Friday, June 4, 2010

Worse!! What could be worse in the Gulf of Mexico

image from the NCAR computer model of the flow of the Deepwater Horizon oil from an article in Common Dreams

News about the environmental crime occurring in the Gulf goes from "catastrophic" to "even more catastrophic".

Let's be clear here. This is no "spill" or accident. It is criminal conduct, the inevitable result of a series of of deliberate decisions by a serial recidivist corporate criminal with a long history of criminal convictions.

This is one of the most radically destructive acts of corporate criminality in history. A catastrophe of such proportions in one of the most productive eco- systems on Earth, including America's most bounteous seafood region.

The US Government is planning to initiate criminal and civil proceedings against BP but don't hold your breath. Remember that criminal charges were filed against Exxon in the Exxon Valdez disaster but nothing happened. The corporation simply dragged it out for over two decades of appeals and delays and eventually was fined a pittance.

Exxon were only prosecuted for minor offices and the lawyer who ran the case against Exxon Valdez holds little hope for prosecution of BP. He said that criminal prosecution in such cases is almost non-existent He is quoted in a recent interview that appears in the Corporate Crime Reporter.

“Exxon pled guilty to some minor violations – the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Clean Water Act, a couple of other things – but they were minor,”

“The federal government and the state of Alaska settled the claims against Exxon for a relatively modest amount because they didn’t think they could go to war against Exxon.It would have been too expensive, too time and personnel consuming.”

“I don’t think that there is ever going to be a strong federal or state criminal presence in any of these oil spill cases.”

“Oil is strategically too important. Oil trumps fishing. Oil trumps safety. And that’s just a fact of life.”

“The cozy relationship between the big oil companies and the federal government and many of the states is pretty much the same whether it is Republicans or Democrats.”

Already BP, Halliburton and the other responsible corporations are lining up their legal teams to delay, obfuscate and obstruct the investigations. BP and Halliburton are also using their political and financial power in Washington to to stymie investigations into their actions. BP has also hired a press secretary to former Vice President Dick Cheney to head its PR efforts.

Despite all sorts of promises and claims BP has failed to stem the gushing of oil. There are predictions that the oil will continue to gush from the BP's Deepwater Horizon rig until December- yes for another 6 months.

Hurricane season has started and forecasters are predicting an unusually high number of storms over coming months. The result will be to disperse the oil over a wider area and push it deeper into highly sensitive marshlands and inland areas, making the environmental catastrophe even worse.

Computer modelling from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research is predicting that oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to extend along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast and into the open ocean as early as this summer (as shown in this computer model).

BP , with the aid of the US coast guard, is also blocking efforts by journalists and photographers to document and photograph the effects of the catastrophe

I reported in an earlier piece the views of Michael Klare that this has become the greatest ecological disaster in human history. This is the world foisted on us by fossil fuel corporations.

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