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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/6/10

Slick Operator: The BP I've known too well

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Americans want government off our backs ... that is, until a folding crib crushes the skull of our baby; Toyota accelerators speed us to our death; banks blow our savings on gambling sprees; and crude oil smothers the Mississippi.

Then, suddenly, it's, "where was hell was the Government!" Why didn't the government do something to stop it?

The answer is, because government took you at your word they should get out of the way of business, that business could be trusted to police itself. It was only last month that BP, lobbying for new deepwater drilling, testified to Congress that additional equipment and inspection wasn't needed.

You should meet some of these little bureaucrats with the fat rulebooks. Like Dan Lawn, the inspector from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation who warned and warned and warned, before the Exxon Valdez grounding, that BP and Alyeska were courting disaster in their arrogant disregard of the rulebook. In 2006, I printed his latest warnings about BP's culture of negligence.

When the choice is between Dan Lawn's rule book and a bag of tea, Dan's my man.

***

This just in: Becnel tells me that one of the platform workers has informed him that the BP well was apparently deeper than the 18,000 feet depth reported. BP failed to communicate that additional depth to Halliburton crews who therefore poured in too small a cement cap for the additional pressure caused by the extra depth. So it blew.

Why didn't Halliburton check? "Gross negligence on everyone's part," says Becnel. Negligence driven by penny-pinching bottom-line squeezing. BP says its worker is lying. Someone's lying here: the man on the platform - or the company that has practiced prevarication from Alaska to Louisiana?

Greg Palast investigated the Exxon Valdez disaster for the Chucagh Native villages of Alaska's Prince William Sound. An expert on corporate regulation, Palast, now a journalist, authored the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

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Greg Palast's investigative reports appear in Rolling Stone, the Guardian and on BBC Television. His latest film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, on how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election, is available on Amazon. Palast is Patron of the Trinity (more...)
 
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