The Kochs have giant refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. They can't use Texas oil because it's not heavy and filthy enough, so they have to take almost all their oil from Venezuela. ...more
Palast explains the situation in Venezuela, where the Trump administration has recently been signaling for U.S.-backed regime change. Although the claim is that ...more
Last week the Keystone pipeline cracked in South Dakota and dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of the dirtiest tar sands oil onto a previously pristine prairie. Was the problem caused by a muzzled ...more
This week, Nebraska will decide on whether to approve an extension of the Keystone pipeline which will carry the oil down to Texas.
Oil to Texas?!
Texas is drowning in oil. So why a dangerous pipeline to bring oil from Canada to Texas? The answer ...more
I was in the Arctic where Trump wants to drill baby drill. Drilling means the ethnic cleansing of the Inuit speakers who still live there. Whales won’t swim in hydrocarbon. I noticed Trump did not OK drilling off Mar-a-Lago.
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Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motionÂ non-fiction movie.
Or support the The Palast Investigative Fund (a project of The Sustainable Markets Foundation) by shopping withÂ Amazon Smile.Â AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the Palast Fund and you get a tax-deduction!Â More info.
by Greg Palast â€“ for Channel 4, UK
Two years before the Deepwater Horizon blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP off-shore rig suffered a nearly identical blow-out, but BP concealed the first one from the U.S. regulators and Congress.
The witness, whose story is backed up by rig workers who were evacuated from BPâ€™s Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers â€œcould have had a chanceâ€ of survival. But BPâ€™s insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their fate.
One cause of the blow-outs was the same in both cases: Â the use of a money-saving techniqueâ€”plugging holes with â€œquick-dryâ€ cement.
By hiding the disastrous failure of its penny-pinching cement process in 2008, BP was able to continue to use …more
by Greg Palast for OpedNews
When RyanCare-TrumpCare finally ended up face-down in the swimming pool, triumphalist Democrats whooped and partied and congratulated themselves on defeating the Trump-Ryan monstrosity.
But deep in their counting house, counting their gold, three brothers cackled with private jubilation.
David and Charles Koch knew the day was theirs.
Joining them in the celebration was Brother Billy, William Koch, who will share in their $21 billion windfall that the President arranged for them only hours before TrumpCare crashedâ€”when Trump announced his State Department had formally approved the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Let’s start with that $21 billion.
The XL Keystone Pipeline would take the world’s heaviest, filthiest crude from Canada’s tar sands, and snake with it all the way down to Texas.
In fact, Texas is drowning in oil, choking in it. But the Kochs’ Texas refinery can’t use much local crude. The Koch Industries Flint Hills refinery on the Texas Gulf Coast was designed specifically to crack only the world’s “heaviest” (i.e. filthiest) crude.
Texas crude ain’t heavy enough, ain’t dirty enough, for the Kochs’ Gulf Coast operation, originally designed for imports for the world’s major source of heavy crude: Venezuela. The price the Kochs paid for Venezuela’s oil was set by its President Hugo Chavez, and now, by Chavez’ chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro.
Chavez and Maduro both told me they’d squeeze the Kochs by their tankers. They have.
Enter the Mounties: Canadians sell their super-heavy crude at a $12 to $30 a barrel discount to the Venezuelan price. If the XL Pipeline is complete, the Kochs can suck down Canada’s cheap cruddy crude for a minimum savings of $1.27 billion in a single year.
The Kochs pocket billions while we fry: burning the Canadian tar sands reserve will, all by itself, raise the temperature of the entire planet by 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over the life of the XL Keystone Pipeline, the various Koch operations will put at minimum …more
Wednesday, my colleague Khadija Ismayilova wasÂ released from an Azerbaijan prison. Her crime was investigative reporting. She helped me get out the story of the Islamic Republic of British Petroleumâ€”and get out safe to report it. Her courage is more than the human mind can comprehend.Â
Here’s a bit of her story from my book Vultures’ Picnic.
Getting the hell out of the Islamic Republic of BP with the Deepwater Horizon evidence
by Greg Palast
[Based on a tip from some guy floating in the Caspian Sea in Central Asia, we take off for Baku, Azerbaijan, the â€œIslamic Republic of BP.â€ Stopping in London, the deathly ill MI6 double-agent Leslie the Bagman lays out the history of the coup dâ€™etat, hooker-bait and the $30 million â€œsweetenerâ€ paid by Lord Browne to the oil nationâ€™s â€œpresidentâ€â€“â€“and suggests we find his old spy-mate, Natasha.
