May 28, 2010

Smart Pig: BP's OTHER Spill this Week

By Greg Palast on

With the Gulf Coast dying of oil poisoning, there's no space in the press for British Petroleum's latest spill, just this week: over 100,000 gallons, at its Alaska pipeline operation. A hundred thousand used to be a lot. Still is.

On Tuesday, Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile pipeline, busted. Thousands of barrels began spewing an explosive cocktail of hydrocarbons after "procedures weren't properly implemented" by BP operators, say state inspectors "Procedures weren't properly implemented" is, it seems, BP's company motto.

Click here for the whole article at Buzzflash

If you don't hate BP yet, try not to after reading this article. What Palast has been doing for the past decade or so is invaluable; I wish I worked as hard as him to get the word out about shady corporate happenings. Who knows how long he'll be around, if everything he's been exposing has been true.

This article talks about just a few despicable things BP has done in the past which makes the current disaster easier to understand, and also more enraging. He points out that BP is highly responsible for the destruction caused by the '89 Exxon Valdez spill, which transitions smoothly into their anti-whistleblower tactics against one Dan Lawn, who warned BP for over a decade about corrosion of a certain pipeline in Alaska which was finally addressed in 2006.

The overall lesson here, to me, is that we can't expect the private sector to ever regulate itself seriously or safely. There has to be a referee, and the referee has to be neutral. What we've gotten for longer than I've been alive is the largest corporate entities slithering their way into government regulatory positions and doing the opposite of what they're supposed to do. What's worse, the corporate owned media spins this issue so much that the average viewer of cable news will probably tell you that the private sector deals with enough regulation as it is. It's simply not true. I've lost count of the factory recalls of American products in my lifetime, and that isn't even half of the problem. But every time you hear about e. coli in the burgers, or peanut butter, or flipping green beans, that's a consequence of lax regulation. When people die needlessly because of poorly constructed automobiles, there's your free market working itself out. Fuck BP.


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