OPERATION GULF GREASE: Problem, Reaction, Solution to implement Agenda 21?

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In the days prior to the Gulf drilling operation and ensuing environmental catastrophe, I remember thinking just how odd and out of

What is the United Nations' Law of the Sea Treaty? Click image and read the details.

character it was that Barack Obama had announced his approval for more offshore drilling. On April 1st, The Washington Post quoted Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as saying the administration had broached “a new direction” in energy policy. [1]

Had Obama lost his mind? Had he had some sort of religious experience? This was a president who campaigned against traditional energy sources in favor of so-called “sustainable” alternatives such as wind, solar, etc. This was a president who banned offshore drilling as one of his first acts in executive office.[2] This was a president who admitted in a meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle in January of 2008 that it was his plan to use a Cap and Trade system to cause energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket” in order to force people to transition to “green” technologies. “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama stated as documented in a YouTube video. [3]

Hence, the shock at the sudden “turnabout” in energy policy. True, the vast majority of Americans do support drilling for oil as a counterweight against increasing dependence upon the perpetually troubled Middle East and its OPEC cartel. But since when has any president in recent history paid attention to the opines of their electorate?

Now, as the days turn into weeks, and weeks into months — and the oil continues to gush in the Gulf with no sign of ever letting up — Obama has used the crisis as an excuse to not only ban offshore drilling,[4] but also to clamor for passage of his “cap and trade” energy bill.[5] Politico has cited opinion polls that suggest public support for drilling may be eroding.[6]

Was this the Hegelian plan all along? To foment a crisis in the Gulf to condition the masses that the world must adopt Agenda 21 “sustainable development” as its model for energy or pay the environmental consequences? Before you dismiss this notion as insanity, there are many troubling questions that demand answers. Questions that imply foreknowledge and planning. Questions of “coincidence.”

For example, is it “coincidental” the numerous incredible financial and business transactions that took place in the days, weeks, and months prior to the rig explosion?

We know the ties between British Petroleum and Goldman Sachs run deep. Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs International also served as chairman of BP right up until last year, according to a 2009 bio on the site of the Trilateral Commission. It says,

“Peter Sutherland is chairman of BP plc (1997 – current). He is also chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995 – current). He was appointed chairman of the London School of Economics in 2008. He is currently UN special representative for migration and development. Before these appointments, he was the founding director-general of the World Trade Organization. He had previously served as director general of GATT since July 1993 and was instrumental in concluding the Uruguay GATT Round Negotiations.”[7]

On April 30th, The Huffington Post published a satire piece about Goldman Sachs, who was embroiled in a Congressional probe over the present and pending financial meltdown just days before the Gulf disaster stole the headlines. The spoof article titled, Goldman Sachs Reveals It Shorted Gulf of Mexico, was actually mistaken by some as a legitimate news story. Written by a comedian, the satirical article said,

“In what is looming as another public relations predicament for Goldman Sachs, the banking giant admitted today that it made ‘a substantial financial bet against the Gulf of Mexico’ one day before the sinking of an oil rig in that body of water.”[8]

After this gag piece was published, various independent researchers began checking into the financial transactions of Goldman. What they found turned out to be a case of art imitating life.

Sterling Allan reported in The Examiner on May 5th,

“It turns out that Goldman Sachs really did place shorts on TransOcean stock days before the explosions rocked the rig in the Gulf of Mexico sending stocks plunging while GS profits soared — benefitting [sic] once again from a huge disaster, having done the same with airline stocks prior to 911 then again with the housing bubble.”[9]

It’s important to note the cozy relationship between Goldman Sachs and the Obama administration. According to McClatchy, while Goldman Sachs was under fire from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and their lawyers were in negotiations with the regulatory agency, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein was a repeated visitor to the White House. He attended events with Obama and met with Larry Summers, Obama’s top economic advisor. Obama’s 2008 campaign benefited from $994,795 worth of campaign donations from Goldman employees and their relatives.[10] The Gulf disaster, coming on the heels of the Congressional hearing and SEC “investigation,” served to distract attention from the ongoing financial fraud and economic meltdown caused by Goldman and others.

