Friday, May 21, 2010

BP Playing the Gov't, Media & Public As Rubes While 95,000 Barrels Of Oil Gushing Out Daily & Sound Recording of Canadian Arrested At US Border

When an individual commits a crime they are charged and tried.
If a corporation kills workers it is just business as usual.

There is now a continuous live feed to the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil leak

PBS oil leak meter

Massive oil slick from Deepwater Horizon leak/gusher

Oil covering marshes becoming dead zones

Destroying the Earth in the name of profits and keeping shareholders happy at all cost. The environment and workers are all expendable in the name of Free Markets and deregulation.

The environmental message of James Cameron's Avatar is even more relevant now as BP sets the rules and complies with the government only if it feels like it. The pro-business neocons and uberconservatives believe corporations are beyond the reach of any government's laws.

So the Deepwater Horizon explosion killing 11 workers and contamination of a massive area of the Atlantic Ocean and the shorelines of Gulf states is considered business as usual.

But hasn't it always been this way?
If an individual poured oil over their neighbor's lawn they would be arrested buy because the deaths of workers or pollute the Gulf area and that's considered a Public Relations issue. Big corporations and Big Banks and Wall St. are accountable to no one.
But according to the Supreme Court of the United States corporations are now to be considered as having the same rights as any citizen.
Therefore they also have the same responsibilities and liabilities etc.
Deepwater Horizon Explosion Caused by BP Officials who cut corners and ignored safety regulations & protocols for capping the well.
BP has been misinforming (lying?) the US Government and state governments and the media and public playing all concerned as rubes who must accept whatever BP or any other Big Corporation tells them. Welcome to fully deregulated oil and gas industry. This is what most Americans wanted and is defended nightly on Fox News - the People's Der Volk Television network.
But to be fair to Fox News at least one of their reporters Shep Smithcares about the Deepwater Horizon disaster

The Young Turks -Shep Smith at Fox News goes Rogue-May 17, 2010
Fox News Anchor Slams BP CEO For Oil Spill Reaction

The problem is that this massive catastrophic spill is affecting other countries and the global environment . This is another reason questions dealing with the Global environment can no longer be left up to a single country even if that country is the USA which believes it has the right to do whatever it wants to and it resents any foreign interference.
Oil Spills into the gulf


What lessons can we learn from BPs handling of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster Just an accident? Or the Will of God or are Greedy Oil Companies too quick to take short cuts to enhance profits?
BP deliberately lying about the extent of the leak?
BP says 5,000 barrels of oil gushing out -other experts put outflow at 95,000 barrels a day

Are oil companies and mining companies too big and too influential to ever really have to face the consequences of their actions.

And so Big Oil and Big Coal get away with murder contempt for their own workers , the government and the public at large-It is this attitude which is prevalent in these industries which creates an atmosphere that they can do whatever they want and it will take years or decades before a company finally has to face the consequences

After all the lying BP has done Obama still treats them as if at some point they are going to come clean? No that'll never happen? BP is more worried about its profits and keeping its shareholders happy than to worry about a few dead workers or an environmental disaster.
As some have suggested the US government should cease BP's assets
Given what we now know BP's managers and CEOs should be detained as this is a criminal investigation. Only when it comes to these giant corporations is the law completely inept, impotent and why is that?
At what point was it decided that all Big Corporations are outside the law?

Canadian arrested at US border-sound recording- is it authentic -
and if authentic what does it tell us if anything about the US Border Guards and their attitude towards Canadians?

Border Guard asserts that at least three potential terrorists are being apprehended since 9/11 on a daily basis ? If true That would amount to over a thousand arrested each year on the Canadian border and approximately 9,000 terrorists arrested at the Canadian border since 9/11? Can that be verified ?

