Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 4 Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 6 (12 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   8 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

25 Years After Exxon Valdez, BP Was the Hidden Culprit

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Greg Palast     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 3/24/14

Author 1833
Become a Fan
  (65 fans)
- Advertisement -

Source: Truthdig


Two decades ago I was the investigator for the legal team that sold you the bullshit that a drunken captain was the principal cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster, the oil tanker crackup that poisoned over a thousand miles of Alaska's coastline 25 years ago on March 24, 1989.

The truth is far uglier, and the real culprit -- British Petroleum, now BP -- got away without a scratch to its reputation or to its pocketbook.

And because BP's willful negligence, prevarications and fraud in the Exxon Valdez spill cost the company nothing, its disdain for the law, for the environment and for the safety of its workers was repeated in the Gulf of Mexico with deadly consequences, resulting, two decades later, in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Just this month, the Obama administration authorized BP to return to drilling in the Gulf.

It would be worth the time of our ever-trusting regulators to take a look at my Exxon Valdez BP files. They would see a decades-long pattern of BP's lies, bribes and cover-ups that led, inexorably, to the Deepwater Horizon blowout -- and that continue today within BP's worldwide oil operations.

Here is a sample from my files on BP from the original Exxon Valdez fraud and racketeering investigation:

Fraud No. 1: The Emergency Sucker Boat fraud

- Advertisement -

Containing an oil spill -- preventing spilled crude from spreading to the shore -- is not rocket science.

As the principal owner of the Alaska Pipeline and Terminal, BP, not Exxon, was designated by law to prevent oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez from hitting the beach. It was BP's disastrous failures, more than Exxon's, that allowed the oil to devastate Alaska's coast. 

To contain a spill all you need are rubbers and suckers. It works like this:

If a tanker, oil rig or pipe bursts open, you surround it with a giant rubber skirt known as "boom." Then you suck the oil out through vacuum hoses on board special "containment" ships. The containment ship, which lays out the boom and skimmer hoses, is the firetruck of oil spills. You simply don't let tankers out of port unless a containment ship is ready to roll. It's against the law.

But the law has never meant much to BP. 

- Advertisement -

In May 1977, as the first tankers left Valdez, BP executives promised the state of Alaska that no tanker would leave port unless there were two containment barges at the ready and loaded with boom, with one placed near Bligh Island.

In fact, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, right at Bligh Island, the containment barge was far away in Valdez, locked in a dry dock, its boom and hoses under Alaskan ice. As a result, by the time the emergency oil spill vessel got to the stricken ship, the oil slick was a hundred miles in circumference and beyond control.

Two decades later, I watched fireboats uselessly spraying the burning oil on the Deepwater Horizon. Once again there were no BP skimmer barges, no boom surrounding the rig. Just as in Alaska, the promised spill containment operation was a con. By the time the Navy set out 400 miles of rubber boom days later, the slick was already as big as Cuba and slathering the Gulf shores.

Recently, Chevron and other big oil giants, now drilling the Gulf, have printed a series of full-page ads in papers across America touting their new state-of-the-art oil spill containment operations. Hey, thanks. But these are the same vessels BP and its fellow Gulf drillers promised before the Deepwater Horizon blew apart.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

http://www.gregpalast.com
Author of the New York Times and international bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse, Palast is Patron of the Trinity College Philosophical Society, an honor previously held by Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. Palast (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

UAW Files Charges Against Romney for Auto Bail-Out Profiteering

Placebo Ballots: Stealing California From Bernie Using an Old GOP Vote-Snatching Trick

Aaron Swartz Died For Piers Morgan's Sins

The Confidential Memo at the Heart of the Global Financial Crisis

GREECE'D: We Voted 'No' to slavery, but 'Yes' to our chains

The Right Testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian Holocaust