A reaction to the reckless…

You still suck...
A horrible, no good, very bad “green” company…

 

Yesterday, Judge Carl Barbier ruled British Petroleum was guilty of gross negligence in the lead-up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, stating BP made “profit-driven decisions” during the drilling of the well and “these instances of negligence, taken together, evince an extreme deviation from the standard of care and a conscious disregard of known risk.” Barbier went on to say that due to the “egregious” nature of BP’s actions, if legal precedent had permitted, he would have found it appropriate to tack on punitive damages in the case.

British Petroleum, feeling justice had run its due course, nodded solemnly and agreed it was time to truly make things right by dropping any further legal proceedings and began to immediately pay claims again. They also issued a heart-felt apology to all it had harmed through it’s actions over the past years.

Right.

No…instead BP immediately threatened to appeal the ruling and called the decision “erroneous,” while insinuating the court isn’t being impartial.

Now that sounds more like the oil company we all know and loathe and so, a few reactions to these events:

1. The immediate would of course be to simply express towards BP, “Good. Deal with it you responsibility shirking, PR department hiding greed-merchants. You put profit first, ruined many and you get what you deserve.”

2. A more thoughtful response could simply be wonderment…is it possible that a mega-corporation is finally being held legally responsible for their actions, and in a way that actually helps those the company has harmed? The increased fines from this ruling will benefit coastal restoration projects, and coastal restoration is good for all in Louisiana. The oil spill did much, much damage to the coast, to the wildlife, to businesses and to people. British Petroleum made a lot of promises when this was headline news, but appears to be trying to extricate themselves from their mess as much as possible now that the media has gone. This ruling puts them financially back on the hook for their reckless behavior in a way that can make a strong impact in coastal restoration.

3. BP will appeal, of course. Why not? Nothing for them to lose here in an appeal process, nothing at all. Exxon dragged the whole Valdez thing out for how long, twenty years? So of course British Petroleum will do the same. And we haven’t even gotten to the legal arguments about how many barrels of oil were actually spilled, there being a vast difference between BP’s estimate and the government’s. With the fine potentially being $4,300 dollars a barrel, there will be a huge financial difference.

4. The government could respond to BP’s endless appeals by putting financial pressure on the company. As I wrote before, the government has some leverage, for while it is certainly BP’s right to fight each and every legal ruling with time consuming appeals while people go broke, the environment continues to degrade and the coast disappears, it is also the government’s right to step in and say, “You know what? That oil spill thing has become so contentious and we just don’t want to muddy the waters any further so, BP? Yeah, we’re just going to suspend your Gulf oil leases until this is all over, settled, until everybody’s happy and then we can move forward again as partners, in good faith.”

But for now, British Petroleum continues to drill in the Gulf while at the same time play the victim in the aftermath of their own, created destruction. They say the judge is not impartial, the people are demanding too much, we can’t be blamed for the decline in oyster harvest; there isn’t enough proof. And this goes on and on and on…all while they maintain how they’re a wonderful and even “green” company who is nothing more but your humble steward doing everything they can to right what’s wrong.

It’s bullshit…like BofA, like Chase: BP’s just another company doing some, but not enough to fix the problems they created when they put profit before all. British Petroleum should, and can do a lot more by dropping their appeals, the delay tactics and any pretense at being a victim and pay up, make good on their promises.

Much appreciation to Judge Carl Barbier for an important ruling, one that might go a ways in making sure this actually happens.

Have a nice day.

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Remembering…

Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fireTo the families that lost loved ones that day and to the families that lost loved ones after, to all the people who make their living off that water, the business owners and the families along the Gulf Coast…still thinking about and wishing you the best.

To BP who is still trying to weasel their way out of this, the Gulf is still not healed and won’t be for years, decades to come so stop with the commercials already…may the dolphins haunt your dreams, killer style, so you wake up screaming.

To Bobby, stop trying to let the oil companies off the hook for any past, present or future crimes…dude, you are not going to be President. Seriously. Not a chance, no matter how indignant you pretend to be.

Stay strong in the Gulf…

Have a nice day.

Fines vs. Penalties

Off to work they go...
Off to work they go…

So, today’s the day.

The big civil trial in New Orleans: BP vs. the world with all the lawyers, guns and money…all that kinda shit.

