Only 17 months before BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig suffered a deadly blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP deepwater oil platform also blew out.
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
A federal judge in New York today slapped a stern order on attorney Steven Donziger and the Ecuadorean villagers he claims to represent, prohibiting them from capitalizing on a $9 billion judgment the judge said was the product of â€œegregious fraud.â€
The judge is completely, utterly full of shit,Â here’s the real story.
by Greg Palast – Exclusive for EcoWatch.org Friday, 20. April, 2012
Evidence now implicates top BP executives as well as its partners Chevron and Exxon and the Bush Administration in the deadly cover-up â€“ which included falsifying a report to the Securities Exchange Commission.
Yesterday, Ecowatch.org revealed that, in September 2008, nearly two years before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP rig had blown out in the Caspian Seaâ€“â€“which BP concealed from U.S. regulators and Congress.
Had BP, Chevron, Exxon or the Bush State Department revealed the facts of the earlier blow-out, it is likely that the Deepwater Horizon disaster would have been prevented.
Days after the Deepwater Horizon blow-out, a message came in to our offices …more
by Greg Palast â€“ Exclusive for EcoWatch.org Thursday, 19. April, 2012
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.
This week, EcoWatch.org located an eyewitness with devastating new information about the Caspian Sea oil-rig blow-out which BP had concealed from government and the industry.
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 the dangerous methods in the Gulf of Mexicoâ€”causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. April 20 marks the second anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster.
There were several failures in common to the two incidents identified by the eyewitness. He is an industry insider whose identity and expertise we have confirmed. His name and that of other witnesses we contacted must be withheld for their safety.
The failures revolve around the use of â€œquick-dryâ€ cement, the uselessness of blow-out preventers, â€œmayhemâ€ in evacuation procedures and an atmosphere of fear which prevents workers from blowing the whistle on safety problems.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance and senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council, said, â€œWe have laws that make it illegal to hide this kind of information. At the very least, these are lies by omission. When you juxtapose their knowledge of this incident upon the oil companies constant and persistent assurances of safety to regulators, investigators and shareholders, you have all the elements to prove that their concealment of the information was criminal.â€ …more
Palast conducted a five-continent investigation of Big Oil for British TV’s premier current affairs program, Dispatches, and for BBC Worldwide. This report is based on the broadcast seen prime-time worldwideâ€”but not yet in the USA.
Whistleblowers have told Britain’s “Dispatches” that the safety software on major US pipelines contains deliberate errorsâ€”and so pipelines can â€” and have â€” busted, leaked, exploded …and killed.
Congressional Republicans are holding extended unemployment benefits hostage until President Obama agrees to speed up approval to build the XL Keystone Pipeline. XL Keystone will slice down through the entire width of the USA, moving tar-sands oil from Canada to Houston.
The oil industry promises that the Pipeline will be safe. But the pipe is only safe if the PIG inside it can squeal.
Federal law requires the industry to run a diagnostic robot PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, that will squeal when something is wrong: a crack, dangerous corrosion, anything that might lead to a spill or explosion.
But PIGs are only as good as the software that tracks and analyzes their signals. And the software used by Big Oil has been compromisedâ€”deliberately. …more
The two-grand-a-night call girls are wandering lonely and disconsolate through the Wynn casino, victims of the recession. Badpenny, dressed full-on Bond Girl, is losing nickels in the slots and humming Elvis tunes.
Badpennyâ€™s assigned job here is to look good and get information. Sheâ€™s good at her job. A tipsy plaintiffsâ€™ lawyer is telling her, â€œA woman as beautiful as you should be told sheâ€™s beautiful every five minutes.â€ His nose dips slowly toward her cleavage…
If you donâ€™t read Greg Palastâ€™s investigative reports, you donâ€™t know whatâ€™s going on in America. Palast is the journalist who discovered election thefts in the U.S., the real reason behind Bush IIâ€™s invasion of Iraq, and other vital information on the class war that the rich wage every day.
In his new book, Vulturesâ€™ Picnic, Palast presents the inside story of how the financial eliteÂ loots public treasuries and passes the bill on to you. He also writes about recent and upcoming environmental catastrophes. In this excerpt for Razorcake, the Palast team starts investigating the 2010 British Petroleum disaster …more
Tonight, my dog Pluto and I watched the PBS ‘Frontline’Â investigation of BP,Â “The Spill.”
PBS has uncovered a real shocker:Â Â BP neglected safety!
Well, no shit, Sherlock!
Pluto rolled over on the rug and looked at me as if to say,Â Don’t we already knowÂ this?
Then PBS told us â€” get ready â€” that BP has neglectedÂ warnings about oilÂ safetyÂ for years!
That’s true.Â Â But so has PBS.Â Â TheÂ Petroleum Broadcast System has turned a blind eye to BP perfidy for decades.
If the broadcast had come six monthsÂ before the Gulf blow-out, after the 2005 BP RefineryÂ explosion in Texas, or after the 2006 Alaska pipeline disaster, or after the years ofÂ government fines that flashedÂ DANGER-DANGER, I would say, “Damn, thatÂ Frontline sure is courageous.”Â Â But six monthsÂ after the blow-out, PBS has shown us it only has the courage to shoot the wounded.
At Tatitlek Village, Alaska Native Henry Makarka told me, “If I had a machine gun I’d shoot every one of them white sons of bitches.”
