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TRUTH Gusher: Jeanne Pascal Spills It on BP, Judge Stanley Sporkin, and the Disaster in the Gulf

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 02:58 PM
Original message
TRUTH Gusher: Jeanne Pascal Spills It on BP, Judge Stanley Sporkin, and the Disaster in the Gulf


The Gulf of Mexico, courtesy of BP.



Pascal Spills It on BP, Sporkin, and the Disaster in the Gulf

Russell Mokhiber
24 Corporate Crime Reporter 25(10), June 18, 2010

EXCERPT...

Up until three months ago, when she retired, Jeanne Pascal was an attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Her beat: debarment of BP.

SNIP...

After all BPs rap sheet was long and nasty three convictions, an $84 million OSHA fine, and a deferred prosecution agreement.

Last year, Pascal was inclined to debar BP strip it of its government contracts because of its repeat violations.

But the Pentagon intervened.

CONTINUED...

http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/pascal061810.htm



Remember, DU: "Corporate Citizen" is an oxymoron.
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northoftheborder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. This record needs to be publicized more broadly.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. EPA Officials Weigh Sanctions Against BPs U.S. Operations
Jeanne Pascal and other good people at EPA tried...



EPA Officials Weigh Sanctions Against BPs U.S. Operations

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica - May 21, 2010 1:27 pm EDT

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are considering whether to bar BP from receiving government contracts, a move that would ultimately cost the company billions in revenue and could end its drilling in federally controlled oil fields.

Over the past 10 years, BP has paid tens of millions of dollars in fines and been implicated in four separate instances of criminal misconduct that could have prompted this far more serious action. Until now, the company's executives and their lawyers have fended off such a penalty by promising that BP would change its ways.

SNIP...

Present and former officials said the crucial question in deciding whether to impose such a sanction is assessing the offending company's culture and approach: Do its executives display an attitude of non-compliance? The law is not intended to punish actions by rogue employees and is focused on making contractor relationships work to the benefit of the government. In its negotiations with EPA officials before the Gulf spill, BP had been insisting that it had made far-reaching changes in its approach to safety and maintenance, and that environmental officials could trust its promises that it would commit no further violations of the law.

SNIP...

The fact that the government is looking at BP's pattern of incidents gets at one of the key factors in deciding a discretionary debarment, said Robert Meunier, the EPA's debarment official under President Bush and an author of the EPA's debarment regulations. It means officials will try to determine whether BP has had a string of isolated or perhaps unlucky mistakes, or whether it has consistently displayed contempt for the regulatory process and carelessness in its operations.

In the past decade environmental accidents at BP facilities have killed at least 26 workers, led to the largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope and now sullied some of the country's best coastal habitat, along with fishing and tourism economies along the Gulf.

CONTINUED...

http://www.propublica.org/feature/epa-officials-weighin...



Thanks for giving a damn.

PS: A most hearty welcome to DU, northoftheborder.
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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. I 'shared' the propublica site on fb
I have not seen an oil spill up close and personal,but I sure have seen the leavings of the clear cut forest and strip mines in WV where I grew up and the clear cutting is starting up around where I live now. sigh.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. OT: Maybe it should be renamed the Gulf of British Petroleum?
Edited on Fri Jun-18-10 03:37 PM by kenny blankenship
Credit where it is due. Mexico really had nothing to do with this. When I look at the Gulf now, I don't see Mexico. No, I see British Fucking Petroleum from horizon to horizon.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Interesting: They wreck it. They own it.
Got a diagram of the underwater parts for them:



Methane is not good for people or other living things.

PS: Methane cannot kill a corporation.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. The business of America is business...

that's the nut of it.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. One of many least favorite quotes from Chairman Pruneface.
Lots more: Racist Jokes in Reagan White House Reported in a Book



Pruneface loved Big Oil because they told him to.

Reagan removed controls on oil prices. The result was lower prices and a glut. Had Reagan taken advantage of this to fill the nations strategic reserves with cheap oil or to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil by imposing an oil import fee, or to encourage conservation through a tax, he would have left his successor less a prisoner of events in the Middle East. But Reagan abhorred taxes, and he did not accept the necessity of conservation. His trust was in the marketplace.
Source: The Role of a Lifetime, by Lou Cannon, p. 823 Jul 2, 1991
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. If not him then another.

He was the man groomed for the job and given the support necessary, he didn't ride into DC on a Twenty Mule Team.

History repeats itself....
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. That oil depletion allowance really ticked off a bunch of conservative oil men.
Robert Bryce tells the story of the Texas Black Teatotalers:

Cronies: oil, the Bushes, and the rise of Texas, America's superstate
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. K&R
This story needs to be seen.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. How Bush's DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials
Thank you, Jamastiene. If I may add another, courtesy of Leopold!:



How Bush's DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials

Wednesday 19 May 2010
by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report

Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution.