Course, both the government and British Petroleum been working hard, meeting and organizing and negotiating to try to find a settlement, a way out of this whole trial mess, come up with the exact amount of money BP will have to pay…a figure low enough that BP will finally just write a check but also high enough so the Feds can claim justice has been served.

Word is that amount is right around $16 billion dollars to cover the Clean Water Act fines and environmental penalties related to the spill.

Fines vs. penalties…

There’s a big difference between fines and penalties, such as the following: British Petroleum has to pay the fines assessed, but the environmental penalties? Well, those are tax deductible which essentially means they are paid by the taxpayers. Yes, as those negotiations commence, and will more than likely continue even as the trial begins, BP is pushing to have lower fines and higher environmental damage penalties. And if this were to be the case, this would mean BP essentially puts the money out there to pay the penalty, but then reduces their taxes by that same amount so BP again breaks even, leaving the people, the taxpayers to pick up the slack in the economy.

Well now, isn’t that just like an oil company?

Have a nice day.

A couple of quick questions about oil induced political ignorance…

He's betting the House on the fact that you, dear reader, are a complete moron...

So, I was reading an article/book review in Time magazine about the Deepwater Horizon where the writer, a Mr. Bryan Walsh separates people into two camps…people who can’t forget about the oil spill and say the region still hasn’t recovered (Dead coral, dolphins, depleted shrimp catches, health problems, tar balls still and oil entering the food chain…etc…) and the people who just want to forget all about the oil spill, mainly people in the oil industry and Republicans who complain that offshore drilling has slowed under Obama.

And I just gotta ask, which I know puts me in that first group…forget about the oil spill? Seriously? You’d have to be pretty boiled over with distracted emotion to forget about millions of barrels of oil and millions of gallons of Corexit being dumped all over our nation’s main source of seafood, among other things…

Hmm, did I say anger?

Yeah, the GOP, they’re really, really angry…at Obama and the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOERME) with it’s new (kind-of) safety regulations and (kind-of) oversight.

GOP Rep. Doc Hastings is beside himself pissed, issuing subpoena’s every chance he gets…but with all that anger, being so focused and all…I gotta ask, “Hey, GOP, what about BP?”

Can you spare a bit of your angry jackassery for the dipshits at British Petroleum?

As this article points out, by way of a review of Abrahm Lustgarten’s book, Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon:

“What had been a company with a history of safety—even dullness—was turned upside down. And while profits and market share increased, the accidents started piling up. In 2005 a major explosion occurred at BP’s Texas City refinery, killing 15 workers. Employees had complained for months of the dangerous conditions at the refinery, but nothing was done. The next year a major spill occurred in BP’s Prudhoe Bay, Alaska facilities, resulting in more fines for the companies. Even before Deepwater Horizon, BP was cited far more often by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for safety violations than any other company. As Scott West, a former EPA official who had investigated the company in Alaska, told me after the spill, BP was a “serial environmental criminal.”

A “serial environmental criminal…”

So, Obama and BOERME play it safe, a move necessitated by the fact that British Petroleum played it anything but and thus caused the United State’s worst environmental disaster of all time and now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the oil industry and the GOP are maintaining that it is Obama who’s the asshole in all this?

Huh…

Well, in my opinion, you guys should all go and kind of eat some shit…and that goes double for you, Vitter, you self righteous-hypocritical prick. Maybe you might listen to reason at the next BOERME meeting if they bring you a pair of diapers and a bible, ass.

Read the article:

Nearly Two Years On, Did the BP Oil Spill Have to Happen to BP?

Have a nice day.

Another day, another dose of bad news – dolphins, coral and crab…

Bob says prove this is BP oil...oh, you did? Okay...Bob says prove the media's paying attention...

