17 May 2010

BP and Government are too close

I've not had a chance to cover the BP spill - but several people have discussed it with me while I was canvassing in the recent election - so I have been meaning to give it a mention - it is deeply disturbing to hear that new estimates are suggesting that the Gulf Oil Spill is leaking at least 10 times the amount of oil as previous estimates of 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons, or 795,000 liters) a day - this already far exceeds the Exxon Valdez accident.

Caroline Lucas MP and leader of the Green Party, made a statement calling for a wide-ranging and thorough investigation - not merely of the incident itself but of broader factors. She said: “We know that earlier this year US congressmen wrote to a senior BP official expressing concern that BP’s cost-cutting measures might compromise the safety of its facilities. We know they cited four recent examples of BP safety problems including a narrowly-averted disaster in Alaska. And we know that a recent banking analyst report explained how BP had slashed its operating expenses by $4bn, cutting 5,000 jobs – and this is the kind of thing that may well involve corner-cutting on safety. We also know that President Obama has owned up to the problem of a ‘cosy relationship’ between regulators and oil companies. So clearly there needs to be an investigation, and it must go beyond the incident itself.”

This Gulf Oil Spill should surely be another wake-up call for us all to address our oil addiction. As Climate Ark note the first step is to ensure offshore drilling does not accelerate. Obama and his top deputies have yet to talk about reducing the nation's dependence on fossil fuels in connection with the oil spill. We must reduce our the demand for oil, and end offshore oil drilling. Take action here.

As the economic and environmental losses mount on the Gulf Coast so do the similarities between the growing BP oil spill and another story I covered on this blog (see here) - the existing oil contamination in the Ecuadorian rainforest(courtesy of Chevron). They have both changed dramatically the environment and way of life of the people and business owners of the Gulf Coast and the indigenous tribes of Ecuador.

See Economist story here. See latest re Chevron at:


DocRichard said...

What gets me is that they had to build the coffer (the "dome" that failed to work) from scratch. They should have all the blowout kit ready and waiting during dangerous procedures. Its like having no blood transfusion kit in an operating theatre.

Anonymous said...

Since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig went down in the Gulf last month, there have been two unstoppable gushes: one from the ocean floor and the other from the mouth of BP's top executive, Tony Hayward. See: