British Petroleum against Scottish independence

This video says about itself:

7 March 2013

BBC Stephen Fry And The Great American Oil Spill

BBC Documentary on BP Oil Spill Disaster

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the BP oil disaster, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and the Macondo blowout) was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect, considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which claimed 11 lives, a sea-floor oil gusher flowed unabated for three months in 2010. The gushing wellhead was not capped until after 87 days, on 15 July 2010. The total discharge is estimated at 4.9 million barrels (210 million US gal; 780,000 m3).

A massive response ensued to protect beaches, wetlands, and estuaries from the spreading oil, using skimmer ships, floating boom, controlled burns, and 1.84 million US gallons (7,000 m3) of Corexit oil dispersant.

After several failed efforts to contain the flow, the well was capped and declared sealed on 19 September 2010. However, the months of spill, along with response and cleanup activities, caused extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats and the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries, as well as human health problems. Environmental and health consequences are continuing, with study and investigation ongoing. Some reports indicate the well site may be continuing to leak.

Numerous investigations have explored the causes of the explosion and spill. Notably, the U.S. government’s September 2011 report pointed to defective cement work on the well, finding BP most at fault but also faulting Deepwater Horizon operator Transocean and contractor Halliburton. Earlier in 2011, a White House commission likewise blamed BP and its partners for making a series of cost-cutting decisions and not having a system sufficient to ensure well safety, but also concluded that the spill was not an isolated incident caused by “rogue industry or government officials,” but resulted from “systemic” root causes and, “absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur.”

The disaster spawned over 130 private lawsuits as well as civil and criminal federal prosecutions. In November 2012, BP settled the federal case by pleading guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter related to the explosion and fire, and agreeing to pay a record breaking $4.525 billion in fines and other payments. BP faces other potential enormous payouts to thousands of fishermen, businesses and others harmed by the spill. In November 2012 the EPA announced that BP will be temporarily banned from seeking new contracts with the US government because of the company’s “lack of business integrity” during the disaster.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Scotland needs a better debate

Wednesday 5th february 2014

BP wade into debate on Scotland’s referendum on independence

The boss of BP is the latest business figure to wade in against a Yes vote in Scotland’s forthcoming referendum on independence.

Bob Dudley is warning of “big uncertainties” ahead should Scots vote Yes, although his company would continue to invest in their country.

Of course it will, unless it can perform a technological miracle and relocate North Sea oil and gas deposits elsewhere.

Dudley also makes clear his personal view that “Great Britain is great and it ought to stay together.”

His remarks epitomise the weaknesses of both the pro- and anti-independence campaigns.

His apparent fears are for a separate Scotland’s future currency arrangements. Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond has made it clear that his party would wish to retain sterling should it win the vote in September.

At the same time, Bank of England chief Mark Carney insists that retention would come at a price to Scottish sovereignty.

In a blatant breach of Civil Service neutrality, a Treasury analysis confirms his stance.

A Scottish government would not be free to set its own taxing, borrowing and spending levels or issue its own chosen volume of sterling-denominated bonds without the supervision and approval of the Bank of England and Treasury in London.

And that’s before taking into account the inevitable and detailed interference of the unelected European Commission and the unaccountable European Central Bank in the financial and economic affairs of an independent Scotland.

Here lies a fatal weakness in the Yes camp.

Its vision of independence is a mirage. And while a mirage can look very attractive to a weary traveller, sooner or later reality reveals itself.

A genuinely free and self-governing Scotland would have its own currency – even if it decided to track the pound sterling – and its own economic and financial policies.

It would decide its own defence and foreign policy, not allow it to be dictated by Nato chiefs and EU High Commissioner Baroness Ashton.

If the primary purpose of independence is to serve the interests of the mass of Scottish people, Yes campaigners should make clear their willingness to reconsider membership of the EU and Nato, which serve the interests of transnational corporations such as BP.

In fact, they should raise the issue of ownership and control of Scotland’s natural resources, not least those beneath its territorial waters.

At the same time, emotional appeals to a British patriotism blighted by the crimes of imperialism are no guarantee of a No result in September.

Nor do they deserve to be, any more than the other reactionary and scaremongering slops being served up by Better Together.

There is a progressive case for maintaining the unity of the peoples of Scotland, England and Wales, based on their common interests and working-class organisations.

The corporate unity of BP and other monopolies will continue regardless, utilising British state power and playing countries and workers off against each other.

There is also a progressive case for maximising devolved powers to parliaments in Scotland, Wales and to the English regions so that they can act in people’s real interests without splitting us apart in the face of monopoly capital.

The failure of both official campaigns to advance them is why neither deserves victory on September 18 this year.

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3 thoughts on “British Petroleum against Scottish independence

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