evidence of BP’s corner-cutting, to the point of intentional negligence and reckless endangerment, is overwhelming.
As far back as February, more than two months before the colossal explosion that incinerated eleven anonymous workers and unlocked the floodgates from Hell, BP was unable to control what it had started. It took ten days to plug the first cracks, according to reports BP filed with the Minerals Management Service that were later delivered to congressional investigators. Cracks in the surrounding rock continued to complicate the drilling operation during the ensuing weeks. Left unsealed, they can allow explosive natural gas to rush up the shaft. Coincidentally, Goldman Sachs and BP CEO Tony Hayward sold large percentages of their BP shares at this time, still a month before the devil’s restitution payments with interest and penalties started in earnest on April 20.
An e-mail message from BP drilling engineer Brian Morel to colleague Richard Miller six days before the April 20 explosion called the project a “nightmare well which has everyone all over the
place,” according to the lawmakers’ letter. Five days before the blast, BP concluded the method to
secure the final 1,200 feet of well, called a liner/tieback, was too time-consuming and expensive. Using an alternative called a long-string casing would save at least three days and about $7 million to $10 million in costs.
In early March, BP told the minerals agency the company was having trouble maintaining control of surging natural gas, according to e-mails released May 30 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the spill. While gas surges are common in oil drilling, companies have abandoned wells if they determine the risk is too high. When a Gulf well known as Blackbeard threatened to blow out in 2006, Exxon Mobil Corp. shut the project down. At Deepwater Horizon, BP decided to forge ahead anyway “come Hell or high water.” With hurricanes about to form over the GOM, BP, and the nation, will get both.
In the days and hours before the explosion BP management applied high pressure on workers to finish drilling because the Deepwater Horizon rig leased from Transocean Ltd. was 43 days late for its next job, a delay that had already cost the company as much as $21 million in leasing fees. As of this writing, BP claims to have spent $2 billion on the clean up and $40 billion has been wiped off the company’s stock value. The devil, like the Godfather, will not be deprived of his due respect and protection money. Presently, revenge will be exacted a thousand, even ten thousand times over. For every dollar BP saved by being stingy, it will pay $1000 and more until its balance sheet chokes in red ink and BP dies like a Brown pelican drowning in the Apocalypse of oil and death engulfing the GoM.
But that wont be nearly enough to pay the debt compounded with interest at 1000%. The awesome forces of geology, hitherto called the wrath of an angry god and guided by the inexorable laws of physics and chemistry, with the righteousness of the Furies and indifferent to the plight of the innocent, will not be moved by BP’s slick charm offensive, its gag order on vulnerable fishermen and the censorship by the U.S. government and corporate media in the Land of the Free, Free Speech and Free Press.
The lords of Hades wont stop with the mass extermination of coral reefs, the Blue Fin Tuna, dolphins, whales and the extinction of endangered sea turtles. Mankind must also be sickened, made miserable and be reduced in number before this is over, and it will not be over for many years to come. This is a dress rehearsal for the reversal of nations, the decline of empires both corporate and imperialist, and the extinction of peoples. A hundred years ago, Lenin said that if you give the Capitalists enough rope, they will hang themselves. This time, between the oilpocalypse and the climate change it will exacerbate, they may have hung us all.
Corruption, American Style
Since 2008 it has been public knowledge that the Minerals Management Service, the U.S. government agency the regulates the exploitation of trillions of dollars worth of mineral wealth theoretically owned by the American people, was beset by financial self-dealing, cocaine and meth abuse, questionable gifts and sex between its employees and people from the companies it is charged to regulate. It is plausible that the problems started during the deregulatory mania promulgated by Ronald Reagan a generation ago. Obama and his Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar inherited the agency and its culture from G.W. Bush. Indeed, just days before the April 20 BP explosion, president Obama, turning his back on early campaign pledges he later abandoned, trumpeted the safety and efficacy of deep offshore drilling. He ended the moratorium on new offshore drilling that had been in place since Reagan was president! Clearly, Obama is out of his depth on this issue and was seduced by the assurances (and campaign money) of Big Oil and its lapdogs. The ensuing crisis nearly toppled his presidency and obligated him to visit Louisiana four times in as many weeks.
