Pro Publica is reporting internal investigations over the last 10 years show BP systemically ignored its own safety policies from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico to California and Texas. The classified documents show management neglected aging equipment, put pressure on employees not to report problems and cut short or delayed inspections to reduce production costs. Meanwhile, OSHA reports that two refineries in the US owned by BP account for 97 percent of the most what OSHA called "egregious willful" violations of all the refineries in the country, even after 15 Americans died at the explosion of a BP refinery in Texas City, Texas in 2005. The Minerals and Management Service reports that in the years since George W. Bush was appointed president by five Republicans on the Supreme Court in 2001, Oil spills in US waters have more than quadrupled, with BP being the company with the highest average number of spills - and this was before the blowout in the Gulf. BP's response? They've hired former Huffington Post editor Hillary Rosen to help with PR, and Tony Podesta and The Podesta Group - along with 27 former congressional and White House staffers - to lobby Congress, the White House, and the Press to limit damages to BP and tamp down calls for criminal investigations against BP and its executives. Americans now support pursuing criminal charges related to the Gulf spill and 80% give the federal government’s response a more negative rating than the response to Hurricane Katrina. They're also spending a small fortune buying space on Google and other search engines to make sure when people look for oil spill information the first thing they see is BP's point of view. And they're giving millions now to the big television networks for what they call advertising, but others are wondering if its an attempt to encourage the networks to temper their coverage of the oil volcano and BPs complicity in the death of the 11 men who died on the Deepwater Horizon. This is the problem with monopoly crony capitalism - they keep the profits, we pay the expenses and bury the dead, and the companies get so big that both accountability and competition are destroyed.
They Get the Profits and We Bury the Dead...
Jun. 8, 2010 7:48 am