BP Oil Spill: 7 Secrets BP Doesn't Want You To Know
BP made its name synonymous with "Beyond Petroleum" in 2000, rebranding itself as a company that sees a future past dependence on fossil fuels. But ten years later, the oil company is as committed to furthering their oil expansion as ever. And as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill emphasizes only too well, there are serious environmental and human concerns when it comes to drilling for oil. The Gulf spill, which left 11 workers dead and 17 injured, is about the size of Rhode Island, running across the northern Gulf of Mexico between the mouth of the Mississippi River and Florida. It runs wide, threatening the coastlines, and deep, traveling beneath about 5,000 feet of water and 13,000 feet under the seabed. The Deepwater Horizon well is leaking 5,000 barrels per day, shutting down fishing across the affected areas, damaging fragile habitats and putting animals in peril.
This may be BP's largest disaster, with many claiming it will be larger than Exxon Valdez's spill, but it is certainly not the first. We're taking a look at BP's most questionable actions both past and present-- which do you think is most inexcusable?
1. In 2006, BP made a multimillion pound payout to Colombian farmers after being accused of benefiting from a regime of terror carried out by the Colombian government paramilitaries to protect their 450-mile pipeline. 1,000 farmers and their family members, working on 52 farms, were affected by the development and said they were pushed into surrounding towns, forced into lives of destitution due to the development.
BP's recent involvement in the Canadian tar sand development has also stirred controversy for both its human rights and environmental violations. Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, from Fort Chipewyan, which is a center of the tar sand development, told the Guardian: "It is destroying the ancient boreal forest, spreading open-pit mining across our territories, contaminating our food and water with toxins, disrupting local wildlife and threatening our way of life." Many fear the development is risking the lives of locals, increasing the likelihood of cancer. Furthermore, the project would release enough carbon in total to tip the world into unstoppable climate change.
A Guardian analysis the day after the Gulf oil spill details how BP shareholders turned a blind eye to the myriad problems with BP's Canadian tar sand development in a shareholders meeting on April 15, which was a prime opportunity for them to demand transparency. Instead, they chose ignorance, allowing BP to carry on with its actions without any accountability.
2. This one reminds me of the raid on the Mexican droug lords house that was literally full of $100 bills. Both entities have enough maney to do anything they want.
A Wall Street Journal report also found that BP's oil well in the Gulf of Mexico did not have a remote-control shut-off switch that is used by two other oil-producing nations as a last-resort safeguard against underwater spills. The device is voluntary in the U.S., and while it is not clear whether it could have prevented the spill, it is another indicator of BP's lax safety measures and proclivity for convenience over caution.