“It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced.”
– President Barack Obama, April 2, 2010
In 2008, BP donated $71,000 to Obama for America.
The catastrophe is not nearly over and, as we shall see, has the potential to sicken hundreds of thousands of Americans in a silent, slow motion holocaust. America’s pre-existing condition, the health care crisis, will intensify. Long term, long after BP is bankrupt, millions of Americans will get cancer, the genes of embryos will be affected and billions of fish, birds and other creatures will die and those that survive will carry poison in their flesh. The toxins from the oil and the chemical deployed by BP to disperse (hide) the oil, Corexit (should be renamed Hidezit) are now in the food chain. Corexit is banned in the U.K. and other countries. It was determined that:
….excessive exposure (to Corexit 9527A ) may cause central nervous system damage, nausea, vomiting, anesthetic or narcotic effects,’ and ‘repeated or excessive exposure to butoxyethanol
Millions of gallons of Corexit have been sprayed over the GoM by BP in an effort to hide the body (of oil.) The EPA ordered BP to take “immediate steps to scale back the use of dispersants” but BP refused. Why don’t you say no to the U.S. government and see what happens.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that benzene damages human chromosomes. Exposure to benzene causes leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myelogenous leukemia. (See: 0.9977 Benzene (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Supplement7, 1987) Benzene-related leukemias have been reported to develop in as short as nine months according to IARC. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has this to say:
to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of benzene is one part per million. Oil has 500 times that amount. Higher concentrations can kill a person in five minutes. As the surface oil evaporates and is burned off, this toxin is absorbed by the atmosphere over the GoM. Observe that the EPA has truck mounted labs monitoring the air all along the coast. Scientists understand the danger threatening a very large number of people.
Twenty-four years ago the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and the Afghanistan war were major factors in the fall of the Soviet Union. The BP oil catastrophe is America’s Chernobyl.
When the Chickens Come Home to Roost
Other scientists say the Loop Current could carry the slick at a speed of about 100 miles a day around the tip of Florida — potentially soiling the Keys, Biscayne Bay, and Miami Beach — and up the East Coast to the vicinity of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. At that point, according to a computer simulation, most of the oil heads east toward the open ocean — some reaching across the Atlantic almost to the British Isles, home of BP.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has found gargantuan blobs of oil and oil mist
thousands of feet below the surface water. BP, of course, doesn’t buy it. Roger Helm, chief of the environmental quality division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, declared euphemistically that: . “This is going to be groundbreaking science.”
Double Standards for Business in the U.S.A.
Over the last forty years, a blizzard of environmental regulations and safety codes has blanketed the nation, all in the name of public safety. Government bureaucracy, taxes and police power have expanded exponentially, as has the cost and complexity facing businesses. If I change my car’s oil and dump the refuse into a sewer, I will have a criminal record if I get caught. If I top up the refrigerant in my air conditioner, I will be in violation of the law and my equipment will be confiscated as evidence at trial. If I buy an old warehouse and renovate it without submitting plans drawn by an architect and without getting permission from and paying tribute to the local government first, the police will come, arrest me and padlock the premises. If I try to get into the good graces of politicians who can help me, I could be accused of bribery. If I buy a corner gas station on a decrepit inner city block and it is determined that fluids are leeching into the soil, heavy handed state government and the EPA will compel me to cease business and clean the mess underground, even if the pollution occured long before I owned the property or was even born.. My financial ruin is not their concern. If I make unwise business decisions and neglect to do an environmental study, go out of business and lose my home, nobody cares, there’s no bailout for me, and I can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for any real or imagined infraction and pay a fortune to grasping lawyers to defend my liberty and property. Are these the rules that Bankamerica and BP play by?