We now know from John Byrne at Raw Story that prior to the Gulf oil mess, not only did Goldman Sachs short shares of TransOcean, the owner of the failed Deepwater Horizon rig, they also ditched 4,680,822 shares of BP stock, worth $250 million and representing 44% of their holdings. “Goldman’s sales were the largest of any firm during that time,” writes Byrne. “Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP’s stock during the quarter.”[11]

Byrne also noted other financial institutions that also dumped BP holdings.

“Other asset management firms also sold huge blocks of BP stock in the first quarter — but their sales were a fraction of Goldman’s. Wachovia, which is owned by Wells Fargo, sold 2,667,419 shares; UBS, the Swiss bank, sold 2,125,566 shares.”[12]

If that weren’t enough of a “coincidence,” we also had The Telegraph out of London reporting that the chief executive of BP, Tony Hayward, also sold 223,288 shares, worth £1.4 million of stock in his own company (over $2 million) on March 17th — only weeks before the BP Gulf mess. The paper noted that by doing so he “avoided losing more than £423,000 ($614,449) when BP’s share price plunged after the oil spill began six weeks ago.”[13] He took the money and paid off the mortgage on his family mansion in Kent.

At this point, a question should be coming to mind: What did these people know that the rest of us didn’t? How is it that stock in BP and Transocean suddenly seemed so unattractive to those closest to the disaster? Ah, the coincidences! But it gets even better.

On April 10th, The Houston Chronicle reported that Halliburton — the company of which former Vice-President Dick Cheney was CEO — was in the process of acquiring Boots & Coots. Reuters reported that the deal was announced on Friday, April 9th — just eleven days prior to the explosion.[14] The Chronicle noted that “Boots & Coots has become well known for putting out some of the world’s largest oil and gas fires.”[15] The company’s website lists services they provide, including “deepwater application and well inspections, as well as blowout prevention and control counsel or assistance…”[16] According to the Orlando Sentinel, their expertise is already being put to use in the Gulf, as they are “one of two primary companies designing relief-well strategies for the BP blowout.”[17]

So when the acquisition deal is formerly approved by the government, Halliburton — the company famous for profiting from no-bid government contracts in war zones — will have collected for themselves yet another “slick” profit.

This is especially intriguing in light of the fact that, according to NPR, Halliburton’s cementing work — completed only hours prior to the explosion — has become a “central focus” of the Congressional investigation.[18] The Wall Street Journal quotes unnamed “experts” as saying the timing of the cementing in relation to the blast “points to it as a possible culprit.”[19]

But Halliburton isn’t the only company that stands to make a killing off the crisis. The Times Online out of the UK reported that TransOcean itself took out a $560 million insurance policy on the Deepwater Horizon rig. The dollar amount was well above the rig’s value. According to the paper, insurance payouts amounted to a $270 million profit from the disaster.

“The windfall, revealed in a conference call with analysts, will more than cover the $200m that Transocean expects to pay to survivors and their families and for higher insurance costs.”[20]

A number of people have questioned why Corexit — a chemical banned in the UK[21] and is much more toxic than the oil itself — was used as a dispersant in the Gulf. Assuming for the moment that chemical dispersants had to be used, the New York Times reported on May 13th:

“Of 18 dispersants whose use EPA has approved, 12 were found to be more effective on southern Louisiana crude than Corexit, EPA data show. Two of the 12 were found to be 100 percent effective on Gulf of Mexico crude, while the two Corexit products rated 56 percent and 63 percent effective, respectively. The toxicity of the 12 was shown to be either comparable to the Corexit line or, in some cases, 10 or 20 times less, according to EPA.”[22]

Yet, despite the EPA data ranking it “far above dispersants made by competitors” for toxicity, BP chose to dump more than 400,000 gallons of Corexit into the Gulf, order 805,000 more gallons with plans of hundreds of thousands of additional gallons should the spewing continue. Why?

The answer may lie in the fact that not only has Corexit production benefited BP and Exxon Chemical Company, it also has ties to the very same banking company that somehow knew to sell nearly half its holdings in BP stock just prior to the disaster — Goldman Sachs. Cassandra Anderson of Morph City connects the dots to the economic ties between the oil industry and the bankers.

