BP destroys the environment

This video is called UK Tar Sands Network.

From News Line daily in England:

Thursday, 14 April 2011 ‘We are all very angry with BP!’

OVER 150 people attended a public meeting organised by the Tar-Sands Network in east London on Tuesday night, in preparation for today’s lobby of the BP Annual General Meeting.

Opening the meeting, Jess Worth of the Tar-Sands Network said: ‘What we are seeing tonight is the coming together of a very broad coalition.

‘We are all really angry with BP. We want to see some major changes.’

‘When the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, it killed 11 workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf and ruined the local economy and eco-system.’

She said that shortly after the Gulf disaster, BP started the Sunrise project for Tar-Sands oil extraction and in January they began the Rosneft deal in the Arctic and most recently announced it is returning to the Gulf.

She said there was an investor revolt going on in the United States.

The first speaker was Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Canadian Indigenous Environmental Network.

He said: ‘In the past four years we have had our campaign against pipelines in America. ‘Tar-Sands is the dirtiest fossil fuel.’

He said some of the biggest companies were investing in its extraction, adding: ‘Some of the billions of lines of capital are going into Tar-Sands.’

He said the project spewed out tons of earth, leaving ‘a scar on our beautiful Mother Earth’.

Jasmine Thomas, from the First Nation of Canadian Indians, said: ‘We are from communities in British Columbia. We came together to stop this pipeline being pressured upon us.’

The pipeline is going to be crossing 3,000 streams and watersheds.’

She added: ‘We’ve been targeting financial backers, including banks.’

Royal Bank of Scotland is going to hear from us soon.

‘They are putting billions into something we don’t want.’

She added: ‘We are still the sovereign custodians of these lands.’

‘They pollute our water and destroy the plants we pick for medicines.’

An Alberta Indian, Melina, said: ‘I come from a small community that is very isolated. It’s a very beautiful area.’

She added: ‘There have been oil wells and now there are Tar-Sands and they are talking about nuclear power.

‘There is no benefit to the indigenous people.’

‘The infrastructure that’s needed for Tar-Sands spans the whole of North America.’

‘Tar-Sands is a form of fossil fuel that is not even liquid, so it’s very difficult to extract.’

She explained that it requires a huge amount of heat being applied before extraction.

She said that the Alberta Tar-Sands produce 40 million tons of CO2 emissions.

She said: ‘There is a huge cost to extracting Tar-Sands oil.’

‘They are introducing nuclear energy to replace the natural gas needed for Tar-Sands extraction.

‘Left-over toxins are going back into land-fills.’

‘The Mackenzie River Basin water system is under threat from the Tar-Sands industry.’

She said: ‘Tar-Sands means the complete fragmentation of the boreal forests.’

Birds are already disappearing as well as a lot of animals.’

She explained that a massive amount of earth is being moved in drilling for Tar-Sands. She concluded by showing a slide of the result of an explosion on a pipeline as a result of a steam escape.

Bryan Paris of the Gulf Coast Fund in Louisiana talked about the Gulf oil-spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon blast. He said: ‘Our problem is the extraction business.’

‘From extraction to production, it’s always minority peoples who are affected. What we saw was people just getting back on their feet, when the disaster happened.’

He introduced a group of Louisiana fishermen. One of them, Byron Encalade, president of the Louisiana Oystermen Association, said: ‘I’m from a small community in Lower Louisiana closest to Earlsville Port.’

He said that while BP claimed to have recovered the coast, ‘everything is not fine’. He continued: ‘As fishermen, we want to know where the money is, because we aren’t getting any. I have spent months going to the claims office.’

‘We had just had the horrific incident from Hurricane Katrina (before the BP blast).’

He added: ‘The people of Louisiana are resilient. We understand there will be accidents, but we will not accept irresponsibility that is sending communities into poverty.’

He concluded: ‘We are not getting the money.’

Tracy Kuhns said: ‘Our community relies on natural resources.’ She said since Louisiana was ‘hammered with chemicals by BP to sink the oil, the chemicals went into our estuary.’

She insisted: ‘The oil is not gone, contrary to what BP and the government are saying.

‘We are dealing with this every day.’

‘There are hundreds of communities just like ours, dependent on natural resources.’

She added: ‘We understand people have to make a profit, but there is a cost to doing business.’

‘You should not be allowed to make a profit until the full cost of doing business is paid.’ She said: ‘People’s health is affected. I have a cough. Lots of people have a cough. We call it a “BP cough’’.’

She said that thousands of gallons of chemicals were sprayed.

She declared: ‘We don’t have a National Health Service. We have to pay to get diagnosed and treated. My husband pays $500 a month for insurance, but when he goes to the doctor he still has to pay $100.’

‘Companies who cause the health problems should have to pay. We don’t know what’s going to happen financially. We can’t afford to pay for healthcare.’

She concluded: ‘BP: you have a human responsibility to cover the cost of healthcare before you make a cent of profit.’

Michael Roberts said: ‘In Louisiana we have oil and gas. Most people die of cancer. People don’t live beyond 60.’