West was the special agent-in-charge at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company's senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay operations on Alaska's North Slope that spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil across two acres of frozen tundra - the second largest spill in Alaska's history - which went undetected for nearly a week.
West was confident that the thousands of hours he invested into the criminal investigation would result in felony charges against BP and the company's senior executives who received advanced warnings from dozens of employees who worked at its Prudhoe Bay facility that unless immediate steps were taken to repair the severely corroded pipeline, a disaster on par with that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was only a matter of time.

In fact, West, who spent nearly two decades at the EPA's criminal division, was also told the pipeline was going to rupture -- about six months before it happened.

In a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, West described how the Justice Department (DOJ) abruptly shut down his investigation into BP in August 2007 and gave the company a "slap on the wrist" for what he says were serious environmental crimes that should have sent some BP executives to jail.

SNIP...

The documents posted on the website show that BP's shoddy record on safety have been ongoing for more than a decade. One of the letters on Anwrnews.com is dated January 10, 2001. It was sent to Hamel by unnamed BP employees, who asked him to assist them in getting BP management to address their concerns because their repeated efforts to elicit a response had failed. They said they even reached out to then-BP President Lord John Browne about "inadequate staffing levels" two years earlier, but never received a response.

"We were concerned about our recommendations being ignored and disregarded...We were concerned about BP's cost cutting efforts undermining our ability to respond to emergencies and reducing the reliability of critical safety systems. We were concerned about the lack of preventative maintenance on our equipment," the BP employees' letter said. "We had suffered a major fire, which burned a well pad module to the ground and nearly cost one of our operators his life.

CONTINUED w LINKS...

http://www.truth-out.org/how-bushs-doj-killed-a-crimina...



Whatever happened to integrity? Holder? Holder? Corporate Lawyers? Anyone? Anyone?
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. There is no integrity Octafish..none..there are no two parties..that is an illusion
there is one party with one money pot in the middle..the rest is an illusion..they want us to be pitted against each other..so they can keep us busy with bullshit while they rape and pillage our nation , our economy, our environment..

Heck just as many Dems are involved with BP at the top of the ladder..
what is going on..has been going on..and now the result of the Gulf being destroyed is nothing but a huge CYA by our Feds..and Bp..they are all in kahoots..they are all intertwined..You know that and anyone honest with themselves knows that as well.

This was in this article..

Last year, Pascal was inclined to debar BP strip it of its government contracts because of its repeat violations.

But the Pentagon intervened.

The Defense Energy Support Center told me that BP was supplying 80 percent of the fuel going to the U.S. military in Iraq, Pascal told Corporate Crime Reporter.

Thats a very substantial need.

Were talking 2009, Pascal said. Had we debarred BP at that time, the Defense Department would have gotten an exception to the debarment and continued to do business with BP. We would have gotten a sister federal agency doing a substantial amount of business with a debarred contractor. And we would have had no oversight or no audit rights over that company.


who was pres in 2009?????????????

Yes Bush and Cheney all but killed this country..but the new guy isn't changing a god damned thing!

Why has our Coast Guard become an extension of BP?? Because they damn well have been made an extention of BP!!

Why have National Guardsmen been put to task to protec tBP at all costs..with media ..with our local Gulf Coast legislators and State Elected Officals..with us regular Citizens of the Gulf..on our beaches and with any questions we have ..with Wildlife rehab people..with regular citizens getting out of the Gulf waters with oil on them..

Come on..we all know this nation is broken..and it is going to take all of us to fix it..but we can not fix it unless we are completely honest with ourselves as well as others.

Cheney and Bush got away with what they did because no one held them accountable..not our Congress..nor our Senate..Not Repigs ..NOR DEM'S !!very few spoke out..I bet hardly any of our dems even read this lady's reports..obviously none of our Dem's read the Spill Reports of BP or 5 other Oil Corps that presented almost a carbon copy of their bogus report!

We all need to wake up and hold each and everyone of our representatives accountable all the way up to the White House!

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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Ex-EPA Officials: Why Isn't BP Under Criminal Investigation?
Leopold! asks a pertinent question:



Ex-EPA Officials: Why Isn't BP Under Criminal Investigation?

Friday 28 May 2010
by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report

Why hasn't the government launched a criminal investigation into BP?

That's the question several former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have been asking in the aftermath of the catastrophic explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig last month that killed 11 employees and ruptured a newly drilled well 5,000 feet below the surface and has spewed tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf if Mexico, which now stands as the largest spill in US history.

Like previous BP-related disasters in Alaska and Texas, evidence has emerged that appears to show BP knowingly cut corners on maintenance and safety on Deepwater Horizon's operations, which, according to blogger bmaz, who writes about legal issues at Emptywheel, could amount to criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, because people were killed, BP and company officials could also face prosecution for negligent and reckless homicide.