“Corexit is produced by NALCO, originally named the National Aluminate Corporation, which formed a limited partnership with Exxon Chemical Company in 1994. Ondeo Nalco was purchased by Goldman Sachs, Apollo and Blackstone in 2003 and is currently a publicly traded company. Given NALCO’s business ties, it seems that safe and natural cleanup methods were avoided in the Gulf to pursue an economic agenda. The use of Corexit in Alaska, after the Exxon Valdez disaster, resulted in toxicity to humans that included respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.”[23]

They say that history repeats itself. We know from wire reports that all 125 fishing boats had to be recalled from Gulf cleanup efforts after workers aboard began “experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains.”[24]

What’s going on here? Is the Gulf being poisoned on purpose to enhance corporate profits? Or has this crisis been orchestrated by the illuminists in order to force the United States to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which would cede control of the oceans — over 70 percent of the planet’s surface — to the United Nations?

One must always keep in mind that Agenda 21 is the game plan for all that happens in the world today. The Hegelian dialectic is the means by which that game plan is implemented — creation of a crisis to condition the minds of the people that an undesired change is necessary, creation of their own controlled opposition to the crisis, finally the introduction of their pre-determined solution.

Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 deals with “Protection of the Oceans, all Kinds of Seas, Including Enclosed & Semi-enclosed Seas, & Coastal Areas & the Protection, Rational Use & Development of their Living Resources.” Who will determine what constitutes “rational use” of the oceans and their resources? If the LOST is ratified, it will be the United Nations.

In July 2009, State Department official Margaret Hayes told the New York Times that the Obama administration was in the process of working to “craft a plan to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

“President Obama is strongly in favor of the United States becoming a party to the Law of the Sea Convention,” Hayes was quoted as saying. “There is discussion going on as to the exact timing of when they might have a hearing and when they might proceed to have the full Senate consider accession.”[25]

The Times goes on to report that the administration is continuing a multi-year mapping of the sea floor in the Arctic in preparation to stake a claim under the LOST.[26]

Furthermore, the World Ocean Council, an alliance of multi-national businesses that are dedicated to ocean “sustainability,” is having its “Corporate Ocean Responsibility” meeting this month — conveniently on the heels of a major maritime disaster. The Sustainable Ocean Summit is described as “the first international, cross-sectoral ocean sustainability conference for the private sector – [that] will catalyze the growing interest among ocean businesses for more effective leadership and collaboration in addressing ocean environmental challenges.”[27] It just so happens that two of the founding members of the World Ocean Council are ExxonMobil and TransOcean.[28]

That the crisis in the Gulf may have been planned and executed with the intention of profiting from it while pushing an environmental control agenda, might explain the pathetic federal response after the disaster. [NWV POLL: Was the Gulf oil spill deliberately created?]

Three days after learning of the Gulf gusher, the Interior Department Chief of Staff Tom Strickland left for the Grand Canyon with his wife and went white water rafting.[29] The Department of the Interior is charged with the task of coordinating federal response to a major oil spill. Yet, Strickland’s priorities were elsewhere.

The “In-Situ Burn” plan was developed by the federal government in 1994 to deal with oil spill disasters in the Gulf, and calls for the immediate use of fire booms. Had the plan been followed, it might have prevented oil from reaching the shoreline. A single fire boom can burn up to 1,800 barrels or 75,000 gallons an hour. Yet, despite the plan, not one fire boom was available anywhere in the Gulf at the time of the incident.[30] [31]

On May 11th, ABC News reported that the U.S. Coast Guard conducted operations in the Gulf, simulating a major oil spill and practicing federal response to it a mere three weeks prior to the real disaster.[32] What was the purpose of the simulation? Obviously, it wasn’t to improve federal response.

In 2002, there was a similar practice operation which ABC describes as “eerily similar” to the current disaster. Lack of experience, poor communications, conflicting roles, and a need for new technology were cited. None of the recommendations were ever put into place.[33]

Wire reports from the Associated Press have said that workers aboard the rig were forced to sign statements that they hadn’t witnessed the explosion. They were told they couldn’t go home, nor could they make phone calls and talk to their friends and family until they signed the statements indicating they had no “first hand or personal knowledge” of the incident.[34]

We now have private military contractors deployed from Wackenhut — the military contractor infamous for its employees’ drunken brawls and vodka shots taken out of each other’s backside — guarding the perimeter of the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command.