Anyway this video(sound only) we are told is of an altercation between a Canadian trying to cross into the United States and American Border Guards in which the altercation escalates til the Canadian is arrested. The Canadian tries to explain to the Border Guards that he and his wife were planing to cross into the United States to spend the day shopping in Niagara Falls .
Several questions quickly arise when listening to the video.
The first is that we are not sure if the recording is authentic? For all we know it is a staged event?
The Canadian is bothered by all the questions they ask him-is he over-reacting?
Are the Border Guards themselves being too confrontational?
The Guards do ask him questions in a rapid fire manner possibly making matters worse?
The Canadian in question is given minimal time to answer questions as if he were on Jeopardy?
Is this a sign of things to come as the American/Canadian border becomes more hostile ?
Does Canada no longer enjoy favored nation status?
Is our border with the United States going the way of the border between Mexico and the US that is reflecting the angry draconian mood towards anyone crossing the border into Arizona ?
Is Sarah Palin -we are all Arizonians now- right in her assertions about Arizona and that Americans want a get tough attitude at either border?
Is this video authentic if so what does it say about the US Border Patrol

Are oil companies and mining companies too big and too influential to ever really have to face the consequences of their actions.

BP withholds oil spill facts — and government lets it By Marisa Taylor and Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers, May 18, 2010

WASHINGTON — BP, the company in charge of the rig that exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, hasn't publicly divulged the results of tests on the extent of workers' exposure to evaporating oil or from the burning of crude over the gulf, even though researchers say that data is crucial in determining whether the conditions are safe.

Moreover, the company isn't monitoring the extent of the spill and only reluctantly released videos of the spill site that could give scientists a clue to the amount of the oil in gulf.

BP's role as the primary source of information has raised questions about whether the government should intervene to gather such data and to publicize it and whether an adequate cleanup can be accomplished without the details of crude oil spreading across the gulf.

Under pressure from senators, BP released four videos Tuesday, but it hasn't agreed to better monitoring.

The company also hasn't publicly released air sampling for oil spill workers although Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency in charge of monitoring compliance with worker safety

Gulf oil spill leak now pegged at 95,000 barrels a day via McClatchy, May 19, 2010

... Steve Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, earlier this month made simple calculations from a video BP released on May 12 and came up with a flow of 70,000 barrels a day, NPR reported last week. Werely on Wednesday told a House Commerce and Energy Committee subcommittee that his calculations of two leaks that show up on videos BP released on Tuesday showed 70,000 barrels from one leak and 25,000 from the other.

He said the calculation could be off by 20 percent — meaning the spill could range from between 76,000 to 104,000 barrels a day. But Wereley said he would need to see videos that were not compressed and showed the flow over a longer period so that it would be possible to get a better calculation of the mix of oil and gas from the wellhead.

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who chaired the hearing, promised to get that information from BP and make it possible for other scientists to use other methods to get a more accurate calculation of the size of the spill.

“The true extent of this spill remains a mystery,” Markey said. He said BP had said that the flow rate was not relevant to the cleanup effort. “This faulty logic that BP is using is … raising concerns that they are hiding the full extent of the damage of this leak.”

Gulf Oil Is in the Loop Current, Experts Say :Satellite pictures show oil snared by an eddy. by Christine Dell'Amore National Geographic News, May 18, 2010

Some oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill is "increasingly likely" to be dragged into a strong current that hugs Florida's coasts, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials said today.

But other experts say that the oil is already there—satellite images show oil caught up in one of the eddies, or powerful whorls, attached to the Loop Current, a high-speed stream that pulses north into the Gulf of Mexico and travels in a clockwise pattern toward Florida.

Images from the past few days show a "big, wide tongue" of oil reaching south from the main area of the spill, off the coast of Louisiana, said Nan Walker, director of Louisiana State University's Earth Scan Laboratory, in the School of the Coast and Environment

Gulf fishermen quietly waging legal battles with BP By Shashank Bengali | McClatchy Newspapers May 20, 2010

WASHINGTON — One month into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, fishermen finally are collecting payments from the oil giant BP as a series of legal challenges winds its way through courts in multiple Gulf Coast states.

In the shadows of the huge efforts to clean up the spill and to plug the still-spewing leak, the fishermen have quietly won judgments that force BP not to limit payments, to implement stronger safety standards for fishermen who are participating in the cleanup and to abolish waivers that would have compromised their ability to sue the company in case of an accident.

With a growing number of fishermen reporting that they've received the first $5,000 compensation payments BP promised them, their latest legal battle is trying to fix a payment process that they describe as slow, inconsistent and needlessly cumbersome.