Scott West, the former special agent-in-charge at the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, who spent more than a year probing allegations that BP committed crimes in connection with a massive oil spill on Alaska's North Slope in 2006, said the company's prior felony and misdemeanor convictions should have immediately "raised red flags" and resulted in a federal criminal investigation.

SNIP...

"BP is a convicted serial environmental criminal," West said. "So, where are the criminal investigators? The well head is a crime scene and yet the potential criminals are in charge of that crime scene. Have we learned nothing from this company's past behavior?"

CONTINUED w LINKS...

http://www.truth-out.org/ex-epa-officials-why-isnt-bp-u...



In America, no man is above the law, except the corporate man. The corporations, of course, are too Beyond Prosecution.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. exactly! Why isn't BP under criminal investigation? Anything less is unacceptable.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
11. BP was supplying 80 percent of the fuel going to the U.S. military in Iraq,
excellent article Octafish!!

The Defense Energy Support Center told me that BP was supplying 80 percent of the fuel going to the U.S. military in Iraq, Pascal told Corporate Crime Reporter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/06/14-1

Published on Monday, June 14, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

Greenwashing the Pentagon
by Joseph Nevins

As oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, just one of many manifestations of perilous ecological degradation across the planet, the need to challenge war and militarismespecially in terms of the United Statesbecomes ever-more pressing. The U.S. military is the worlds single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, and the single entity most responsible for destabilizing the Earths climate.

<snip>

Such greenwashing helps to mask the fact that the Pentagon devours about 330,000 barrels of oil per day (a barrel has 42 gallons), more than the vast majority of the worlds countries. If the U.S. military were a nation-state, it would be ranked number 37 in terms of oil consumptionahead of the likes of the Philippines, Portugal, and Nigeriaaccording to the CIA Factbook.

And although much of the militarys technology has become far more fuel-efficient over the last few decades, the amount of oil consumed per soldier per day in war-time has increased by 175 percent since Vietnam, given the Pentagons increasing use and number of motorized vehicles. A 2010 study by Deloitte, the financial services company, reports that the Pentagon uses 22 gallons of oil per soldier per day deployed in its wars, a figure that is expected to grow 1.5 percent annually though 2017.(5)

The worst offender is the Air Force, which consumes 2.5 billion gallons of aviation fuel a year, and accounts for more than half of the Pentagons energy use. Under normal flight conditions, a F-16 fighter jet burns up to 2,000 gallons of fuel per flight hour. The resulting detrimental impact on the Earths climate system is much greater per mile traveled than motorized ground transport due to the height at which planes fly combined with the mixture of gases and particles they emit.(6)

Among the ironies of all this, given that a central goal of U.S. military strategy is to ensure the smooth flow of oil to the United States, is that the Pentagons voracious appetite for energy helps to justify its very existence and seemingly never-ending growth.

In a direct sense, war and militarism produce landscapes and ecosystems of violenceand violated bodies. In Laos, unexploded ordnance from Washingtons illegal and covert bombing litters the countryside, and has killed and maimed thousands since the wars end, and continues to do so at the rate of almost one person per day. In Vietnam, about 500,000 Vietnamese children have been born since the mid-1970s with birth defects believed to be related to the defoliant Agent Orange that the Pentagon dumped on the country. And in war-torn Fallujah, the aftermath of two U.S. sieges of the Iraqi city in 2004 has seen a huge rise in the number of chronic deformities among infants and a spike in early-age cancer.(7)

..more..




(1) http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home
(2) http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/03/ebg03101...
(3) http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_report_detail.aspx?id...
(4) http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=e5958...
(5) http://www.deloitte.com/us/aerospacedefense/energysecur...
(6) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/sep/21/trave...
(7) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/13/falluja-can...
`````


`````````
http://www.energybulletin.net/node/13199


The US military oil consumption
by Sohbet Karbuz

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest oil consuming government body in the US and in the world

Military fuel consumption makes the Department of Defense the single largest consumer of petroleum in the U.S

Military fuel consumption for aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and facilities makes the DoD the single largest consumer of petroleum in the U.S

According to the US Defense Energy Support Center Fact Book 2004, in Fiscal Year 2004, the US military fuel consumption increased to 144 million barrels. This is about 40 million barrels more than the average peacetime military usage.

By the way, 144 million barrels makes 395 000 barrels per day, almost as much as daily energy consumption of Greece.

The US military is the biggest purchaser of oil in the world.

In 1999 Almanac edition of the Defense Logistic Agencys news magazine Dimensions it was stated that the DESC purchases more light refined petroleum product than any other single organization or country in the world. With a $3.5 billion annual budget, DESC procures nearly 100 million barrels of petroleum products each year. That's enough fuel for 1,000 cars to drive around the world 4,620 times.

..more..



http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN20416568



FACTBOX-US military fuel spending
Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:58pm EDT

U.S. military fuel consumption dwarfs energy demand in many countries around the world, adding up to nearly double the fuel use in Ireland and 20 times more than that of Iceland, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

From the start of the Iraq war in 2003 up till 2007, U.S. military fuel consumption has slipped by about 10 percent, but costs more than doubled due surging oil prices.