‘The BP oil spill was a disaster. We being fishermen, we knew the oil was going to come in. There wasn’t enough protection, and sure enough it poured into the estuaries.’

He said that in a bay ‘that is one of the most productive in fishing, I could not get away from the oil for a whole day. It made me weep, and I haven’t wept since my father died.’

‘I say to BP: I know we can’t live without oil and gas for now. But until we get off oil and gas, we have to do a better job of protection.’

Antonia Juhasz, from California, told the meeting: ‘I wrote a book called “Black Tide’’.

‘There were 20 million gallons of oil that were released into the Gulf. In the Gulf now, there is a layer of oil and there is a layer of chemicals.’

‘What there isn’t is life. No new baby oysters or baby shrimps.’

‘It wasn’t a fluke, it wasn’t an isolated incident. It was the expected outcome of an industry that has extended its technical abilities.’

She added: ‘Neither Exxon nor BP had an idea of how to deal with the Deepwater explosion. They hadn’t prepared for clear-up and they hadn’t prepared for oil collection.’

She said: ‘They absolutely devastated the Gulf.’

‘They hadn’t developed any new science. They were using shallow water technology.’

She further alleged: ‘What is happening is endemic to the industry.’

She continued that people lost their jobs and their livelihoods.

She said: ‘We have to say to BP: as long as you are in this business, you should use your wealth to make it the cleanest and the safest.’

Axel Kohler-Schnura, from the Ethical Foundation based in Dusseldorf in Germany, said: ‘I am fighting against exploitation, war and environmental damage.

‘Behind war and exploitation are profits.’

He referred to the slide show at the meeting.

He said: ‘We saw pictures of Canada: all these destroyed areas. That’s what we mean about turning the Blue Planet into the Black Planet.

‘We awarded BP the Black Planet Award. We styled BP as “Bloody Profits’’.’

Addressing BP, he said: ‘Your actions are threatening not only human rights, but democracy, the environment and humanity.’

Holding up the Black Planet Award, he said: ‘This is the globe we’re going to present to these people tomorrow.’

Chalid Mohammed from Indonesia said that the BP company Prime Co has invested in Indonesia and created big problems.

‘It is destroying the countryside in West Papua,’ Mohammed said.

LONDON — Police arrested one person who traveled from the Gulf Coast to attend a BP shareholder meeting in London and four others were refused entry Thursday, according to an msnbc.com editor at the scene: here.

Gulf Coast Fisherwoman “Disrupts the Peace” at BP Shareholder Meeting: here.

RBS oil sands investments ‘not sound’, say greens | Damian Carrington: here.

Exxon will make more money than any publicly held company in history this year: here.

11 thoughts on “BP destroys the environment

  1. Oil spill victims join BP protest

    12:08pm Thursday 14th April 2011

    Oil giant BP faced anger from protesters from across the world as it held its annual general meeting just days before the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

    The meeting was attended by residents of the Gulf of Mexico who say their communities have been destroyed by the oil spill which followed the explosion that killed 11 workers on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig last April.

    They were joined by indigenous community representatives, who are angry at BP’s involvement in tar sands extraction in their territories in northern Canada.

    And outside the Excel centre in London’s Docklands, the GMB union staged a noisy protest, with Bhangra and Mexican bands, over a dispute at a BP-owned biofuels plant near Hull.

    Diane Wilson, a fisherwoman from the Texas Gulf Coast, who protested when then-BP chief executive Tony Hayward gave evidence to a US Congressional committee, said the only way to stop what was happening in the Gulf was to make corporate officers responsible and bring manslaughter charges against Mr Hayward.

    “My community is dead. We’ve worked five generations there and now we’ve got a dead community. I’m angry, I’ve been angry a long time,” she said.

    Byron Encalade, president of the Louisiana Oystermen Association said the communities were realistic about what could be achieved by coming to the AGM, but explained they wanted some kind of commitment from BP that the issue of delayed and unpaid claims would be looked into.

    Outside the AGM, the GMB held a protest over BP’s “irresponsible” actions in the UK, where hundreds of workers say they have been “locked out” of the contract to build a new biofuels plant at Saltend, near Hull, after the project fell behind schedule.

    Jimmy Skivington, GMB regional organiser from Middlesbrough, said the workers had been thrown on the “scrapheap” by BP.

    “These people have suffered severe financial hardship,” he said. “We ask BP to recognise these people have rights and get them back to work.”



  2. Apr 14, 2:38 PM EDT

    AP Enterprise: Experts fear another oil disaster

    Associated Press

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With everything Big Oil and the government have learned in the year since the Gulf of Mexico disaster, could it happen again? Absolutely, according to an Associated Press examination of the industry and interviews with experts on the perils of deep-sea drilling.

    The government has given the OK for oil exploration in treacherously deep waters to resume, saying it is confident such drilling can be done safely. The industry has given similar assurances. But there are still serious questions in some quarters about whether the lessons of the BP oil spill have been applied.

    The industry “is ill-prepared at the least,” said Charles Perrow, a Yale University professor specializing in accidents involving high-risk technologies. “I have seen no evidence that they have marshaled containment efforts that are sufficient to deal with another major spill. I don’t think they have found ways to change the corporate culture sufficiently to prevent future accidents.”