It isn’t getting better…

Well, okay yes, some things are improving, sure…I mean, it is more difficult to actually see the remaining oil from BP’s catastraphuk, not too much is washing ashore these days which means the tourist industry is thriving again and that’s great, if you happen to be an owner or employee of such service oriented industries…but if you’re making you’re living or giving a damn about what’s happening below the water’s surface in the Gulf, then all those rosy prognostications coming from the BP camp are just so much bullshit bent on appealing to the markets and the government board types who do the approving of deep-sea oil leases…

We’ve all heard by now about the dolphins, especially those in Barataria Bay, the sicknesses and the strandings…essentially all the sick and dying dolphins that appear to be suffering from oil toxicity according to a study done by the NOAA…

Okay…well, a new study, this time by scientists at Haverford College have found “compelling evidence” that the BP oil, so wonderfully sunk and kept out of sight by the millions of gallons of toxic Corexit dispersant dumped by the oil company, has seriously impacted deep-sea coral.

“We would not expect deep-water corals to be impacted by a typical oil spill, but the sheer magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its release at depth make it very different from a tanker running aground and spilling its contents,” said Helen White, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Haverford College, “Because of the unprecedented nature of the spill, we have learned that its impacts are more far reaching than those arising from smaller spills that occur on the surface…”

They found the damaged and dying coral 4300 feet below the surface of the water, showing Bob Dudley’s bullshit to be ever reaching…and then, a bit closer to the surface from Houma Today:

“Ever since the oil spill, it seems to me that it’s diminished completely.”

That is one full-time crabber’s view of what has happened the crab catch since the oil spill.

It is a belief that shows up in statewide and local numbers. Statewide, the crab catch in the first seven months of the year has gone from an average of 28 million pounds from 2006-09 to 17.7 million in 2010 as the oil spill was happening to 22.5 million in 2011. This year, anecdotal evidence suggests the picture could be even worse.”

Though no direct link has yet to be found between the depleted catches of not only crab, but white shrimp and brown shrimp, it would seem quite clear that when one pays attention to when this downturn began and asks what changed…one quickly recalls the death of eleven men, the dumping of oil and dispersants and a smiling CEO as BP’s oil profits continue on, and continue climbing…and with so many studies being worked on, completed throughout the Gulf, what have we yet to find out?

What are we not aware of yet? Twenty years later, has Alaska completely recovered from the Valdez?

No, no they haven’t.

And two years later, has BP’s safety record improved?

No, no it hasn’t…

My point?

Simply put, we don’t know the half of what is and what has gone wrong out there in the Gulf as much as those with an agenda love to claim we do…therefore, British Petroleum must continue to be held accountable for their irresponsibility, demonstrated not by their press releases or bullshit public relations advertisements but by their actions of today…and tomorrow…and the day and the month and the year after that. There’s a long way to go…a long way…and whereas BP stopped suffering a long, long time ago, the people who’ve been affected by the oil company’s shortcuts, mistakes and profit mongering are still living with the pain, every day.

We’re closer to the beginning, then the end…and BP shouldn’t forget that, not even for a minute because the people living along the Gulf?

Forgetting is not even an option.

Have a nice day.

Everybody to blame, but me…

How could they make it any more clear, I mean...who the hell is this O'Rourke guy? I wouldn't hire him either...

So, in determining guilt and any possible fines under the Clean Water Act, welcome to another day in court, another episode of the 3 Stooges, starring  BP, Transocean and Anadarko…Please, follow along and keep in mind that of course, no one is to blame except for everybody else.

Duh…

First, allow me to introduce Department of Justice Senior Attorney Steven O’Rourke who explained how simple this all should be under the Clean Water Act – “Any person who is the owner, operator, or person in charge of any vessel … or offshore facility from which oil is discharged” will face Clean Water Act fines.

Okay, so British Petroleum is part owner of the lease to the well, and operator of the Deepwater Horizon, Anadarko is also part owner of the lease while Transocean owns the rig.

And, O’Rourke continued, “Each defendant admits that the oil came out of the well through the blowout preventer riser and was discharged into the Gulf of Mexico. They’ve admitted they were owners and they’ve admitted the discharge from the well.”

Well, that was easy enough…all three, guilty as fuck – so moving on to the amount of the fines…

Uh…what? Not that easy? Who says its not that easy?

Oh right…

The lawyers…

David Salmons, lawyer for Anadarko said no way, man…Anadarko can’t be held liable because they are part owner of the well and the oil, it discharged from the Deepwater Horizon and since they had no control over operations onthe rig, and since the oil can’t come from both the vessel and the well, it obviously came only from the vessel.

Not guilty!