And so Big Oil and Big Coal get away with murder contempt for their own workers , the government and the public at large-It is this attitude which is prevalent in these industries which creates an atmosphere that they can do whatever they want and it will take years or decades before a company finally has to face the consequences . By that time the disaster is no longer a focus for the media and the public and they may even get tired hearing about it.
And Massey mining company insists its operations are safe even though a mining accident killed 29 men last month

Sylvia Earle to U.S. Congress: Cheap oil is costing the Earth By David Braun Via National Geographic News Posted on May 19, 2010

Just about everyone on the planet will be affected, one way or another, by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle told a U.S. Congress panel today.

Earle and other environmental experts were called to give testimony to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the U.S. House of Representatives on the impact of the oil spill on natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

Introducing Earle to the hearing, Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar, Democrat-Minnesota, said he had read her testimony (published in full below) and found it to be "positively lyrical" and reminiscent of Lord Byron's poetry about the ocean. "I am enthralled by your love of the ocean," he said.

"I really come to speak for the ocean," Earle said at the start of her remarks. "You are the only voice for the ocean that we will hear," Oberstar said when she had read her statement, adding that her testimony was "moving and compelling."

Earle focused much of her testimony on the toxic effect of chemicals being used to disperse the oil spill, which she said should not be used under the sea, where they could damage the small organisms so vital to the health of the ocean.

She also lamented the lack of technology to send Coast Guard, NOAA and other experts to the source of the oil gushing into the ocean, 5,000 feet beneath the surface. "How can we not know how much oil is being released," she asked. "We are dealing from the surface with what is largely a subsea problem."

Earle also said there was a need to establish a data baseline to find out what species were in the Gulf prior to the oil spill, to help monitor the current situation and assist recovery over many years.


"The Gulf of Mexico is not, as some believe, an industrial wasteland, valuable primarily as a source of petrochemicals and a few species of ocean wildlife that humans exploit for food, commodities, and recreational fishing. These are assets worth protecting as if our lives depend on them, because in no small measure, they do," Earle said.

"The Gulf of Mexico is a living laboratory, America's Mediterranean, a tri-national treasure better known for yielding hurricanes, petrochemicals, shrimp and, in recent years, notorious 'dead zones,' than for its vital role in generating oxygen, taking and holding carbon, distributing nutrients, stabilizing temperature, yielding freshwater to the skies that returns as rain--contributing to the ocean's planetary role as Earth's life support system," Earle added.

Toxic dispersants also lethal

Not only is the flow of millions of gallons of oil an issue in the Gulf, Sylvia Earle told the Committee, but also the thousands of gallons of toxic dispersants that make the ocean look a little better on the surface--where most people are--but make circumstances a lot worse under the surface, where most of the life in the ocean actually is.

"The instructions for humans using Corexit, the dispersant approved by the EPA to make the ocean look better warn that it is an eye and skin irritant, is harmful by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed, and may cause injury to red blood cells, kidney or the liver. People are warned not to take Corexit internally, but the fish, turtles, copepods and jellies have no choice. They are awash in a lethal brew of oil and butoxyethanol."

Earle called for a halt on the subsurface use of dispersants, while limiting surface use to strategic sites where other methods cannot safeguard critically important coastal habitats.

related news Owner of West Virginia mine where 29 died defends safety by Halimah Abdullah via McClatchy Papers , May 20, 2010

WASHINGTON — The owner of the West Virginia coal mine where 29 were killed last month in the nation's deadliest mining explosion in decades staunchly defended the mine's safety record during an at times tense Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday on efforts to prevent such disasters.

"Let me state for the record — Massey does not place profits over safety," Don L. Blankenship, the chairman and chief executive of Massey Energy Co., told members of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, education and related agencies during his first appearance on Capitol Hill since the April 5 explosion. "We never have and we never will."

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who for more than 40 years has been deeply involved in helping write and revise mine safety laws, repeatedly questioned Massey's stance.

"Mr. Blankenship, do I have your attention? We've all read about the number of times Massey mines have been cited for safety violations," Byrd said. "Twenty-nine men are now dead, dead, dead because they went to work that morning."