Following are the latest figures on the cost and amounts of fuel purchased by the U.S. military over the course of the Iraq war:

U.S. MILITARY FUEL SPENDING:^

2003: $ 5.21 billion

2007: $12.61 billion

Percentage increase: 142 percent

U.S MILITARY FUEL CONSUMPTION

2003: 145.1 million barrels

(397,500 barrels per day)

2007: 132.5 million barrels

(363,000 barrels per day)

Percentage change: -9.5 percent

2007 U.S. MILITARY FUEL CONSUMPTION EQUALS

- 90 percent more than Ireland's annual consumption

- 38 percent more than Israel's annual consumption

- 20 times Iceland's annual consumption

- 1.7 percent of U.S. annual consumption

AVERAGE ESTIMATED CRUDE OIL PRICE PER BARREL:

2003: $32.50

2007: $72.50

CRUDE OIL PRICE CHANGE SINCE BEGINNING OF IRAQ WAR:

March 19, 2003: $ 29.88*

March 19, 2008: $103.25*

Percentage increase: 245 percent


<snip>

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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Another aspect of the "special relationship"
Also, Britain has been our only real ally in our Iraq/Af-Pak venture. Their participation as the rest of our "coalition" give us cover for what would otherwise be a transparent act of unilateral aggression and empire.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Our only real ''ally'' is an empire.
"Our" meaning the government's BFF is an E.

Now where have I heard that before?
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. The could very well lead to our answer.
To me, it looks cut and dried. It's the Pentagon connection. So, BP is Beyond Prosecution because they supply 80% of the military's oil needs. They are being protected.

At least, that is my take on what I am reading.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. I think so nt
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
28. Deserves SHOUTING : "BP was supplying 80 percent of the fuel going to the U.S. military in Iraq"
Thanks for compiling all that, G_j. Lots of big picture stuff.

Here was some additional discussion a while back:

The Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Gas Trust Fund of the DOE

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
13. K&R
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Judge Sporkin is an interesting person of interest.
http://whereisthemoney.org/hotseat/stanleysporkin.htm

A regular load of laughs to the bank for friends.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #21
42. I heard about that funny email trail: Stanley to Ollie-Stanley to Ollie (North)
Thanks for shining a light on his continued position of power with the War Party.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. BP and the Pentagon's Dirty Little Secret
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175262/tomgram%3A_nick_... /

Tomgram: Nick Turse, BP and the Pentagon's Dirty Little Secret

Posted by Nick Turse at 11:00am, June 17, 2010.

<snip>

To make matters more complicated, as Nick Turse, TomDispatch regular and author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives, points out, Americas two distant disasters are not only out of control and seemingly unstaunchable, but more intimately connected than we might imagine. The American disaster in Afghanistan runs, in significant part, on BP-produced fuel, and government payments for that fuel are bolstering BP while it lives through its purgatory in the Gulf.

In addition, lest the American people learn the absolute worst, BP, evidently working hand-in-hand with the government, has put great effort into avoiding unnecessarily ugly photos, potentially negative stories, and unwanted information from the Gulf, by adopting methods of news control pioneered by the Pentagon in Iraq and Afghanistan. These include the embedding of reporters with government minders on public beaches, in the water, and in the air. It has even evidently become the norm in the Gulf now for officials to speak of reporters covering the scene as media embeds. In this way do our disparate disasters merge in corporate and government hands. Tom


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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. Get Out of Gulf Free Card


Turse is great. So, what's the war for, again?

http://www.cfr.org/publication/11683/national_security_... (PDF of report at link).

And it's not like we didn't know or anything.

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPref...
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #24
33. you rock
:thumbsup:
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Sidebar: Afghanistan Mineral Wealth Now Estimated at $3 Trillion
We're no better than Imperial Japan or NAZI Germany -- using war to get what we (the royal "we," as in "the ownership class") want.



Afghan mineral deposits worth $3tn, says mining official

US officials argued that if Afghanistan was seen to have a bright economic future, it will help give Afghans hope


Associated Press in Kabul
The Guardian, Friday 18 June 2010

Afghanistan's untapped mineral wealth is worth at least $3tn triple a US estimate made this week according to the government's top mining official.

Geologists have known for decades that Afghanistan has vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and other prized minerals, but a US briefing this week put a startling$1tn price tag on the reserves. Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani said today that he had seen geological assessments and industry estimates that the minerals were worth at least $3tn.Critics of the war questioned why the country's mineral wealth was being promoted at a time when violence was on the rise and the international coalition was under pressure to prove its counterinsurgency strategy was working. US officials argued that if Afghanistan was seen to have a bright economic future, it could help convince people that securing the country was worth the fight. It could also give Afghans hope, they said.

SOURCE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/18/afghanistan...



