Entries Tagged as 'Corruption'

BP Profits

Byron Grove, BP’s chief financial officer said a week after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion that it was too early to talk about how much BP would be spending on the cleanup.

2010 First Quarter financial statements for BP show profits double the same period last year at $6.08 billion.

Over the past few years BP has been fined for workplace safety violations… but apparently the company hasn’t had a problem staying in business and making record amounts of money.

The oil spill cleanup is after all, just a cost of doing business for BP; and perhaps it’s time to crank up that cost with hefty fines for each and every day it continues.

The Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar has threatened BP with a government take over of the clean up… but last I check the government was already involved.  And US Coast Guard Admiral Thad W Allen has been clear that their is little more that they can do… mainly because there isn’t a contingency plan for this type of spill — by any government agency.

In 1989 Exxon was hit hard by a consumer boycott when they dragged their feet in the clean up of the Valdez spill; but so far there’s no sign that consumers are slowing their purchases at BP — the largest oil and gas producer in North American, and one of the largest in the United States (selling under the retail labels of BP and Arco).

Maybe when the news media starts providing images of animals and habitat that’s devastated by the oil spill consumers might wake up — but there are actually live feeds of the oil spewing from the damaged rig that show oil-soaked birds and now there’s plenty of footage of landfall of the spill in Louisiana… so maybe not.

The oil and gas industries are the 14th largest contributors to congress — almost $7 billion per year ( http://politics.usnews.com/congress/industries — don’t be shocked by how many times Harry Reid is the #1 recipient of that money — and by all means use this list to know who to vote out of office) — so it’s understandable why the federal government is slow is really punish BP; after all, we know that our elected official look out for their interests first (which involves looking out for the interests of those who give you money — over those who you consider sheep who’ll just continue to vote for you).

FINES FINES and MORE FINES — if BP is making money hand over foot, let’s make sure that they bare the full cost of this cleanup and the costs of un-doing the damage that they’ve caused…  I’m thinking $50 million per day would be just about right to force BP to take real action.

Originally posted 2010-05-28 02:00:19.

Minerals Management Service

Yesterday a report was released by the US Department of the Interior’s inspector general indicating that inspectors with the Minerals Management Service (the agency charged with inspection and regulation of oil drilling and mining operations; the leasing of offshore parcels for drilling and mining; safety and environmental monitoring of drilling and mining safety; and the collection of royalties from oil and gas companies) routinely accepted gifts from the companies they were responsible for policing.

The report covers the Lake Charles Louisiana district of the Minerals Management Service for a period ending in 2008; which is not the same as the are in which the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which exploded on 20 April 2010 is in.

The report included details of the routine acceptance of gifts comprised of hunting trips, college football tickets, and meals and adds to the growing portrait of the Minerals Management Service as part of a corrupt industry — in fact inspectors in the Minerals Management Service were often friends of officials in the industry, former employees (and sometime retirees) of the oil and gas industry before the assumed responsibility in the federal government for regulating those businesses.

Government employees are not allowed to accept gifts from companies they do business with — and certainly the appearance of accepting gifts for a company that you are intended to regulate is suspect to say the least.

While there’s no direct evidence that such negligence by federal employees contributed to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; there would be no way to assure the general public that minor (and perhaps major) infractions were not overlooked by regulators who didn’t want to risk upsetting the status quo and losing their gravy train.

Certainly we can ask our federal elected officials to explain to us how something like this could happen.  After all, most of them take large contributions, favors, and gifts from individuals and businesses who want to sway their votes.

Originally posted 2010-05-26 02:00:55.