Makarka was talking about the executives who came to him and his tribe 40 years ago to purchase their land at Valdez.Â They were from the companies now known as Exxon and BP.
The Tatitlek were paid the handsome price of $1 for Valdez, which the companies knew was worth billions.
Yes, Henry, we want to shoot BP too.Â And Exxon.Â With cameras – which corporations fear more than bullets.
We have launched the multi-national Amazon to Arctic investigation of BP and its oily sisters.
But frankly, we need the cash to do it; for the small charter planes, the detective agencies, the camera batteries and, frankly, our nourishment.
If you have ever considered supporting us, or adding to your prior support, believe me, this is the moment.Â Please donate here and I’ll send you, signed, your choice of thank you gifts: my films on DVD and bestselling books.
For 21 years, I have been hunting BP, Exxon, Chevron and their sisters.
But I simply can’t continue.Â We are, no kidding, dead out of funds for this work.
The result will be a feature-length documentary (a major network has indicated it will distribute), major print investigative pieces and a series of video-enhanced internet news reports for major sites.Â (As always, our reports are given to Democracy Now! and other not-for-profit broadcasters without charge.)
But the preliminary work and deep investigation which they can’t cover must start now.
* $579 buys my ticket to Alaska, BP’s latest drilling target.
* $1100 gets me to a meeting with a BP insider.
* $200 buys us a new concealable mini-recorder.
We need your help. If you believe the issue of oil’s global reach deserves the type of serious, deep investigation the Palast team uniquely provides, then now is the moment to show you support us.
Please, make it at least $100 and I’ll send you my three latest DVDs.
Better yet, become our producer. I mean it. Instead of million-dollar moguls, we are looking for a group of twenty-four “mini-moguls” to launch our films (news report length and feature length). Donate at least $1,000 and we’ll list you as a co-Producer for our next film (with a dozen DVDs of the film when complete).
BP insiders have contacted us from the Caspian to London.Â We need your tax-deductible donation right away.Â If ever there was a journalistic emergency, this is it.
We need to get back up to Alaska, BP’s next offshore target, pay the bills from hunting Chevron in the Amazon, then return to the Gulf where we have more inside information already gleaned that needs verification and publication.
I really don’t want to shut down such an important investigation.Â If you have ever considered supporting us, or adding to your prior support, believe me, this is the moment.
Our special thanks to Mike Papantonio, Bobby Kennedy and their Ring of Fire Radio for supporting our Arctic to Amazon campaign.
On top of this obligation, we have also begun an investigation of nuclear power which has recently arisen from its corporate crypt.Â I know this is a lot to take on, but we must – and we will, with your commitment to join us.
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Greg Palast investigated charges of fraud by BP and Exxon in the grounding of the Exxon Valdez for Alaska’s Chugach Natives.
But I’ve been in this investigating game long enough to know that van Heerden’s job didn’t die of natural causes or academic issues. This was a hit. Some very powerful folks wanted him disappeared and silenced â€” for good.
BBC Television Newsnight has been able to get close-in film of a new Cofan Indian ritual deep in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest. Known as “The Filing of the Law Suit,” natives of Ecuador’s jungle, decked in feathers and war paint and heavily armed with lawyers, are filmed presenting a new complaint in their litigation seeking $12 billion from Chevron Inc., the international oil goliath.
It would all be a poignant joke – except that the indigenous tribe is suddenly the odds-on favorite to defeat the oil company known for naming its largest tanker, “Condoleezza,” after former Chevron director, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
For Newsnight, reporter Greg Palast, steps (somewhat inelegantly) into a dug-out log canoe to seek out the Cofan in their rainforest village to investigate their allegations. Palast discovers stinking pits of old oil drilling residue leaking into drinking water – and meets farmers whose limbs are covered in pustules.
The Cofan’s leader, Emergildo Criollo, tells Palast that when Texaco Oil, now part of Chevron, came to the village in 1972, it obtained permission to drill by offering the Indians candy and cheese. The indigenous folk threw the funny-selling cheese into the jungle.
Criollo says his three-year son died from oil contamination after, “He went swimming, then began vomiting blood.”
Flying out of the rainforest, past the Andes volcanoes, Palast gets the other side of the story in Ecuador’s capitol, Quito. “It’s the largest fraud in history!” asserts Chevron …more
It has been a very good war for Big Oil — courtesy of OPEC price hikes. The five oil giants saw profits rise from $34 billion in 2002 to $81 billion in 2004, year two of Iraq’s “transition to democracy.”
But this tsunami of black ink was nothing compared to the wave of $113 billion in profits to come in 2005: $13.6 billion for Conoco, $14.1 billion for Chevron and the Mother of All Earnings, Exxon’s $36.1 billion. …more
Now that I’ve convinced you that the Peak Oil crowd is crackers, let me disagree with myself. We can’t understand the new class war unless we understand why oil, a certain kind at least, has in fact “peaked.”
We’ve long jumped over Hubbert’s predicted peak and, in 2006, rolled our SUVs right through the “culmination”- that is, used the last drops of the one-and-a-quarter-trillion barrels of liquid crude the good Earth can provide according to the Hubbert jeremiad. Furthermore, “The rise in the production of power from nuclear energy for the United States” ran out long before uranium’s five-thousand-year reign, despite Hubbert’s hope and prediction. …more