Tag Archives: oil drilling

The report BP doesn’t want you to read

27 Oct

Furious Growth and Cost Cuts Led To BP Accidents Past and Present

A ProPublica and PBS FRONTLINE investigation. “The Spill [1],” a PBS FRONTLINE documentary drawn from this reporting, airs tonight. Check local listings. [2]

Jeanne Pascal turned on her TV April 21 to see a towering spindle of black smoke slithering into the sky from an oil platform on the oceanic expanse of the Gulf of Mexico. For hours she sat, transfixed on an overstuffed couch in her Seattle home, her feelings shifting from shock to anger.

Pascal, a career Environmental Protection Agency attorney only seven weeks into her retirement, knew as much as anyone in the federal government about BP, the company that owned the well. She understood in an instant what it would take others months to grasp: In BP’s 15-year quest to compete with the world’s biggest oil companies, its managers had become deaf to risk and systematically gambled with safety at hundreds of facilities and with thousands of employees’ lives.

“God, they just don’t learn,” she remembers thinking.

Just weeks before the explosion, President Obama had announced a historic expansion of deep-water drilling in the Gulf, where BP held the majority of the drilling leases. The administration considered the environmental record of drilling companies in the Gulf to be excellent. It didn’t ask questions about BP, and it didn’t consider that the company’s long record of safety violations and environmental accidents might be important, according to Carol Browner, the White House environmental adviser.

They could have asked Jeanne Pascal.

For 12 years, Pascal had wrestled with whether BP’s pattern of misconduct should disqualify it from receiving billions of dollars in government contracts and other benefits. Federal law empowers government officials to “debar”—ban from government business—companies that commit fraud or break the law too many times. Pascal was a senior EPA debarment attorney for the Northwest, and her job was to act as a sort of behind-the-scenes babysitter for companies facing debarment. She worked with their top management, reviewed records and made sure they were good corporate citizens entitled to government contracts.

At first, Pascal thought BP would be another routine assignment. Over the years she’d persuaded hundreds of troubled energy, mining and waste-disposal companies to quickly change their behavior. But BP was in its own league. On her watch she would see BP charged with four federal crimes—more than any other oil company in her experience—and demonstrate what she described as a pattern of disregard for regulations and for the EPA. By late 2009 she was warning the government and BP executives themselves that the company’s approach to safety and environmental issues made another disaster likely.


for the whole article go to ProPublica

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Deep Sea Oil Drilling Ban Rejected By European Nations

23 Sep

Sad news, despite the latest horror scenario in the Gulf and the lurking dangers of Global Warming, governments still not take there responsibility for a healthy future for the people and the planet.

article HuffingtonPost

OSLO, Norway — Oil-producing countries on Thursday rejected a German proposal for a moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Northeast Atlantic that reflected environmental concerns after the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

At a meeting of environment ministers and officials from 15 European countries and the European Union, Germany suggested that offshore nations consider a temporary halt to the “drilling of new complex deep-water oil exploration wells.”

Greenpeace activists said offshore oil nations including Norway, Denmark and Britain opposed the draft at the two-day meeting in Norway’s west coast city of Bergen. Stefan Krug, a spokesman for Greenpeace Germany, called it “a shame” that host Norway was “not able to agree to adequate and urgent measures.”

Norwegian Environment Ministry spokesman Gard Nybro-Nielsen confirmed the German proposal was off the table.

Oil and gas resources in the North Sea have made Norway one of the richest countries in the world, but those resources are running out. Feeling the pressure, Norway is also exploring in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.

Danish warship blocks Greenpeace Arctic oil protest

24 Aug

article Guardian.co.uk

The Danish navy has warned that the Esperanza will be boarded by armed personnel if it breaches the exclusion zone

Greenpeace ship protesting against deep sea drilling by a British oil firm in the Arctic has been confronted by a Danish warship, and its captain threatened with arrest.

The Danish navy has warned Greenpeace that the Esperanza will be boarded by armed personnel if it breaches a 500-metre exclusion zone around two wells drilled off Greenland by the Edinburgh-based oil firmCairn Energy.

The confrontation came as scores of climate protesters targeted Cairn Energy’s headquarters and six other businesses in Edinburgh during a day of action to protest against the funding of oil and gas industries by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The protests led to the shutting down of the RBS headquarters on the eastern edge of Edinburgh for the day, with thousands of staff told to work from home or other RBS offices. TwelveClimate Camp activists were arrested during the protest.

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