Blankenship, who has a reputation of going toe to toe with federal regulators, was more subdued in the hearing than when he appeared before television cameras last month in the wake of the tragedy at the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va. Still, Blankenship insisted that "Massey Energy does not 'game the system,' as some have insisted. Rather, we are exercising our rights to due process under the system that Congress has put in place."

Last month, President Barack Obama directed federal mine health and safety officials to crack down on coal mines with a pattern of serious safety violations and urged Congress to fix safety laws that are "riddled with loopholes." Those loopholes include the Mine Safety and Health Administration's practice of looking only at so-called final citations over the course of two years — the kind of citations that rarely make it through a lengthy legal gauntlet — when considering whether to shut down a mine.

As a result, mines with a pattern of safety violations are rarely shut down.

Inspectors have cited hundreds of safety violations at Massey coal mines since the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine, federal records show. A total of 442 citations and orders were issued to Massey underground mines in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia from April 5 through the middle of April.

According to a preliminary report ordered by the Obama administration, the April mine blast might have been caused by a preventable buildup of methane gas and coal dust. The preliminary report also found that the citations MSHA issued at Upper Big Branch have been more numerous than average and more serious.

Last year, MSHA issued 48 withdrawal orders at the mine. "The mine's rate for these kinds of violations is nearly 19 times the national rate," the report said.

MSHA and the Justice Department are investigating the explosion to determine if crimes were committed, and the FBI is looking into whether Massey officials tampered with safety devices as well as other issues.

While senators grilled Blankenship Thursday, the House was poised to consider giving its Education and Labor Committee and its investigators the power to force formal depositions in its Massey probe. Members of that committee took the mining industry to task in February for contributing to a backlog of safety cases amid concerns that such practices put miners at risk.

Pushback from mining companies against tougher safety sanctions has created a backlog of roughly 16,000 cases involving 89,000 violations and more than a $195 million in fines, according to Joseph Main, MSHA's director. The sheer volume of these cases has clogged the appeals process and, in some instances, allowed operators to delay paying hefty fines, safety advocates say.

The Obama administration has promised to focus on streamlining and winnowing down numerous appeals of mine violations, which have made it difficult to effectively penalize mining companies, and federal mine safety officials have underscored the need for increased funding to hire more staff.

Massey defends its appeals, saying the percentage of violations appealed at Upper Big Branch is similar to the industry's average. Mine operators counter that a scattershot approach to issuing sanctions, as well as poorly trained inspectors, are causing the appeals backlog.

Federal mining regulators didn't escape the panel's criticism.

"Given the disturbing safety record and reputation of this mine, why oh why oh why did MSHA wait until after the tragedy to launch an inspection blitz of coal mines with a history of (patterns of serious violations)?" Byrd asked Main.

When the MSHA head tried to explain the agency's methods, Byrd repeated the question.

"Senator, the only thing I can say is . . . that's something we'll look at and figure out what (we) did and didn't do," Main said.


Regulators inspect 57 mines with history of safety problems by Dori Hjalmarson viaMcClatchy Newspapers, April 21, 2010

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration targeted inspections over the weekend toward 57 coal mines with a history of repeated methane and dust control problems.

Two of the 14 mines targeted in Kentucky are owned by Massey Energy Co., the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where 29 miners died as a result of an explosion April 5. The Upper Big Branch mine fit MSHA's criteria for the inspection blitz, but the mine was not inspected because of the disaster, MSHA officials said.

The agency said results of the inspections would be released later. President Barack Obama requested stepped-up inspections of underground mines during meetings with MSHA and Department of Labor officials last week.

The inspections are ongoing, MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere said Wednesday. A similar blitz was done in February 2009 to look for dust-control problems.

"Certainly we want to avoid disasters before they happen," Louviere said. "But we feel that such initiatives like the one launched last weekend can also be an effective means of enforcement."

As of last week, one of the Massey properties targeted, Freedom Energy Mine No. 1 in Pike County, had been issued 222 citations since April 5, according to a Herald-Leader analysis of MSHA data.

and so it goes,

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