Respected attorney Ellen Brown has written about empty Wackenhut buses with prison bars on the windows being driven around for no apparent reason in Arizona. Your writer has personally talked to other people who have seen these buses. Ellen wrote last year:

“The new Wackenhut operation is shrouded in mystery. It has been running its fleet of empty prison buses night and day, apparently logging miles on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract. Multiple buses can be seen driving all over town and even on remote desert back roads. Oddly, except for the driver and one escort guard seated in front, these buses appear to be empty.”[35]

Network news media have been complaining of being harassed and threatened by the security contractors for shooting video of the coast,[36] [37] which we’re told may soon become uninhabitable. Will Wackenhut buses be utilized to relocate mass numbers of people out of the coastal states?

It’s shaping up to be an interesting summer.

The Psychopathic Criminal Enterprise Called America

The Government uses the Law to Harm People and Shield the Establishment
By Prof. John Kozy
District of Criminals, for criminals and by criminals

District of Criminals, for criminals and by criminals.

Most Americans know that politicians make promises they never fulfill; few know that politicians make promises they lack the means to fulfill, as President Obama’s political posturing on the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico makes perfectly clear.

Obama has made the following statements:

He told his “independent commission” investigating the Gulf oil spill to “thoroughly examine the disaster and its causes to ensure that the nation never faces such a catastrophe again.” Aside from the fact that presidential commissions have a history of providing dubious reports and ineffective recommendations, does anyone really believe that a way can be found to prevent industrial accidents from happening ever again? Even if the commissions findings and recommendations succeed in reducing the likelihood of such accidents, doesn’t this disaster prove that it only takes one? And unlikely events happen every day.

The president has said, “if laws are insufficient, they’ll be changed.” But no president has this ability, only Congress has, and the president must surely know how difficult getting the Congress to effectively change anything is. He also said that “if government oversight wasn’t tough enough, that will change, too.” Will it? Even if he replaces every person in an oversight position, he can’t guarantee it. The people who receive regulatory positions always have ties to the industries they oversee and can look forward to lucrative jobs in those industries when they leave governmental service. As long as corporate money is allowed to influence governmental action, neither the Congress nor regulators can be expected to change the laws or regulatory practices in ways that make them effective, and there is nothing any president can do about it. Even the Congress’ attempt to raise the corporate liability limit for oil spills from $75 million to $10 billion has already hit a snag.

The President has said that “if laws were broken, those responsible will be brought to justice” and that BP would be held accountable for the “horrific disaster.” He said BP will be paying the bill, and BP has said it takes responsibility for the clean-up and will pay compensation for “legitimate and objectively verifiable” claims for property damage, personal injury, and commercial losses. But “justice” is rendered in American courts, not by the executive branch. Any attempts to hold BP responsible will be adjudicated in the courts at the same snail’s pace that the responsibility for the Exxon-Mobile Alaska oil spill was adjudicated and likely will have the same results.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989. In Baker v. Exxon, an Anchorage jury awarded $287 million for actual damages and $5 billion for punitive damages, but after nineteen years of appellate jurisprudence, the Supreme Court on June 25, 2008 issued a ruling reducing the punitive damages to $507.5 million, roughly a tenth of the original jury’s award. Furthermore, even that amount was reduced further by nineteen years of inflation. By that time, many of the people who would have been compensated by these funds had died.

The establishment calls this justice. Do you? Do those of you who reside in the coastal states that will ultimately be affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster really believe that the President can make good on this promise of holding BP responsible? By the time all the lawsuits filed in response to this disaster wend their ways through the legal system, Mr. Obama will be grayed, wizened, and ensconced in a plush chair in an Obama Presidential Library, completely out of the picture and devoid of all responsibility.

Politicians who engage in this duplicitous posturing know that they can’t fulfill their promises. They know they are lying; yet they do it pathologically. Aesop writes, “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.” Perhaps that’s why politicians never do.