Gosh, we had it all wrong. The Taliban were standing on a carpet of gold.

PS: Thank you for the kind words, G_j. For many years now, you've set the example on how to deliver big loads of truth.

PPS: Hey Teabags-for-Brains! If we are an empire, we no longer are a democracy or a republic.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. K&R
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #14
38. Kick Ass or Buy Gas? How Taxpayers Are Subsidizing BPs Disaster Through the Pentagon
Oil for war. War for oil.



Kick Ass or Buy Gas? How Taxpayers Are Subsidizing BPs Disaster Through the Pentagon

by Nick Turse

Residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are livid with BP in the wake of the massive, never-ending oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- and Barack Obama says they ought to be. But there's one aspect of the BP story that most of those angry residents of the Gulf states aren't aware of. And the president hasn't had a thing to say about it.

Even as the tar balls hit Gulf beaches, their tax dollars are subsidizing BP and so far, President Obama has not shown the slightest indication that he plans to stop their flow into BP coffers, despite the recent call of Public Citizen, a watchdog group, to end the nation's business dealings with company. In fact, the Department of Defense, which has a longstanding, multi-billion dollar business relationship with BP, tells TomDispatch that it has no plans to sever current business ties or curtail future contracts with the oil giant.

SNIP...

As an institution, the Pentagon runs on oil. Its jet fighters, bombers, tanks, Humvees, and other vehicles burn 75% of the fuel used by the Department of Defense. For example, B-52 bombers consume 47,000 gallons per mission, and when an F-16 fighter kicks in its afterburners, it burns through $300 worth of fuel a minute. In fact, according to an article in the April 2010 issue of Energy Source, the official newsletter of the Pentagon's fuel-buying component, the DoD purchases three billion gallons of jet fuel per year.

Thanks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense has been consuming vast quantities of fuel. According to 2008 figures, for example, U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan used a staggering 90 million gallons per month. Given the base-building boom that preceded President Obama's Afghan surge, the 2010 figures may be significantly higher.

In 2009, according to the Pentagon's Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), the military spent $3.8 billion for 31.3 million barrels -- around 1.3 billion gallons -- of oil consumed at posts, camps, and bases overseas. Moreover, DESC's bulk-fuels division, which purchases jet fuel and naval diesel fuel among other petroleum products, awarded $2.2 billion in contracts to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan last year. Another $974 million was reportedly spent by the ground-fuels division, which awards contracts for diesel fuel, gasoline, and heating oil for ground operations, just for the war in Afghanistan in 2009.

The Pentagon's foreign wars have left it particularly heavily dependent on oil services, energy, and petroleum companies. An analysis published at Foreign Policy in Focus found that, in 2005, 145 such companies had contracts with the Pentagon. That year, the Department of Defense paid out more than $1.5 billion to BP alone and a total of $8 billion taxpayer dollars, in total, to energy-related firms on what is a far-from-complete list of companies.

CONTINUED...

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/06/18-0



Epitaph for Amerika: "Kick their ass and steal their gas."

Wake up call for America: "Indict Bush and Cheney now."
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
18. And the Repubs are tripping all over themselves to apologize to these croporoCrooks
Republicon Family Pharisee Values are bad for America and Americans.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. I had to stop and watch a member of the U.S. Congress grovel before Big Oil in the Capitol.
If I didn't know the circumstances, I wouldn't believe my eyes and ears.

The guy must've remembered the last time he talked about BP, he chastised them for messing up in Alaska. Wonder what made him change his mind? Is his own oil well investment that important?
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
26. K&R
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. Inspector General to Slam MMS on Spill: Report
Which is worse? A corrupt government agency, a corrupt corporation or a corrupt natural environment?



Inspector General to Slam MMS on Spill: Report

Posted By: Barbara Stcherbatcheff | Writer, CNBC
CNBC.com | 17 Jun 2010 | 08:44 AM ET

The Minerals Management Service, the agency in charge of regulating offshore drilling in the US, has investigated the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in a completely backwards manner, according to remarks expected to be made Thursday to a Congressional panel by Mary L. Kendall, the acting inspector general of Interior, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Minerals Management agency has come under fire in recent weeks for the handling of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on the 20th of April.

In prepared remarks obtained by the Journal, Kendall cites a series of reports over the years by her office that document how MMS employees have at times accepted gifts from, socialized with, and even had sexual relations with oil and gas industry representatives.

Criticisms include a laundry list of professional lapses: employing only 60 staff to cover nearly 4,000 facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, a five-paragraph guide on how to deal with accident investigations, and training manuals that that "appear to be considerably out of date", according to Kendall, which were developed between 1984 and 1991.

SNIP...

Sens. Bill Nelson (D - Fla.) and Robert Menendez (D - N.J.) would make it a felony for offshore oil drilling regulators to work for the industry within two years of leaving their government job, and prohibit regulators from owning stock or other interests in the oil and gas industry, the paper reported.

