Urantia is the sentimental shrine of all Nebadon, the chief of ten million inhabited worlds…
So why is BP allowed to continue to despoil our beautiful planet? A convicted corporate felon, for decades it has demonstrated a reckless disregard for all life, from the top of the food chain to the bottom, from humans to the smallest ocean plankton.
BP has the most egregious safety record in the industry, it’s crimes well known. In 2005, an explosion at its Texas City refinery killed 15 workers, who might have escaped being burned alive had they been housed in concrete block buildings rather than the far cheaper mobile homes that BP decided to provide instead.
Was justice served in that case? Were BP’s executives charged with negligent homicide? Hardly. The company was found criminally liable only for violating a section of the Clean Air Act, a felony, for the toxins it spewed into the air and surrounding communities. It’s punishment? A meager $50 million fine, pocket change for a company that made over $22 billion that same year. A followup investigation showed even greater negligence and the company was fined an additional $37 million, which of course they haven’t paid and are appealing.
Referring to BP’s toxic history, CEO Tony Hayward, who replaced the company’s prior CEO in May, 2007 because he had LIED in court on a personal matter, pledged that he would inaugurate a new era of company responsibility, consonant with the company’s adoption of the tagline Beyond Petroleum in 2001. In this new corporate culture, safety would be job one. The record since then includes the greatest environmental disaster in human history, the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform that has flooded the Gulf of Mexico with up to 350 million barrels of oil and gas thus far. (By comparison, in 1987 the Exxon Valdez dumped between 11 and 32 million gallons into the Prince William Sound, contaminating 1300 miles of pristine coast line where oil can still be fund bubbling up from the shore despite years of cleanup operations.) Just prior to the DWH catastrophe, PropPublica reports this:
TEXAS CITY, TEXAS — Two weeks before the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the huge, trouble-plagued BP refinery in this coastal town spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies.
The release from the BP facility here began April 6 and lasted 40 days. It stemmed from the company’s decision to keep producing and selling gasoline while it attempted repairs on a key piece of equipment, according to BP officials and Texas regulators.
BP says it failed to detect the extent of the emissions for several weeks. It discovered the scope of the problem only after analyzing data from a monitor that measures emissions from a flare 300 feet above the ground that was supposed to incinerate the toxic chemicals.
The company now estimates that 538,000 pounds of chemicals escaped from the refinery while it was replacing the equipment. These included 17,000 pounds of benzene, a known carcinogen; 36,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides, which contribute to respiratory problems; and 189,000 pounds of carbon monoxide.
It is unclear whether the pollutants harmed the health of Texas City residents, but the amount of chemicals far exceeds the limits set by Texas and other states.
Wikipedia details more of BP’s ecocidal rap sheet:
On 16 October 2007 Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation officials reported a toxic spill of methanol (methyl alcohol) at the Prudhoe Bay oil field managed by BP PLC. Nearly 2,000 gallons of mostly methanol, mixed with some crude oil and water, spilled onto a frozen tundra pond as well as a gravel pad from a pipeline. Methanol, which is poisonous to plants and animals, is used to clear ice from the insides of the Arctic-based pipelines.
In May 2007, the company announced another partial field shutdown owing to leaks of water at a separation plant. Their action was interpreted as another example of fallout from a decision to cut maintenance of the pipeline and associated facilities.
In August 2006, BP shut down oil operations in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, due to corrosion in pipelines leading up to the Alaska Pipeline. The wells were leaking insulating agent called Arctic pack, consisting of crude oil and diesel fuel, between the wells and ice. BP had spilled over one million litres of oil in Alaska’s North Slope. This corrosion is caused by sediment collecting in the bottom of the pipe, protecting corrosive bacteria from chemicals sent through the pipeline to fight these bacteria. There are estimates that about 5,000 barrels (790 m3) of oil were released from the pipeline. To date 1,513 barrels (240.5 m3) of liquids, about 5,200 cubic yards (4,000 m3) of soiled snow and 328 cubic yards (251 m3) of soiled gravel have been recovered.
In September 1999, one of BP’s US subsidiaries, BP Exploration Alaska (BPXA), agreed to resolve charges related to the illegal dumping of hazardous wastes on the Alaska North Slope, for $22 million… The charges stemmed from the 1993 to 1995 dumping of hazardous wastes on Endicott Island, Alaska by BP’s contractor Doyon Drilling. The firm illegally discharged waste oil, paint thinner and other toxic and hazardous substances by injecting them down the outer rim, or annuli, of the oil wells. BPXA failed to report the illegal injections when it learned of the conduct, in violation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
In 1991 BP was cited as the most polluting company in the US based on EPA toxic release data. BP has been charged with burning polluted gases at its Ohio refinery (for which it was fined $1.7 million), and in July 2000 BP paid a $10 million fine to the EPA for its management of its US refineries. According to PIRG research, between January 1997 and March 1998, BP was responsible for 104 oil spills.
Then there’s BP’s suspected role in freeing Abdelbaset al-Megrahithe, the convicted Lockerbie bomber who killed 270 people that came up in Tuesday’s joint presser between President Obama and the British Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron promised to release his government’s files in preparation for an upcoming US Senate investigation.