Government in America consists of law. Legislators write it, executives apply it, and courts adjudicate it. But the law is a lie. We are told to respect the law and that it protects us. But it doesn’t. Think about it people! The law and law enforcement only come into play secundum vitium (after the crime). The police don’t show up before you’re assaulted, robbed, or murdered; they come after. So how does that protect you? Yes, if a relationship of trust is violated, you can sue if you can afford it, and even that’s not a sure thing. (Remember the victims of the Exxon-Valdez disaster!) Even if the person who violated the relationship gets sanctioned, will you be “made whole”? Most likely not! Relying on the law is a fool’s errand. It’s enacted, enforced, and adjudicated by liars.

The law is a great crime, far greater than the activities it outlaws, and there’s no way you can protect yourself from it. The establishment protects itself. The law does not protect people. It is merely an instrument of retribution. It can only be used, often ineffectively, to get back at the malefactor. It never un-dos the crime. Executing the murderer doesn’t bring back the dead. Putting Ponzi schemers in jail doesn’t get your money back. And holding BP responsible won’t restore the Louisiana marshes, won’t bring back the dead marine and other wildlife, and won’t compensate the victims for their losses. Carefully watch what happens over the next twenty years as the government uses the law to shield BP, Transocean, and Halliburton while the claims of those affected by the spill disappear into the quicksand of the American legal system.

Jim Kouri, citing FBI studies, writes that “some of the character traits exhibited by serial killers or criminals may be observed in many within the political arena.;” they share the traits of psychopaths who are not sensitive to altruistic appeals, such as sympathy for their victims or remorse or guilt over their crimes. They possess the personality traits of lying, narcissism, selfishness, and vanity. These are the people to whom we have entrusted our fate. Is it any wonder that America is failing at home and world-wide?

Some may say that this is an extreme, audacious claim. I, too, was surprised when I read Kouri’s piece. But anecdotal evidence to support it is easily cited. John McCain said “bomb, bomb, bomb” during the last presidential campaign in response to a question about Iran. No one in government has expressed the slightest qualms about the killing of tens of thousands of people in both Iraq and Afghanistan who had absolutely nothing to do with what happened on nine/eleven or the deliberate targeting of women and children by unmanned drones in Pakistan. What if anything distinguishes serial killers from these governmental officials? Only that they don’t do the killing themselves but have others do it for them. But that’s exactly what most of the godfathers of the cosa nostra did.

So, there are questions that need to be posed: Has the government of the United States of America become a criminal enterprise? Is the nation ruled by psychopaths? Well, how can the impoverishment of the people, the promotion of the military-industrial complex and endless wars and their genocidal killing, the degradation of the environment, the neglect of the collapsing infrastructure, and the support of corrupt and authoritarian governments (often called democracies) abroad be explained? Worse, why are corporations allowed to profiteer during wars while the people are called upon to sacrifice? Why hasn’t the government ever tried to prohibit such profiteering? It’s not that it can’t be done.

In the vernacular, harming people is considered a crime. It is just as much a crime when done by governments, legal systems, or corporations. The government uses the law to harm people or shield the establishment from the consequences of harming people all the time. Watch as no one from the Massey Energy Co. is ever prosecuted for the disaster at the Upper Big Branch coal mine. When corporations are accused of wrongdoing, they often reply that what they did was legal, but legal is not a synonym for right. When criminals gain control, they legalize criminality.

Unless the government of the United States changes its behavior, this nation is doomed. No one in government seems to realize that dissimulation breeds distrust, distrust breeds suspicion, and suspicion eventually arouses censure. Isn’t that failure of recognition by the establishment a sign of criminal psychopathology?
John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who blogs on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

BP’s Top Kill Procedure fails as Coast Guard Blocks Media Access

Natural News

BP officials have announced today that the “top kill” effort to stop the Gulf oil leak has failed. Unanticipated problems doomed the project, which involved trying to pump tens of thousands of gallons of mud, shredded rubber tires and other “junk” into the hole to try to halt the outflow of oil.

At 6pm Saturday evening, BP officials announced the “top kill” effort had failed and now they were moving on to another plan (more below).

I am on site at the Gulf Coast right now, and while I haven’t reached the areas where oil is washing up on the beaches, I’m learning some interesting information nonetheless. In particular, finding a hotel room anywhere near New Orleans has become virtually impossible, as BP has rented out virtually every available hotel room from St. Charles, Louisiana all the way to Pensacola, Florida. (I am currently staying in a fleabag hotel that miraculously has internet access…)

But it raises the question: Where are all these people? I haven’t seen a single BP person anywhere, and I was out on some beaches today filming editorial segments for NaturalNews. I did see some small watercraft laying out protective barriers, but I didn’t see any BP people anywhere.