SOURCE...

http://www.cnbc.com/id/37750618



America, we've hit the trifecta.


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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
29. K & R.
Quite disturbing and revealing, Octafish. Thank you.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Slick Operator -- How BP Works Washington
Edited on Sat Jun-19-10 10:39 AM by Octafish
Newsweek is up for sale because readership and advertising is down. Because they still have good reporting, I find them invaluable for democracy.



Slick Operator

How British oil giant BP used all the political muscle money can buy to fend off regulators and influence investigations into corporate neglect.


by Michael Isikoff and Michael Hirsh
Newsweek May 07, 2010

EXCERPT...

The companys most recent effort at damage controlbefore the spilloccurred after a 2005 explosion at the companys Texas City refinery (the third-largest oil refinery in the country). That was among the most deadly disasters to befall the U.S. oil industry in modern times. The blasts and subsequent fires killed 15 workers, injured 180 others, and sent 43,000 people fleeing to indoor shelters. The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board later concluded that the explosions were caused by company deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporationincluding repeated cost cutting that affected maintenance and safety. The Justice Department, working with EPA investigators, launched a criminal investigation that resulted in a $50 million fine against the company for violating the Clean Air Act. But EPA investigators wanted to take the case further and charge top corporate officers, who, they were convinced, had knowledge of the safety deficiencies at Texas City and failed to take corrective action. Their request to continue the investigation was turned down by top officials of the Justice Departments environmental-crimes division, leaving the EPA investigators incensed, according to two EPA officials directly familiar with the probe. We felt like this went all the way to the very top, says one EPA investigator, who did not want to be identified talking about internal matters. The $50 million was a laughingstock. It was a slap on the wrist compared to the profits they were making. (BPs reported profits in 2007 were $17.2 billion.)

In 2006 the EPA and the Justice Department launched a criminal investigation into two massive BP oil leaks in Alaska caused by corroded pipelines. One of the leaks spewed 200,000 gallons onto the tundra. Once again, EPA investigators pushed to charge company officials with a crime. Everybody was convinced we had a humdinger of a case, says Scott West, the EPA special agent in charge of the probe, who has since retired. Witnessesincluding workers on the pipelines and midlevel managershad told investigators how BP executives had ignored repeated warnings about corrosion. There was a corporate philosophy that it was cheaper to operate to failure and then deal with the problem later rather than do preventive maintenance, West told NEWSWEEK. Later that year, West says, he got authority from the U.S. Attorneys Office in Alaska for a surgical subpoena for internal documents relating to the companys maintenance of the pipelines. BP complied in early 2007, but in a way that made it virtually impossible for investigators to find the evidence they needed: BP set up a special server with scanned copies of 62 million pages of documents. If you printed all of them out, says West, it would have filled a warehouse We only had three or four people. When he began to examine BPs response, West says, he remembers thinking, Holy s--t, I cant breathe.

Still, West (who now works for Sea Shepherd, an environmental group) was determined to push a multiyear investigationnot unusual for a complex case that, as he envisioned it, would ultimately reach into corporate headquarters in London. But just a few months later, West says, he was told by federal prosecutors in Alaska to bring the case to a close. We were told, Main Justice wants this wrapped up, and All we can get is a corporate misdemeanor.? According to West and Bob Wojnicz, another since-retired EPA agent on the case, BPs high-powered legal team (headed by Houston lawyer Carol Dinkins, a former deputy attorney general under George H.W. Bush who had previously served as chief of the Justice Departments environment division) had gone over the agents heads. Dinkins negotiated a global settlement of all Justice Department inquiries into the companys conductincluding the Alaska-pipeline case and Texas Citythat was to be announced the same day. There was no reason to shut it down at that point, says Wojnicz. Nelson Cohen, the U.S. attorney in Alaska at the time, says there was no realistic chance of generating useful evidence from continuing the probe and that all investigating agencies and prosecutors concurred in the decision to accept the misdemeanor plea from BP, which included a $20 million fine. Dinkins says, I dont comment on my work for my clients.

In fact, BPs legal difficulties werent yet over. Another set of EPA officials decided that BP should potentially face an even stiffer sanction: debarment from government contracts. But they, too, ran into a wall. Jeanne Pascal, until recently a lawyer in the EPAs Seattle office who specialized in debarment cases, decided to attempt to invoke that provision against BPunless the company agreed to tighter controls over safety and maintenance. Pascal says her proposed agreement would have required BP to turn over invoices of its maintenance costs; it would also have had to consent to regular audits of its operations and provide better protections for whistle-blowers. I told them if they didnt give me what I want, I would debar them, Pascal told NEWSWEEK. But Pascal quickly ran into the oil-company equivalent of too big to failand knew that her threat was essentially empty. Although this is not widely known, BP has been one of the biggest suppliers of fuel to the Pentagon in recent years, with much of its oil going to U.S. military operations in the Mideast. (It sold $2.2 billion in oil to the Pentagon last year, making it No. 1 among all the oil companies in sales to the military, according to the latest figures from the Defense Energy Support Center.)

