If the the U.S. jails Julian Assange, they should jail me, and my colleagues at The Guardian and New York Times. We all used the Manning / Assange / WikiLeaks emails. Shame on ...more
March 24 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez grounding and the smearing of 1,200 miles of Alaska’s coastline with its oil. It also marks the 30th Anniversary of a lie. Lots of lies... ...more
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
On January 23, right after a phone call from Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, former speaker of Venezuela's National Assembly, declared himself president. No voting. When you have official recognition from The Donald, who needs elections? ...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 motion non-fiction movie.
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by Greg Palast – 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 BP’s Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers “could have had a chance” of survival. But BP’s insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their fate.
One cause of the blow-outs was the same in both cases: the use of a money-saving technique-plugging holes with “quick-dry” 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 crashed””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 was released from an Azerbaijan prison. Her crime was investigative reporting. She helped me get out the story of the Islamic Republic of British Petroleum-and get out safe to report it. Her courage is more than the human mind can comprehend.
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 “Islamic Republic of BP.” Stopping in London, the deathly ill MI6 double-agent Leslie the Bagman lays out the history of the coup d’etat, hooker-bait and the $30 million “sweetener” paid by Lord Browne to the oil nation’s “president” 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, still recovering from the man-made disaster that was Hurricane Katrina would again, in just 2 days become the center of America’s latest 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 Steiner’s submarine had just cleared the Panama Canal and wouldn’t arrive in time for our filming.
However, Badpenny couldn’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. 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 “error” in pipeline safety equipment that could blow away the GOP’s XL pipe dream
“They threatened me. Last night I got a call and they threatened me. If I talked.”His information: The software for the crucial piece of pipeline safety equipment, the “Smart PIG,” has a flaw known to the industry but concealed from regulators.
The flaw allows cracks, leaks and corrosion to go undetected – and that saves the industry billions of dollars in pipe replacements. But there’s a catch. Pipes with cracks and leaks can explode – 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 “60 Minutes” 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 Obama’s hesitation, screeching that slowing the Canada-to-Houston pipe for a full safety review is a jobs killer.
But it’s the Pipeline that’s the killer. Here’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 Empty 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 ”” and the oil that BP says is gone. Miles of it. 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 ”” 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. This week’s settlement will add exactly ZERO to that fund. 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