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
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.
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
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.
Five years ago Monday, 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rigÂ â€” despite Chelsea Manningâ€™s effort to save their lives.
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 aFREE downloadfor 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
[Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans]Â Nine years ago this week, New Orleans drowned. Â Donâ€™t you dare blame Mother Nature.Â Miss Katrina killed no one in this town. Â But it was a homicide, with nearly 2,000 dead victims. Â If not Katrina, who done it? Â Read on.
The Palast Investigative Fund is making our half-hour investigative report available as a free downloadÂ â€“Â Big Easy to Big Empty:Â The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans, produced for Democracy Now.Â In the course of the filming, Palast was charged with violation of anti-terror laws on a complaint from Exxon Corporation.Â Charges were dropped, and our digging continued.
It wasnâ€™t an Act of God.Â It was an Act of Chevron.Â An Act of Exxon. An Act of Big Oil.
Take a look at these numbers dug out of Louisiana state records: …more
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
Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Greg Palast led a four-continent investigation of BP PLC for Britain’s television series Dispatches. From 1989-91, Palast directed the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding for Alaska Native villages.
Some deal. BP gets the gold mine and the public gets the shaft.
On Friday night, 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 …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
New Orleans - Reminding the residents of Gulf Coast that, if can they can find their missing loved ones, they will qualify for the new higher exemption on inheritance taxes. "Don't think of them as lost, think of them as floating tax deductions!" ...more