With a track record like that, is it any wonder that BP continues to obfuscate the truth behind the Deepwater Horizon disaster? This week it has refused to make available key employees to investigators in the joint Coast Guard, Interior Department hearings in Louisiana:
Two of BP’s top officials on the rig the day of the explosion, Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine, failed to show up Tuesday, with Kaluza invoking his 5th Amendment rights, and Vidrine’s doctor supplying a medical note.
Both men gave the same reasons in May, when they also were called to testify before the panel, which has been meeting in suburban New Orleans.
It should also be pointed out that the four employees of DWH rig operator, TransOcean, who were also scheduled to testify decided at the last minute Tuesday not to show up for Wednesday’s hearings, which had to be canceled. Little wonder, given the testimony the panel heard Monday and Tuesday. For instance:
Two days before the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April, Halliburton projected there would be a severe natural gas leak at the bottom of the well under a design being considered at the time, according to a report made public Tuesday.
And in an incredible display of hubris and irony:
Investigators suggested Tuesday that the arrival of BP officials to congratulate the crew of the Deepwater Horizon for a sparkling safety record hours before the oil rig exploded may have forced the departure of rig workers because the rig was already at capacity.
The officials were coming aboard to “commend the crew for having seven years with no accident and days away from work,” Ronald Sepulvado, one of two top BP officials aboard the rig until he left four days before it exploded, told a joint U.S. Coast Guard-Interior Department panel investigating the cause of the April 20 explosion.
And then there was the testimony from a BP contractor about how BP decided to dispose of some toxic waste by dumping in down the well, as reported by TPM:
A contractor working on the Deepwater Horizon when it exploded testified yesterday that the day before the explosion, BP had pumped an unusual chemical mixture into the well — a mixture that later rained down on the rig like “snot.”
Leo Lindner, a drilling fluid specialist for M-I Swaco, told the panel investigating the causes of the explosion that BP decided to mix two chemicals the company had a surplus of — two chemicals that aren’t usually mixed — and pump them into the well to flush out the drilling mud.
“It’s not something we’ve ever done before,” he said.
Lindner said BP wanted to use 400 barrels of the mixture, more than twice the amount of fluid usually used, because the company had hundreds of barrels of the chemicals and wanted to get rid of them.
From the Washington Post:
By first flushing it into the well, the company could take advantage of an exemption in an environmental law that otherwise would have prohibited it from discharging the hazardous waste into the Gulf of Mexico, Lindner said.
The residue from that toxic stew is now floating around the gulf, waiting to be gobbled up and served as someone’s next seafood entree. Also on the menu will be toxic shrimp cocktails marinated in two million gallons of the dispersant Corexit, which after it has chemically bonded with oil, will produce God knows what kind of freaky fish mutations.
Which brings up the question: Why Corexit? Corexit is manufactured by Nalco Holdings, acquired in 2003 by The Blackstone Group, Apollo Management, and our old friend, Goldman Sachs. It is half as effective and twice as toxic as it competitor, Dipsersit. Corexit is a dispersant, which by design fractionates the oil, suspends it in plumes beneath the surface, and eventually deposits it on the ocean floor where it contaminates the very foundation of the marine food chain. The alternative is to use a coagulant, which congeals the oil on the surface where it can be more easily measured and collected. The obvious advantages to BP are twofold. It complicates surface and satellite estimates of the total amount of oil spewing into the GOM, making an accurate determination of monetary fines problematic; and it masks the true extent of the unfolding catastrophe from the public.
But why did the Obama Administration allow BP to use this extremely toxic product? You might want to ask Harry Kaufman, senior policy analyst at the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. In an interview Tuesday with Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman, he asks:
Who saves money by using these toxic dispersants? Well, it’s BP. But then the next question—I’ve only seen one article that describes it—who owns BP? And I think when you look and see who owns BP, you find that it’s the majority ownership, a billion shares, is a company called BlackRock that was created, owned and run by a gentleman named Larry Fink. And Vanity Fair just did recently an article about Mr. Fink and his connections with Mr. Geithner, Mr. Summers and others in the administration. So I think what’s needed, we now know that there’s a cover-up. Dispersants are being used. Congress, at least three Congress folks—Congressman Markey, Congressman Nadler and Senator Mikulski—are on the case. And I think the media now has to follow the money, just as they did in Watergate, and tell the American people who’s getting money for poisoning the millions of people in the Gulf…
We have people, wildlife—we have dolphins that are hemorrhaging. People who work near it are hemorrhaging internally. And that’s what dispersants are supposed to do. EPA now is taking the position that they really don’t know how dangerous it is, even though if you read the label, it tells you how dangerous it is. And, for example, in the Exxon Valdez case, people who worked with dispersants, most of them are dead now. The average death age is around fifty. It’s very dangerous, and it’s an economic—it’s an economic protector of BP, not an environmental protector of the public.
One has to wonder how long the celestial government, the ultimate stewards of “the sentimental shrine of all Nebadon”, is going to allow entities like BP to rape and plunder this beautiful world, all the while turning it into a denuded, polluted, toxic waste dump. As The Urantia Book declares:
But when mercy is exhausted, when the “memory” thereof testifies to its depletion, then does justice prevail and righteousness decree. For mercy is not to be thrust upon those who despise it; mercy is not a gift to be trampled under foot by the persistent rebels of time.
How futile to make puerile appeals to such a God to modify his changeless decrees so that we can avoid the just consequences of the operation of his wise natural laws and righteous spiritual mandates! “Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.”
Let the reaping begin.