I’ll keep you posted on what we find tomorrow as we approach the beaches to the East of New Orleans.

Expect more oil for the next 10 weeks

Now that the top kill effort has failed, it means oil will keep spewing into the Gulf of Mexico until at least August. That’s when two “pressure release” wells are expected to be completed. The purpose of these two wells is to siphon off the oil from underneath the ocean bed, thereby releasing the pressure that’s currently pushing crude oil out of the existing hole under the doomed Deepwater Horizon rig.

This “plan C” effort remains extremely risky, of course. There’s no guarantee it will work at all. And if it fails, this “volcano of oil” could continue to pollute the Earth’s oceans for years. This could, in fact, be the global killer event I warned about in an earlier story about this BP oil spill. (http://www.naturalnews.com/028805_G…)

We could be looking at a global-scale environmental catastrophe that destroys virtually all marine life in the Gulf of Mexico and takes a century to fully recover. It’s really that bad. If they can’t stop this volcano of oil in the next week, we could be looking at the single most destructive environmental catastrophe ever to strike our planet since the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Get ready for more chemicals

In the mean time, now that the top kill effort has failed, BP has announced it is resuming the spraying of chemical dispersants into the massive oil plumes that remain deep under the surface of the Gulf of Mexico water. This means more chemicals that will kill more forms of marine life throughout the Gulf.

But it’s not just aquatic life that’s being threatened by these chemicals: BP workers are increasingly being sent to the hospital complaining of symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, difficult breathing and others. The obvious cause of such symptoms is the huge amount of crude oil bubbling up to the surface (some of which evaporates into the air) along with the massive injection of chemical dispersants into the waters (some of which also evaporates). CNN is reporting that BP claims it is monitoring air quality, but so far BP has not gone public with any air quality test results.

None of the cleanup workers have been outfitted with chemical masks that might protect them from the volatile chemicals now present in the Gulf waters. Yet CNN is reporting that the warning label on the chemical product made by NALCO states: “Avoid breathing vapor.”

The EPA, meanwhile, remains silent on this whole issue. Remember: It is the EPA that ordered BP to stop using its selected brand of chemical dispersant, but BP utterly ignored the EPA and continues to dump that very same chemical into the Gulf of Mexico right now.

A chemical attack on America

What we are watching here, folks, is very nearly a chemical attack on America by BP and the oil industry. It’s hard to say what’s worse: The oil or the chemical dispersants. In fact, no one knows the answer to that question, and it can’t even be studied by scientists because the disaster keeps growing by the day.

This is one environmental catastrophe that just keeps getting worse, and the cost to the marine ecosystem is incalculable. And that’s not to even mention the economic cost to the region and all the people who depend on life in the Gulf of Mexico for their own livelihoods. Their lives are now being destroyed by this oil drilling catastrophe.

If there’s one lesson that comes from all this, it is a reminder of the immense value Mother Nature provides us each and every day at no charge. The VALUE of a healthy ocean is incalculable. And the COST of killing it may be more than what human civilization can bear.

I suppose this resolves the whole question of what’s more important: The environment or the economy? As we’re rudely discovering today, the economy cannot exist without protecting the environment first.

“There’s Another Oil Leak, Much Bigger, 5 to 6 Miles Away”

Washington’s Blog

Another never discussed oil leak exists below the Gulf of Mexico's water.

Matt Simmons was an energy adviser to President George W. Bush, is an adviser to the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, and is a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. Simmon is chairman and CEO of Simmons & Company International, an investment bank catering to oil companies.

Simmons told Dylan Ratigan that ”there’s another leak, much bigger, 5 to 6 miles away” from the leaking riser and blowout preventer which we’ve all been watching on the underwater cameras:

And as 60 Minutes reports:

[Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon, and one of the last workers to leave the doomed rig] said they were told it would take 21 days; according to him, it actually took six weeks.

With the schedule slipping, Williams says a BP manager ordered a faster pace.

“And he requested to the driller, ‘Hey, let’s bump it up. Let’s bump it up.’ And what he was talking about there is he’s bumping up the rate of penetration. How fast the drill bit is going down,” Williams said.