If she pushed debarment too hard, Pascal was sure the Pentagon would simply invoke a national-security exception that would allow BP to continue to sell it oil. When a major economic and political giant...tells you it has direct access to the White House, its very intimidating, says Pascal. After nearly two years of trying, Pascal retired from the EPA in February with the settlement agreement unsigned. I cant tell you that if my compliance agreement had been signed it would have prevented what happened in the gulf, she says. We just dont know. Whether that unfortunate history will repeat itself, with the company facing its worst crisis ever, is also unknown. But for BP, finding its way around Washington is terrain far more familiar than the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

SOURCE:

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/05/07/slick-operator.html



Because it delivers the goods to the Pentagon, BP is officially invaluable in the "war on terror." Thus, they are safe from regulation and prosecution.

Strip away the plausible cover, and its exactly like a dope dealer who's bought off the cops.

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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #32
40. Too Big To Fail. For national security reasons.
Ending the wars would help end the tyranny of this mafia. Until then, we remain hostages of the United States of British Petroleum...

But for BP, finding its way around Washington is terrain far more familiar than the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Terrifying truth.
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tango-tee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
30. Thank you, octafish!
I am angry beyond words.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #30
36. Fmr. EPA Investigator Scott West: ''BP Told 'It Can Do Whatever It Wants, Wont Be Held Accountable'
Like Jeanne Pascal, this guy has a lot of important stuff to add to the conversation:



Fmr. EPA Investigator Scott West: US Has Told BP "It Can Do Whatever It Wants and Wont Be Held Accountable"

One month after the BP oil spill, we speak to Scott West, a former top investigator at the Environmental Protection Agency who led an investigation of BP following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaskas North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra. Before West finished his investigation, the Bush Justice Department reached a settlement with BP, and the oil company agreed to pay $20 million. At the same time, BP managed to avoid prosecution for the Texas City refinery explosion that killed fifteen workers by paying a $50 million settlement.


DemocracyNow.org
May 20, 2010

EXCERPT...

SCOTT WEST: Yes, good morning, Amy.

In August of 2005, I was introduced to Chuck Hamel, who spoke to me about employees and workers on the North Slope providing information that the transit lines were full of sludge and were likely to suffer catastrophic failure due to corrosion and that then there would be a tremendous loss of oil onto the slope. Chuck made these employees available to me, and I was able to get this information beforehand. I wanted to get in front of that upcoming spill and prevent the spill from occurring, but I found that the EPA and the federal government really had no controls over the operation of that pipeline. So we were in a wait pattern.

Finally, in March of '06, I got a phone call from the slope from one of these workers that I had spoken with telling me that indeed the anticipated rupture had occurred and that a tremendous amount of oil was out onto the frozen tundra. We were lucky that it was wintertime, because the lake that it got into was frozen solid and it made the cleanup a lot easier. Had it been summertime, there would have been a tremendous sheen of oil flowing into the Beaufort Sea. But anyway, knowing that these workers had information that the pipeline would rupture and had provided that to their management and senior management and nothing had been done, that made that a criminal negligence, at the very least. And so I dispatched criminal investigators from EPA CID and sent them to the North Slope to begin a criminal investigation.

AMY GOODMAN: And what happened?

SCOTT WEST: Well, as we dug into it, we realized that we had a very large issue going on and that information that we were preliminarily receiving indicated that high-level management within BP, not only in the United States, but across the ocean and into London, were aware of the policies on the North Slope to forgo maintenance in exchange for saving money and that there was awareness at very high levels that this particular transit line was in jeopardy. And so, that made the investigation become very complex and generated a lot of interest within the EPA and the Department of Justice of being able to get into very senior levels of the corporation and hold them accountable for their decisions, which led to the corrosion rupturing the pipeline.

As we built up our investigation, it became very difficult. BP is known by its workers to be extremely retaliatory. And these workers did not want to lose their jobs or be blacklisted from other work in the oil industry, and so they were reticent about speaking with the investigators directly, which caused us to have to impanel a grand jury and issue subpoenas for these individuals to testify. So, once ordered by the court to come in and testify, they were protected from retaliation. So they would come in. We would interview them through the unwieldy process of using the grand jury, which slowed the investigation down, but also netted us a significant amount of information. In addition, we issued subpoenas for documents. And then in the response to those documents, we were buried. We received the equivalent of about 62 million pages of documents that were going to require a great deal of time to sift through and develop the leads and the information from that information.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Scott

SCOTT WEST: So, byyes, yes.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Scott West, in this particular situation, you had the perhaps unusual situationor how unusual is it to have so many workers basically providing inside information on what was going on and the problems involved, but yet at the same time, as you say, they were afraid to publicly come forward because of possible retaliation? How frequently does that happen in these kinds of situations, especially with oil companies?