Andrew Langan, lawyer for British Petroleum said no way, man…the oil couldn’t have come from both the well and the vessel, we agree with Anadarko about that and the oil, it definitely came from the vessel and Transocean owns all that shit.

Not guilty!

Kerry Miller, lawyer for Transocean said no way, man…they are only liable for the oil that made it to the surface and all that subsea oil, you know, almost all of the oil unleashed into the Gulf…it all belonged to both British Petroleum and Anadarko who leased the well, so send them the bill, not us.

Not guilty!

And there you have it…4.9 million gallons of oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico and the only person anyone can say for sure did it, was anyone else but me.

But wait, Mr. O”Rourke then decided to try again, do his best to summarize it for the Judge: “Transocean is saying it came from the well so BP and Anadarko are liable; Anadarko and BP are saying it came from the vessel so Transocean is liable. The government says all of them are correct. They’re all liable.”

Sigh…

I know!

It’s like he didn’t hear a single thing the other lawyers said at all…

No wonder he works for the government, obviously way too dim to work for any of these plaintiffs.

Read the article:

Gulf Oil Spill Could Bring Up to $20B in Fines

Have a nice day.

Revoke BP’s probation: patterns don’t lie…

The problem, and it ain't getting better...

In Alaska, whereas they have not suffered a spill as extreme as the one the company unleashed on the Gulf Coast, they have become quite familiar with this oil company’s pattern of negligence, their complete focus on profits and the willingness to let lawyers attempt to clean up the messes left behind by their poor safety conduct. Now, federal prosecutors are asking a judge to revoke BP’s probation from a conviction in 2007, stating the company is a recidivist offender and repeatedly, negligently discharges oil into the environment.

The hearing will be on November 29th in Anchorage…where surely they will examine:

Prosecutors said in their brief that BP’s history of environmental crimes in Alaska began in February 2001 when it pleaded guilty to releasing hazardous materials at its Endicott facility on the North Slope. The company was fined $500,000, placed on probation for five years and ordered to create a nationwide environmental management program, prosecutors said.

The March 2006 spill of 200,000 gallons of crude (in Prudhoe Bay) was caused by corrosion, and BP’s leak detection system failed to notice it, prosecutors said. The company’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act in 2007 resulted in three years of probation, a $12 million fine, and restitution and community service payments totaling $8 million to the state of Alaska and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, BP attorneys said.

Prosecutors contend BP violated the conditions of its probation by allowing the 2009 spill from an 18-inch pipe moving oil, water and gas from drill pads to BP’s Lisburne Processing Center. That spill, prosecutors said, leaked 13,500 gallons of oil onto tundra and wetlands. “This rupture was the result of a predictable and preventable freezing of produced water within the pipeline that caused the pipe to over-pressurize and burst,” prosecutors said. It was eerily similar to the 2006 spill, prosecutors alleged, because BP ignored alarms that warned of the pipe’s eventual rupture and leak. The 2009 spill also followed a similar pipe freezing and rupture in 2001, they said, and BP failed to put in place preventative measures that their own experts recommended.

Prosecutors said the spill site directly abuts Prudhoe Bay and the damaged wetlands are covered by the Clean Water Act. They also contend the spill criminally violated state pollution laws because of BP negligence.

It should be noted for those in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, it is expressly this type of pattern that BP recently requested be rendered inadmissible in the trial for the events concerning the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, asking Judge Barbier to exclude not only these convictions, but the convictions surrounding the explosion of their oil refinery in Texas City which killed several workers…because such facts are, you know, prejudicial and shows British Petroleum’s irresponsible and unsafe actions to be well, irresponsible and unsafe.

Barbier has yet to give his decision on the matter, but along with hoping BP’s probation is revoked, here’s hoping Judge Barbier recognizes it’s time for this company, finally, to really pay for their horrendous actions, for their record to be laid bare in the court and for them to pay not only through the nose, but every other available orifice, two times.

But you know, I fear even that won’t be enough.

Eleven men died on the Deepwater Horizon. Fifteen died and over 170 were injured in the explosion of BP’s refinery at Texas City.

Some court of law, somewhere, some time needs to send some of these bastards to prison: two explosions – twenty-six people dead.