You’ve heard and seen much about the Gulf disaster that killed 11 BP workers. If you have not heard about the earlier blowout, it’s because BP has kept the full story under wraps. Nor did BP inform Congress or US safety regulators, and BP, along with its oil industry partners, have preferred to keep it that way.
The earlier blowout occurred in September 2008 on BP’s Central Azeri platform in the Caspian Sea.
As one memo marked “secret” puts it, “Given the explosive potential, BP was quite fortunate to …more
Six years ago today, 11 members of the Deepwater Horizon Crew were still alive. The Gulf of Mexico, thanks to decades of dredging by the oil companies was a slowly growing disaster – but it was still a tourist destination and a source of jobs for thousands of fishermen.
New Orleans,Â still recovering from the man-made disaster that was Hurricane KatrinaÂ would again, in just 2 days become the center of America’s latestÂ great environmental tragedy.
All this week we’ll be sharing the investigations that we did on British Petroleum’s disaster and its international fallout – including the one that could have foretold the April 20th blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
Today, we’re sharing an excerpt from Vultures’ Picnic.
A RUBBER DINGHY OFF THE GULF COAST, MISSISSIPPI, OCTOBER 2010
This was my first investigation of fish homicide, so I figured Rick and I needed a boat because Professor Steinerâ€™s submarine had just cleared the Panama Canal and wouldnâ€™t arrive in time for our filming.
However, Badpenny couldnâ€™t hook up a canoe, let alone a skiff, because BP had put every Coon-Ass captain on its payroll for the oil clean-up, which mostly involved floating around looking busy when CNN showed up. BP would have to OK our taking one of their indentured boats, and BP never said OK unless they controlled the fish story. …more
There’s yet another leak on the Keystone Pipeline – it was discovered by a “passerby” – not TransCanada itself. Â That doesn’t surprise us at all, if you’ve read my report on PIGS, you’d know why.
Reporting for Channel 4 News we talked to whistleblowers that told us the true story behind pipeline safety. The problem wasn’t just their terrible safety record, or even people taking shots at them. The problem was a PIG, not Porky, but a Smart PIG.
The Pig in the XL Pipeline
Insider reveals concealed â€œerrorâ€Â in pipeline safety equipment that could blow away the GOPâ€™s XL pipe dream
â€œThey threatened me. Last night I got a call and they threatened me. If I talked.â€His information: The software for the crucial piece of pipeline safety equipment, the â€œSmart PIG,â€ has a flaw known to the industry but concealed from regulators.
The flaw allows cracks, leaks and corrosion to go undetected â€“ and that saves the industry billions of dollars in pipe replacements. But thereâ€™s a catch. Pipes with cracks and leaks can explode â€“ and kill.
Federal law requires the oil and gas industry to run a PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, through big oil and gas pipelines. The robot porker, tethered to a GPS, beeps and boops as it rolls through, electronically squealing when it finds dangers.
But whistleblowers told us at Channel 4 Dispatches (the â€œ60 Minutesâ€ of Britain) that the software is deliberately calibrated to ignore or minimize deadly problems. They know because themselves worked on the software design team.
This week, President Obama refused to issue a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, but invited its owner, Trans-Canada, to re-apply. The GOP has gone wild over Obamaâ€™s hesitation, screeching that slowing the Canada-to-Houston pipe for a full safety review is a jobs killer.
But itâ€™s the Pipeline thatâ€™s the killer. Hereâ€™s what Pig Man #2 told me, on camera, his face in shadow: …more
Abby Martin has taken her groundbreaking work to TelesurEnglish, now called The Empire Files. In this episode titled ‘The Tyrany of Big Oil,’ Abby talks with Greg Palast and Antonia Juhasz. Greg and Antonia delve into Big Oil’s grip on Washington DC and how far they will go to make a buck – leaving a wrath of destruction as they do.
Palast begins about 17 minutes into this episode discussing the story behind his investigation into why New Orleans drowned. To see more on this story, watch his film Big Easy to Big EmptyÂ and of course read Vultures’ Picnic.
The Governor of Alabama has decided that instead of using BP’s cleanup money for restoring the lives of those affected by one of the worst man-made disasters in history, he’s using it to rebuild a mansion.Owned by the State of Alabama the million dollar beach residence of the Governor has been closed for 18 years since Hurricane Danny damaged it. The fix-up is “estimated at $1.5 million to $1.8 million” and will be done by May according to the Associated Press.