    He added: “There are so many opportunities for things to go wrong that major spills are unavoidable.”

    The worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history began with an explosion April 20, 2010, that killed 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig. More than 200 million gallons of crude spewed from the well a mile beneath the sea.

    Since then, new drilling rules have been imposed, a high-tech system for capping a blown-out well and containing the oil has been built, and regulators have taken steps to ramp up oversight of the industry.

    But deep-sea drilling remains highly risky. The effectiveness of the much-touted containment system is being questioned because it hasn’t been tested on the sea floor. A design flaw in the blowout preventers widely used across the industry has been identified but not corrected. And regulators are allowing companies to obtain drilling permits before approving their updated oil-spill response plans.

    After a monthslong moratorium, the Obama administration resumed issuing drilling permits earlier this year amid great pressure from the industry and lawmakers seeking to protect communities and workers whose livelihoods depend on drilling.

    A petroleum industry group is creating a center for offshore safety in Houston to address management practices and improve industry communication. And the agency that oversees offshore drilling now bars inspectors from regulating a company that employs a family member or friend. Also, inspectors who join the agency from the oil industry cannot perform inspections of their former employers for two years.

    BP says it is poised to become a much safer company. It ousted several key figures during the disaster – including CEO Tony Hayward – and created a powerful unit to police company safety. BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said that because of advances made during the crisis, “the capability exists to respond to a deep-water well blowout.” Similarly, Chevron spokesman Russell A. Johnson said his company is “confident of our ability to prevent an incident similar” to the Gulf oil spill.

    Whether any of that translates into better protection remains to be seen.

    “I’m not an oddsmaker, but I would say in the next five years we should have at least one major blowout,” Perrow said. “Even if everybody tries very hard, there is going to be an accident caused by cost-cutting and pressure on workers. These are moneymaking machines and they make money by pushing things to the limit.”

    After the Deepwater Horizon explosion, oil producers including BP were criticized for errors in their federally required oil-spill response plans, such as severely underestimating the time it takes oil to reach shore.

    Several of the biggest oil producers told the AP they have updated their response plans but are still waiting for them to be approved. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said it is operating under a 2002 federal regulation that allows two years to approve such plans. In the meantime, companies are allowed to proceed with their drilling applications and obtain permits as long as they certify in writing that they can handle a spill, said agency spokeswoman Eileen Angelico.

    The agency “is taking the oil companies’ word for it that they can handle a spill,” said David Pettit, a senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, one of the nation’s leading environmental groups. “This is the same kind of deference to claimed oil company expertise that led directly to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.”

    Regulators, however, point out that operators have to provide significant supplemental data before permits are approved.

    To bolster their case for safer drilling, the companies can point to a new system developed by industry titans including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhillips to contain oil spills. The system includes a cap and a series of undersea devices – including cables, a riser and a piece of equipment that would pump dispersant. Lines would be hooked up to vessels on the surface.

    Oil companies say the system is capable of quickly containing a blowout 8,000 feet under water and capturing as much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day. By comparison, at the height of the Gulf spill in mid-June, BP’s well was spewing some 57,000 barrels a day at a depth of 5,000 feet.

    Michael Bromwich, director of the U.S. agency that regulates offshore drilling, recently acknowledged that the system was not tested in a dynamic situation – meaning in the ocean or during blowout conditions. He said such testing would be ideal, but he was still confident the system would work.

    Martin W. Massey, CEO of the Marine Well Containment Co., the consortium of companies that built the system, told the AP that components of the system were tested on land in Houston in a controlled environment, with government officials monitoring and approving it. He suggested that ocean testing was not necessary.

    “We’re quite confident,” he said. “We’re ready to respond. The system is ready to go.”

    The consortium has said an expanded network capable of plugging a well at more than 10,000 feet below the surface and collecting 100,000 barrels of oil per day won’t be ready until early 2012.

    Another piece of equipment that has come under new scrutiny is the blowout preventer.

    In a report last month, a firm hired by the government to test the 300-ton device made by Houston-based Cameron and used with BP’s ill-fated well said the device failed to pinch the well shut in part because of a design flaw that prevented it from cutting through a drill pipe that had been knocked off center.

    Cameron is one of the biggest manufacturers of blowout preventers, so the finding has raised concerns that the devices may have to be overhauled across the board. No design changes have been announced since the finding, and a Cameron vice president defended the integrity of the blowout preventers at a federal hearing this month.

    If oil reaches the surface and threatens land, response companies today would still rely on the same equipment and technology that failed to quickly protect land during the BP spill. Floating booms, for example, would still be put in place around sensitive marshes and beaches.

    Bromwich said recently that some oil and gas companies continue to tell him they believe the Deepwater Horizon was an aberration belonging to one party – BP – and it could not happen to them.

    “In my judgment, this is as disappointing as it is shortsighted,” Bromwich said. “Our view is this was a broad problem.”

    Mohr reported from Jackson, Miss. Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans and Dina Cappiello in Washington contributed to this report.


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