Category Archives: Big Oil

BP banned from government contracts in U.S.

The Environmental Protection Agency took the action of barring the petroleum giant from doing any contractual bidness with the U.s. in light of the Big Oil company’s dismal record. You can read all about the EPA’s action right here.

Experts: Adirondacks should prep adaptation strategies for climate change

The experts include Paul Smith’s  College professor Curt Stager. This piece from North Country Public Radio is straightforward. Oh, and there is no “debate” on whether climate change is occurring. It is and human actions are to blame.

pEER: BP stalling to see election results

More than two years ago, a massive blowout from BP’s Deepwater Horizon fouled the Gulf of Mexico in one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.  Yet, no federal charges have been brought against the oil giant.

Instead, federal prosecutors and industry lawyers continue to negotiate behind closed doors.  Many are starting to suspect that BP is running out the clock in hopes that a Romney victory will strengthen its hand.

That suspicion is supported by a sweetheart deal BP cut late in the Bush administration.  In March 2006, a major BP pipeline leak went undetected for days, spilling a quarter-million gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra, making it the largest oil spill in the history of the North Slope. The spill occurred because BP ignored its own workers’ warnings by neglecting critical maintenance to cut costs (sound familiar?)

Rather than throw the book at this corporate rogue, federal prosecutors short-circuited ongoing investigations by announcing a settlement that was stupefying in its generosity:

  • BP agreed to one misdemeanor charge carrying three-year probation and a total of only $20 million in penalties.  This meant no felony charges would be pursued and there would be no future prosecutions. No BP executive faced any criminal liability, let alone jail time;
  • The fines were only a fraction of what was legally required; and
  • This settlement was part of a package in which the Bush Justice Department secured only $50 million in fines for the BP Texas refinery explosion in which 15 people died – a slap on the wrist for a big multi-national corporation and an insult to the memories of the workers who died.

PEER asked the Justice Department Inspector General to investigate this travesty but the IG refused.  Had Justice taken strong action against BP then, it might have deterred BP’s Deepwater catastrophe just months later.

Will history repeat itself?  Based on the scant and incomplete testing for the key system for preventing a repeat of the massive Gulf of Mexico blowout in the sensitive waters of theArctic, our government has already forgotten the lessons we were supposed to have learned from Deepwater Horizon, even as its oil sheens keep surfacing.

Help PEER combat these recurrences of official amnesia.

Shell delays Arctic oil drilling until next year

Aw, shucks. Big Oil (and its moneyed supporters in Congress) had to have been salivating over Shell’s push to sink a well in the Arctic Ocean. Too damn bad the first plans didn’t work out. Here’s a report.

National seashores, like Assateague, endangered by rising sea level

This is not rocket science. As human activities (the burning of fossil fuels) add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, forcing the melting of ice and glaciers worldwide, the sea level rises). Folks whose lives included treks to places like Cape Cod, Cape Hatteras, Rehoboth Beach and much more ought to be really concerned. I mean REALLY. Read about Assateauge here.

Senator Sanders, I-Vt., goes to Senate floor to plead for climate action

And Bernie, my senator as a Vermonter (I am proud to say) also poked fun at denier-in-chief Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. I’m sure had I stayed in Oklahoma after serving at Tinker Air Force Base there, I wold have campaigned hard and much against Inhofe. Read about Sanders and his Senate words.

Big Oil REALLY likes Mitt Romney – really

The data and suppositions in this article are not all that surprising, actually. In any case, Mr. Romney would throw some big subsidies to Big Oil – and Big Coal, too – if elected (or “selected” by the Surpreme Court).