A million and a half bucks could pay for a lot of beach cleanup, something that’s still needed in the Gulf. But as with everything associated with this deal the money goes to the top – and then trickles down to the bottom. Just like the oil in the Gulf.
The BP settlement has been a disaster since the beginning, as I reported back in 2012:
The lawyers for 120,000 victims of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out cut a deal with oil company BP PLC which will save the oil giant billions of dollars. It will also save the company the threat of a trial that could expose the true and very ugly story of the Gulf of Mexico oil platform blow-out.
I have been to the Gulf and seen the damage â€” and the oil that BP says is gone. Â Miles of it. Â As an economist who calculated damages for plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, I can tell you right now that there is no way, no how, that the $7.8 billion BP says it will spend on this settlement will cover that damage, the lost incomes, homes, businesses and boats, let alone the lost lives â€” from cancers, fetal deformities, miscarriages, and lung and skin diseases.
In 2010, President Barack Obama forced BP to set aside at least $20 billion for the oil spill’s victims. Â This week’s settlement will add exactly ZERO to that fund. Â Indeed, BP is crowing that, adding in the sums already paid out, the company will still have spent less than the amount committed to the Obama fund.
There’s so much corrosion, mendacity and evil covered up by this settlement deal that I hardly know where to begin.
Download the investigation, Vulture’s and Vote Rustlers here.
This week on Democracy Now, 350.org’s Bill McKibben was on the program to discuss Exxon’s “thuggish” attempt to threaten Columbia journalism students after they published an investigation into Exxon’s climate lies.
It’s not news to anyone who follows my work that big oil likes to use their financial sway in higher education. Back in 2009 I wrote about the Deputy Director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, Ivor Van Heerden who was pushed out of his job when he started talking too much about how Big Oil helped drown New Orleans.
I don’t get to use the word “heroic” very often. Van Heerden is heroic. It was van Heerden who told me, on camera, something so horrible, so frightening, that, …more
Yesterday TransCanada called for the State Department to pause its review of the Keystone XL Pipeline until after the 2016 election. Of course, with every Democratic candidate against the filthy crude tube, and every Republican for it, the delay is a gamble on the race.
But whoâ€™s behind the pipe â€” that is, who benefits? And why in the world are we sending oil all the way down from Canadaâ€¦Texas? Texas, I hear, already has a little oil.
The answer is a four letter word: Koch. Read the story we broke in Vice Magazine, “I want my fair share â€“ and that’s ALL OF IT.”
By Greg Palast
This week, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, The Palast Investigative Fund is offering my film, Big Easy to Big Empty: Â The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans as a FREE download.Â It wasnâ€™t a natural disaster, it was a homicide.Â This is the story youâ€™re not supposed to know.Â Get it, and pass on the link.
Screw the celebration.Â New Orleans hasnâ€™t â€œcome back.â€Â That is, there are still the Bourbon Street bars serving â€œHurricanesâ€ to sloshed tourists and Mardi Gras when white Americans can catch trinkets from floats floating over the ghosts of the drowned.
New Orleans is back to 79% of its pre-flood population.Â Why am I not cheering? Because the original residentsâ€”that is, the majority of the pre-flood Black residentsâ€”are still wandering in …more
By Greg Palast Â | Â for Truthdig
The military whistleblowerâ€™s 2010 Wikileaks dump included information that could have saved the 11 BP workers who died that spring in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster.
Let me explain.
The BP drilling rig blew itself to Kingdom Come after the â€œmudâ€Â â€” the cement used to cap the wellÂ â€” blew out.
The oil company, the federal government and the industry were shockedÂ â€” shocked!Â â€” at this supposedly unexpected explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
But BP knew, and Exxon and Chevron knew, and the U.S. State Department knew, that just 17 months earlier another BP offshore rig had suffered an identical, disastrous blow-out halfway across the planet in the Caspian Sea.
In both the Gulf and Caspian blow-outs, the immediate culprit was the failure of the cement, in both cases caused by the useÂ â€” misuseÂ â€” of nitrogen in the cement mix, a money-saving but ultimately deadly measure intended to speed the cementâ€™s drying.
The cover-up meant that U.S. regulators, the U.S. Congress and the public had no inkling that the cost-saving â€œquick-dryâ€ cement process had failed on an offshore rig only a year before the Deepwater Horizon blew.
You can watch the Deep Water Horizon report in Palast’s documentary compilation film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers, which will be available as a FREE download for the next two days courtesy of the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund.
But Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning tried to warn us. The details of the Caspian Sea blow-out off the coast of Baku, Azerbaijan, were revealed in the secret …more