Big Oil Pulled the Wool Over the Eyes of The New York Times

ProPublica is reporting that a "conservation group," the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, took an "it's not so bad" angle in a front-page New York Times story on the Gulf oil spill disaster. Problem is that this so-called "conservation group" is made up largely of oil industry executives. Transocean -the owner of the rig that exploded - hosted this so-called "environmental group's" most recent board meeting. Quenton Dokken, the executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, told the New York Times for their artilce titled, "Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad?", "The sky is not falling. We've certainly stepped in a hole and we're going to have to work ourselves out of it, but it isn't the end of the Gulf of Mexico." When big oil succeeds in pulling the wool over the eyes of The New York Times by handing them a phony "conservation" group to quote about this oil spill it's a serious indictment of both the state of journalism at the Times as well as the power and mendacity of Big Oil. A starting point for addressing this problem of giant transnational corporations ripping up our environment and our media is to enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and for the UK to enforce their version of it - to break up these giant monstrosities. Such huge entities largely didn't exist before the Thatcher/Reagan era when both stopped the enforcement of anti-trust laws, and still don't exist in many of the world's countries where anti-trust laws are enforced. Such laws ensure competition, as well as preventing corporations from becoming so large they can become the tail that wags the dogs of media and government. It's time to start enforcing them again, like when Teddy Roosevelt broke Standard Oil into over 30 companies, or when Jimmy Carter broke up AT&T. In both cases, the result was an increase in shareholder value and an increase in competition in the marketplace, leading to more innovation and lower consumer prices.


ProudPrimate's picture
ProudPrimate 10 years 20 weeks ago

Has everyone seen this article at FireDogLake?

Halliburton Presentation May Explain Horizon Oil Rig Explosion and Fire

They knew the dangers of fast-curing concrete sealing at those depths was one of over-warming the clathrates ("cages" of water molecules held by hydrogen bonds and massive pressure, entrapping methane which upon release suddenly reaches 168 times its volume).

But economic considerations apparently overruled safety considerations.

FDL links to this extremely damning PowerPoint (PDF) by Halliburton techs dated 6 months ago.

"Oh, well", said the customer in my store with his son yesterday. "The damn Democrats are planning these major lawsuits before they even know who was damaged. Before you know it I'll be paying $4 for gas!" I was loading some big stuff in his high-end pickup with fancy hard bed-cover.

"I guess I'd better hold my tongue", says I, "while I'm working." His little boy looked at me funny, but who can guess what transpires in such minds.

From all appearances, their hasty concrete injection method warmed up those clathrates and sent a giant burst of methane up the pipe, which found a spark in the motors or wherever, and blooey! — you are now >> here <<.

Another inneresting bit of Bush-era info is this piece from the NYT, Sept. 2008,

Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department

As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

“A culture of ethical failure” pervades the agency, Mr. Devaney wrote in a cover memo.

Well worth the click to see the rest of this sorry tale.

OsamaBinLogin's picture
OsamaBinLogin 10 years 20 weeks ago

Guns, Germs and Steel

Hey! Every day listener, first time blogger.

Yesterday you were caught off-guard by what, someone you were interviewing about the whole immigration thing. He was making the case that Whites built America and it's the superior White people who built modern society, yada yada, european exceptionalism. (Meanwhile of course, the same people are claiming that Europe is melting cuz of their economic policies.)

Anyway, you should read this book (in your copious free time): <em>Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies</em> by Jared Diamond. ISBN 0-393-31755-2 for the first edition, publisher. Pulitzer prize. They made a TV series on PBS but it was mostly different topics and not the same.

It's a bit cerebral but describes, for instance, why the Spaniards came to America and captured the kings of the Incas & Mayas, rather than Inca boats arriving in Spain and conquering Queen Isabella. He studies nine cradles of civilization and how fast they advanced relative to each other.

Basically, the eurasians were lucky: they had wheat, they had horses, they had flax to weave into cloth, and they had a wide variety of other plants and animals they could domesticate. And they had a continent where domesticated species could move east and west and survive in similar climates.

Meanwhile, the Africans had zebras: nasty and can't be tamed. The Mayas had corn, which had to be bred, over thousands of years, to reach a usable cereal crop. They also had no Iron, so they never had an Iron Age. North America had no weaving plants. Nobody in the americas had pack animals, and therefore never had wheels, so anything transported needed human backs. All these were a significant limitation on their civilizations.

He has a chapter, 'How to make an Almond', where he describes agriculture and how humans slowly developed it, and how it gave such a big boost to the Fertile Crescent. Wild wheat was edible as-is, and was high in protein. Rice was all carbs, as was corn. Etc.

So this book ought to give you some more ideas on how to counter claims of white superiority, undercutting its foundation.