SCOTT WEST: Well, it's pretty common in thein industry. Workers do not want to lose their livelihoods, and so theyre reluctant to discuss openly about whats going on in their companies. I found, through my career as an environmental investigator, that it was often easier to get witnesses to give up information on friends, co-workers and spouses before they would give it up on their employer. But ultimately, most people come around and do the right thing and provide the information that they have about criminal activity. In this particular instance, though, the vindictiveness of BP, as understood by the employees and conveyed to the investigators, was extreme. And so, it made it much more difficult.

But in terms of where my investigation was going, by June of '07, we had several investigators working on the case. We had several prosecutors from the Department of Justice, both from the US attorney's office in Alaska and from the Environmental Crimes Section at main Justice. A tremendous amount of man hours were being devoted to this case. And, in fact, the director of CID had told about that time that the investigation that we had in Alaska was one of the top two criminal cases that EPA had at the time. So there was a lot of momentum, a lot of interest in this case.

But by August of '07, something had shifted dramatically, and we were told by the US attorney's office in Alaska that the case would settle out for corporate misdemeanor. And at the meeting that I attended there in late August, the question was asked, if we had to go to trial today, what could we prove? And I had to admit that a trial at that moment, the most we could prove was a corporate misdemeanor. And then I said, "But were not done with our investigation. Weve only just begun. We need another couple of years to really vet this out." And they said, well, can I guarantee that I would be able to convict individuals. And I said, "Of course not. You cant guarantee anything like that in the criminal investigative arena." And so, with that, they said, "Well, then were done." And I was in shock. Its unheard of for a special agent in charge to be denied the opportunity to complete an investigation that was so far from nearing its end. And then

CONTINUED...

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/20/fmr_epa_investiga...



"Beyond Prosecution" has me, too, "Beyond Pronounciation," tango-tee. That's why the printed word is so important: When anger prevents me from sharing my thoughts on a subject, an article may do the talking. So, I very much appreciate your words, my Friend.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
37. K&R!
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. The Maligning of BP
Ha ha. What a joy it is to laugh.



The Maligning of BP

by Christopher Brauchli
Published on Saturday, June 19, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

Everything is soothed by oil, and this is the reason why divers send out small quantities of it from their mouths, because it smooths every part which is rough.
- Pliny the Elder, Natural History


The British anger is really over the fact that Americans lack the stiff upper lip for which the British are so famous. Instead of just sucking it up and putting on a brave face we seem to be engaged in a constant state of whinging and it's hard for the British not to believe that it's nothing more than wanting to make them and one of their prized corporate citizens look bad.

In fairness to the Americans, one has to observe that the oil being spilled (the word that is consistently used to describe something that never having been contained except by nature, was hardly capable of being "spilled") is having a devastating effect on the environment and its inhabitants. Millions of people are having their lives irreversibly altered if not shattered with no prospect of returning to a pre-spill way of life during their lifetimes, presidential promises to the contrary notwithstanding. The environment will be irreversibly altered for hundreds of square miles with no prospect that the life contained therein will recover within the foreseeable future.

And it's not that BP (referred to as "British Petroleum" by some commentators, in an attempt, the British think, to create more anger towards their country) did not do everything within its power, sort of, to protect against the very disaster that occurred. So thorough was BP that in the response plan that it furnished the government describing how it would deal with disasters, it said it had plans to protect "Sensitive Biological Resources" in the Gulf. It defined those resources to include "Sea lions, Seals, Sea Otters and Walruses". That shows an amazing thoroughness since sightings of any of those creatures in the Gulf have, in recent centuries, been extremely rare. (During the recent congressional hearings in which executives from other companies that were drilling in the Gulf testified, it was disclosed that many of the response plans prepared by them also promised to protect those animals.)

BP also identified its "primary equipment providers in the Gulf of Mexico Region for deployment of spill response resources on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis." One of those providers, identified in a link on the proposal, was to a Japanese Home Shopping site but that was just a mistake and does not suggest BP was negligent. The fact that it identified them was significant even though when the event occurred the providers, including the Home Shopping Network were, contrary to the representation, unavailable. In its response plan it also says it has "personnel, equipment, and materials in sufficient quantities and recovery capacity to respond effectively to oil spills from the "worst case discharge scenarios" covered by the plan and it is almost certain that it believed that.

A rarely mentioned fact about the response plan is that it is almost 600 pages in length. That, too, speaks to the thoroughness of BP's work.

CONTINUED...

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/06/19-4



Thanks for caring, OmmmSweetOmmm. As Democrats, we believe all people are created equal and people are more important than things, meaning people are more important than corporations. That is the opposite approach of Tony the Fixer, Fainting Johnny Roberts and their crew of Greedy Oil Preverts. Their judicial and personal philosophy is "Money Talks." That means, at work, they are making a killing.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
41. "People who work for BP are afraid of their employer. BP is a very retaliatory company."
Hmmm...
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