Williams says going faster caused the bottom of the well to split open, swallowing tools and that drilling fluid called “mud.”

“We actually got stuck. And we got stuck so bad we had to send tools down into the drill pipe and sever the pipe,” Williams explained.

That well was abandoned and Deepwater Horizon had to drill a new route to the oil. It cost BP more than two weeks and millions of dollars.

“We were informed of this during one of the safety meetings, that somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million was lost in bottom hole assembly and ‘mud.’ And you always kind of knew that in the back of your mind when they start throwing these big numbers around that there was gonna be a push coming, you know? A push to pick up production and pick up the pace,” Williams said.

Asked if there was pressure on the crew after this happened, Williams told Pelley, “There’s always pressure, but yes, the pressure was increased.”

But the trouble was just beginning: when drilling resumed, Williams says there was an accident on the rig that has not been reported before. He says, four weeks before the explosion, the rig’s most vital piece of safety equipment was damaged.

Ten Things Dirtier than BP’s Oil Spill

Daniela Perdomo, Alter Net

Transocean

Transocean making $ 270 millions off the oil spill.

It’s been 37 days since BP’s offshore oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, crude oil has been hemorrhaging into ocean waters and wreaking unknown havoc on our ecosystem — unknown because there is no accurate estimate of how many barrels of oil are contaminating the Gulf.

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.

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 under-reported 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. 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 Switzerland, and it’s no stranger to oil disasters. In 1979, an oil well it was drilling in the very same Gulf of Mexico ignited, sending the drill platform into the sea and causing one of the largest oil spills by the time it was capped… nine months later.

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 United States. In 2005, BP’s Texas City refinery exploded, killing 15 workers and injuring another 170. The next year, one of its Alaska pipelines leaked 200,000 gallons of crude oil. According to Public Citizen, BP has paid $550 million in fines. BP seems to particularly enjoy violating the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and has paid the two largest fines in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s history. (Is it any surprise that BP played a central, though greatly under-reported, role in the failure to contain the Exxon-Valdez spill years earlier?)

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 England, but because the United States recommends rather than requires them, BP had no incentive to buy one — even though they only cost $500,000.

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 Gulf of Mexico Studies, approximately $1.6 billion in annual economic activity and services are at risk as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Compare this number — which doesn’t include the immeasurable environmental damages — to the current cap on BP’s liability for economic damages like lost wages and tourist dollars, which is $75 million. And compare that further to the first-quarter profits BP posted just one week after the explosion: $6 billion.

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 Gulf of Mexico oil leak is a buying opportunity.”

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: “[B]lowouts are rare events and of short duration, potential impact to marine water quality are not expected to be significant.”

The Interior Department’s Louisiana branch may have been particularly confused because it appears it was closely fraternizing with the oil industry. The Minerals Management Service, the agency within the department that oversees offshore drilling, routinely accepted gifts from oil companies and even considered itself a part of the oil industry, rather than part of a governmental regulatory agency. Flying on oil executives’ private planes was not rare for MMS inspectors in Louisiana, a federal report released Tuesday says. “Skeet-shooting contests, hunting and fishing trips, golf tournaments, crawfish boils, and Christmas parties” were also common.

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 Alaska was recovered in the Exxon-Valdez cleanup.

Millions of gallons of oil will remain in the ocean, ravaging the underwater ecosystem, and 100 miles of Louisiana coastline will never be the same.

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 Alaska?). The plan does not include any disease-preventing measures, oceanic or meteorological data, and is comprised mostly of phone numbers and blank forms. Most importantly, it includes no directions for how to deal with a deep-water explosion such as the one that took place last month.

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. BP is sequestering survivors and taking away their 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 BP 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 Texas City blast, all of the fatalities and most of the injuries occurred in or around these trailers.

Although BP has responded to this memo by saying the company culture has changed since Texas City, 11 people died on the Deepwater Horizon when it blew up. Perhaps a similar memo went out regarding safety and cost-cutting measures?

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 Gulf of Mexico will be long-term.

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.

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 U.S. government, the only other entity that could take over is currently content to let BP hack away at the problem. Why? Because it probably has no idea what to do either.

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.

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