Jail does need to happen. It’s the only way BP’s behaviors will change, simply because if these pricks can afford to throw out $20 billion, (how much of which are U.S. government subsidies?) to pay damages for the consequences of their behavior, how else will they understand the criminality of their actions until the people of the Gulf Coast and Alaska can finally line-up on visiting day and take their turns spitting in the face of those convicted for the actions leading to the death of their loved ones and the destruction of their environment and livelihoods?

Because right now, the only thing BP’s getting for their behavior is more money.

So for the jail thing, I pick Bob and Tony.

I know, a no-brainer, but what can I say? I like to keep it simple, and I’m thinking rather than continue making millions of dollars in salary, these two begin to pay for their negligence, and for their lies and their pattern of violence against the people of the United States, and environment we live in.

It’s a thought…

Read the article:

BP Alaska Probation: Prosecutors Seek To Revoke 2007 Ruling

Have a nice day.

Feinberg ain’t no Santa Claus…

Ho-fucking-ho...

Ken Feinberg, British Petroleum employee and steward of the BP claims fund wrote himself a little editorial the other day in Bloomberg Businessweek titled: How to Give Away $5 Billion. The article came complete with an illustration of a man, presumably Ken, holding a money bag while outstretched, demanding hands come in from outside the border of the drawing and there, in a nutshell, is everything that’s wrong with the GCCF and Ken’s dismissive attitudes.

The people of the Gulf Coast are not looking for a hand out.

They are looking to be compensated for damages from the worst environmental disaster to ever hit this country.

In his rather self-congratulatory editorial, Ken writes the best way to give out $5 billion dollars is with “speed and fairness and consistency,” which not coincidentally are three of the biggest complaints about the claims process: questions about its fairness and consistency concealed behind an utter lack of transparency and the slow allocation of payments while people suffer untold financial hardships.

Really Ken…people aren’t clamoring for the GCCF to be audited because they are satisfied with the process, at ease with what you’ve done and are doing, many in fact are rather angry, which is why it’s no wonder you’ve learned to live with “the potshots and the criticism.” You’d have to be used to it by now. They’re coming and have come from the US Justice Department, politicians both local and federal, various attorneys general and claimants across four states.

Ken writes, “You try to err on the side of being generous without being Santa Claus. Anyone can give money away,” and that would be quite correct, anybody can. Anyone can also claim to be the second coming of Christ when they came down to the Gulf in June of last year making all kinds of promises about speed and fairness and generosity only to see these promises disintegrate into the reality that you were getting more than you bargained for. It was and is a big job, Ken and a difficult one, but when you set people up to fail with causality in health claims, when you make people wait for interim claims while completing the easier, less lucrative quick claims, when you force people to gamble with their future by signing legal waiver forms and when people become so fed up with your claims process they just want to take the money and run, not from a sense of satisfaction and being made whole, but from a sense of disgust with another corporation and their henchmen who screwed an entire region…Ken, you’re not Santa Claus, you’re not even a lowly elf, you’re a wealthy, self-satisfied Boston attorney whose making quite a tidy profit for himself in the claims business. 

Finally, Ken adds:

“These programs should be the exception rather than the rule. Bad things happen to good people every day, but I didn’t see a program after Katrina or Joplin. Policymakers need to be wary about doing an end run around the traditional way of resolving disputes in this country.”

What the hell does that even mean?

Here’s a thought, maybe the reason you didn’t see a claims process after Joplin and Katrina is 1. its pretty fucking hard to take a tornado to court and 2. Taking the Army Corps of Engineers to court for the failure of the levees has been near impossible and if going after Katrina itself, well, see #1 again, only replace tornado with hurricane. British Petroleum’s poor management and the resulting explosion of the Deepwater Horizon was not a natural disaster, it was man-made, and came as a result of time-saving and profit-seeking by an oil company that was already making money hand over fist.

Greed, Ken…simple greed…that’s why there is a claims process.

Rather than trying to publish your bullshit at Bloomberg where maybe you hoped people wouldn’t see it, why don’t you hold another town hall in the Gulf so you can tell the people to their face what a great job you’ve done.

Hell, you can even bring your security team, again.

Have a nice day.

Especially to Mark Moseley at The Lens for pointing out to yours truly Feinberg’s lovely gem of an article.