Keep up the good work! Thanks!

ProudPrimate's picture
ProudPrimate 10 years 20 weeks ago

More great stuff, this from Bobby Kennedy, nails them dead to rights, at HuffPo:

Sex, Lies and Oil Spills

reyespd's picture
reyespd 10 years 20 weeks ago

In regards to the oil spill in the Gulf, can we get everyone to start calling that mess the Palin Puddle? It drives me crazy how Corporate America drives the Tea Baggers to the edge, and then over the edge. I can't believe there are some who are trying to blame Obama for this mess; that he isn't moving fast enough to clean it up. What happened to the "Free Market" and "Government Take Over" of the "private sector"? Are the Tea Baggers now demanding "Big Government" to interviene?

Corporations hurt Americans. It's no secret that a major challenge Progressives face is going up against the money in Corporate America, Chamber of Commerce and the Right Wing Talking Heads. I think a long range goal, that may chip away at the influence of Corporate monies are campaigns like Move your Money, Buy American, Go Green and Buy Fresh, Buy Local. Progressives alone would not be able to affect the needed change, but bringing the Tea Party people onboard might. They would need to be reminded, or educated that such efforts support Americans, American Small Businesses and America (wave the flag at them). We can also tell the Tea Partiers that we can hate each other later, but let's fix America first. On the surface this may sound naive, but with the right strategy and collaborations with progressive media sources (talk radio, MSNBC, web sites, unions), and knowing from the start that this will be a marathon and not a sprint, consumers may make a difference. The biggest problem with this approach, no national leader with the political will to take on the "Robber Barons" controling this country. It seems that no one is willing to try.

bmdavis95 10 years 20 weeks ago

This oil spill made me think of a video game that I played once. Squaresoft had it right back when they created Final Fantasy 7. This is a game that starts with a group of eco-terrorists working to blow up a Mako Reactor. You are one of the terrorists that use to work for the government and you help them set the explosives. The reactor is drawing a power source from the earth below. As the game progresses, one of the characters explains why he is doing what he is doing. He says that the Mako Reactors are draining the life blood of the planet. This is a common theme throughout the game.

It makes me think of how we drain oil from the planet. This current oil spill is like hitting a major artery. Too bad most people who played this game don't often think about the issues it presents, but it is one of the most popular Role Playing Video games of all time.

florinosci's picture
florinosci 10 years 20 weeks ago

One quart of oil can foul 250,000 gallons of water according to the DPW Bureau of Sanitation.

Gulf oil spill spewing 210,000 gallons of oil a day (at least, some estimates are 1,000,000 gallons a day)

210,000 gallons of oil
x 250,000 gallons of water
x 4 quarts per gallon

= 210,000,000,000 (210 Billion) Gallons of Water a Day are Being Fouled

April 20 until now (May 10th) = 20 days = 4.2 trillion (4,200,000,000,000) Gallon of Water

BP estimates it could take 90 days to fix the leak, if they can fix it.

210 Billion x 110 days = 23.1 Trillion Gallons of Water

This is enough water to cover an area of 110,767 square miles with one foot of water.

This oil will soon be making its way up the Mississippi River and into our drinking supply.

Why is the world not freaking out about this! This could potentially be a cataclysmic, extinction event. World governments should be working at full speed to help BP to fix this. Eco-safe oil sorbents should be used on a never before seen scale. This needs to be properly addressed! Mainstream media is severely downplaying the severity of this. We all need to speak up now, before it is too late!

prgrsvmama's picture
prgrsvmama 10 years 20 weeks ago

I just wanted to add that I am equally stunned that the world is not freaking out about this. THey have lied to us, and the spill has far exceeded the valdeez spill. I am shocked that everyone is staling, while it continues to spill, and they are more concerned about who's fault this is. Duh, it's is all their faults and their assets should all be seized until this is cleaned up, and completely paid for. This fee should also include the fines to the extinction of life they have caused, many animals that will never recover. All animals damaged and the ocean life killed here should be paid for. IT should be equally split between all parties involved, and be DONE! Just get on with cleaning it, then close that damn well up, to protect the remaining life. This is ludicrous. Have we no dignity for life, has the pendelum swung so far that we have no regard at all for life? I hope they are enjoying that oil money, they are only sealing their doom.

prgrsvmama's picture
prgrsvmama 10 years 20 weeks ago

Correction, BP and all involved in the spill is who have lied to us. In review I can see it may seem that I meant the world has lied to us, I apologize.

Republicans ruthlessly reshaped America to hold onto power - can Dems do the same thing to save it?

Thom plus logo In the power grab to fill the Supreme Court seat announced the same evening as the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mitch McConnell didn't do anything new. The GOP has a long history of playing hardball power politics.
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