If dumping five quarts of oil on the ground can result in a criminal record, how many BP executives would have to serve how many years in prison to maintain a sense of proportion for what they have wrought? Indeed, nobody at BP is likely to be jailed. A 2005 explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and a 2006 pipeline leak that dumped 200,000 gallons of crude at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, will figure in the debate on whether BP should be debarred, i.e. prohibited from further exploitation of U.S. resources…. The U.S. government may revoke BP’s status as an operator of GoM wells such as Thunder Horse, or of leases at Prudhoe Bay, and Congress is considering measures to bar BP from contracts with the Department of Defense and…none other than the Environmental Protection Agency! So, the debate is about how much future business BP will get going forward, not whether it will remain in business, have its wealth seized and its management imprisoned, eventhough it is a recidivist felon!
BP pled guilty to a felony in connection with a March 2005 explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery, which claimed the lives of 15 employees and injured 170 others; BP pled guilty to a criminal misdemeanour for two oil spills in Alaska in March and August 2006 due to a severely corroded pipelines on which BP failed to perform maintenance; and, BP entered a deferred prosecution agreement related to a price fixing scheme involving propane trading. And now the unprecedented BP oilpocaplypse. Although outraged Americans would like to see Tony Hayward hauled off in handcuffs — for negligence, for obfuscation, or just as payback — the road from scorn to prison in cases of this kind is prohibitively long. Jail terms are “very rare,” says Noah Hall, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and former attorney with the National Wildlife Federation. On June 1, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Dept. had opened criminal and civil probes, although he didn’t say which companies are being investigated! Holder said the government is looking into potential (!) violations of the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. Even if criminal charges are filed, such cases are typically settled with guilty pleas and the payment of fines. Meanwhile, across the nation, citizens serve life sentences and sit on death row for destruction of life and property on an infinitely smaller scale and in Chicago the police routinely used torchere to coerce the confessions of innocent people. Where is the justice?
America has the highest prison population on Earth. What would the consequences be if you or I had commited one one/millionth of the damage BP has caused and is causing as we speak? Football star Michael Vick was convicted for cruelty to animals because he organized pit bull fights and the media went into a frenzy over it. How many thousands of endangered animals have perished in the GoM? Where is Greenpeace, the vocal defender of whales against hunting by Japan and Iceland? Where is the Audobon Society? The Nature Conservancy? Have they been co-opted by the Big Pimpers cash?
Big Pimper Buys Off Environmentalists (Corruption American Style, Take II)
That deafening silence of leading green organizations such as Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy and Sierra Club may be tied to a money trail that leads right back to the oil industry, notably to BP. Leading environmental organizations have received significant payoffs from BP in recent years.
The Nature Conservancy, described as “the world’s most powerful environmental group,” awarded BP a seat on its International Leadership Council after the oil titan gave the organization more than $10 million in recent years. Until recently, the Conservancy and other environmental groups worked with BP in a coalition that lobbied Congress on climate-change issues. An employee of BP Exploration serves as an unpaid Conservancy trustee in Alaska. In addition, according to a recent report published by the Washington Post, Conservation International, another environmental group, has accepted $2 million in donations from BP and worked with the company on a number of projects, including one examining oil-extraction methods. From 2000 to 2006, John Browne, then BP’s chief executive, sat on the CI board. Furthermore, The Environmental Defense Fund joined with BP, Shell and other major corporations to form a Partnership for Climate Action in order to promote ‘market-based mechanisms’ (sic) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There’s only so much oil in the ground.
Sooner or later there won’t be much around.
Tell that to your kids while you drive around downtown,
That there’s only so much oil in the ground.
Can’t cut loose… without that juice.
If we keep on like we do,
things for sure will not be cool – It’s a fact
We just ain’t got suffiecient fuel.
There’s only so much oil in the ground.
Sooner or later there won’t be none around.
Alternate sources of power must be found,
Cause there’s only so much oil in the ground!
-The Tower of Power, 1973
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
-Revelation 8:8-11 (King James Version)
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