Tag Archives: BP

Halliburton Destroys Gulf Spill Evidence, Gets Slap on Wrist

26 Jul
0618-Halliburton-testimony-Senate.jpg_full_600

Tim Probert (r.) of Halliburton is sworn in along with officials from BP and Transocean before May 11 Senate hearings on the Gulf oil spill. Tim Sloan/AFP/Newscom

by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire

The 2010 BP Oil Spill is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. It spilled approximately 210,000,000 US gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and the initial explosion, caused by faulty cementing around the injection well, killed 11 workers.

During an internal probe into this cementing after the blowout, Halliburton ordered workers to destroy computer simulations relating to safety measures. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to the destruction of this evidence.

This charge—knowingly destroying evidence during a government investigation in an attempt to cover up the cause of 11 human deaths and one of the largest disasters in the country’s history—is considered a “misdemeanor” charge. Halliburton is required to pay a $200,000 fine.

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Some Oil Spill Damage Can’t Be Cleaned Up

20 Apr

by Grayson / Earth First! Newswire

OilDamageCan'tBeCleaned

Photo from evelynwithoutoil.blogspot.com

A recent article in Newsweek outlines the shocking health problems, including neurological damage, that workers and residents at the 2010 BP oil spill disaster site have suffered in the three years since the incident. Considering the insane amount of oil spills that have taken place in the last couple months, it was too relevant to ignore.

As Newsweek writes, one victim of the spill, Jamie Griffin, was feeding cleanup crews during the disaster. Representatives from BP told Jamie that the oil tracking into her workspace was “safe,” and that she should “just mop it up,” which she attempted to do, having no idea the pain it was going to cause:

Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. . . Like hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers on the cleanup, Griffin soon fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments. By July, unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws. In August, she began losing her short-term memory. . . The right side, but only the right side, of her body “started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled—my ankle would get as wide as my calf—and my skin got incredibly itchy.”

“These are the same symptoms experienced by soldiers who returned from the Persian Gulf War with Gulf War syndrome,” says Dr. Michael Robichaux, a Louisiana physician and former state senator, who treated Griffin and 113 other patients with similar complaints. As a general practitioner, Robichaux says he had “never seen this grouping of symptoms together: skin problems, neurological impairments, plus pulmonary problems.”

Cleanup workers were not the only victims; coastal residents also suffered. “My 2-year-old grandson and I would play out in the yard,” says Shirley Tillman of the Mississippi coastal town Pass Christian. “You could smell oil and stuff in the air, but on the news they were saying it’s fine, don’t worry. Well, by October, he was one sick little fellow. All of a sudden, this very active little 2-year-old was constantly sick.”

Much of this pain and suffering was not caused by the oil alone, but by BP’s response to the spill; as if allowing hundreds of thousands of barrels of deadly crude oil to flow into the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t enough, many of you may remember that BP used a “dispersant” to “clean-up” (read: hide) the oil. The dispersant they used was Corexit, a substance that has now been found to make crude oil 52 times as toxic. Corexit is still a standard dispersant used for oil spill cleanups, as it is approved for use by the Oil Pollution Act. This dispersant likely played a large role in the physical and neurological damage workers and volunteers are still suffering today.

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NOLA “Detournement” in Solidarity Against Big Oil

26 Mar

OIL LA Mcbillboard

Message from an anonymous communique sent off the streets of New Orleans to the EF! Newswire:

“With dawn approaching on the morning of March 24th, after a night of revelry involving freakshows and failed attempts at ordering broccoli sandwiches, we biked to the Franklin Avenue railroad overpass in the 8th Ward of New Orleans to make our voices heard and have our solidarity recognized.

Yeeehaw!

Yeeehaw!

There were four of us.

With two lookouts, our two ninjas fastened the banner to the overpass, not yet flipping it over to face the highway on ramp, making our scandalous activities and whereabouts known. The banner read:

BIG OIL: GET THE FRACK OUT OF L(A)
TARSANDBLOCKADE.ORG
OILLA.TUMBLR.COM

We regrouped and prepared for stage two.  Continue reading

Anarchy in New Orleans, Justice in the Gulf, Direct Action in Texas…

4 Jan
naasn12-poster1As EF! Journal editors arrive in  New Orleans to speak at the 2013 North American Anarchist Studies Network Conference, a story of justice for the Gulf BP spill, albeit too-little-too-late, covers headlines in newspapers across town. [Re-posted below]
     Meanwhile  along the Texas Gulf Coast, the need for yet another Tar Sands Blockade action camp proves that our struggle against a global energy empire is far from over. As of this morning, at least six people have been arrested in a tree sit blockade erected yesterday.
Treesit in Diboll, TX

Treesit in Diboll, TX

——————–

According to NBC News: The Transocean settlement in the 2010 Gulf spill unveiled by the Department of Justice includes $1 billion in civil penalties and $400 million in criminal penalties. The company had set aside a total of $1.95 billion in potential losses related to the spill, including $1.5 billion for its anticipated settlement with the DoJ.

Shares of Transocean were up 7 percent at $49.50 on midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

BP's Gulf disaster, 2012

BP’s Gulf disaster, 2012

“The bottom line to me is they now can put away the big black cloud that has been hanging over them,” said Phil Weiss, an oil analyst at Argus. “I take this as a positive, even if the number is a little higher than I expected.”

Switzerland-based Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling a mile-deep well when a surge of methane gas sparked an explosion on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed 11 men and led to one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.

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Direct Action All Summer Long!

27 Jul

Ecological resistance is on the rise across the US. Check out these and more events at the EF! Newswire calendar

August 4 —  BP = Big Polluter, Direct Action Protest (New Orleans, LA)

August 5 — Protest ALEC conference (Also in New Orleans…it’s a two-fer!)

August 12-15 — Midwest Rising: Convergence 2011 (St. Louis, MO)

August 20 – September 3 — Tar Sands Actions (DC)

August 18 – 22 — Reclaim Power Southeast Action Camp (NC)

Video Round-up of Rising Tide’s Week of Action Against Extraction

25 May

News Roundup 5/20

20 May

Greenpeace UK made BP a new flag. The coolest part is, they’re still taking suggestions for other new BP flags.

The Oil Spill is now leaking between 76,000 and 104,000 barrels per day. That’s a pretty wide range of guessing, but it makes sense considering the authorities have no idea what they’re gonna do about it. The damn oil will be in the Atlantic soon. And Congress thinks BP is using the wrong dispersant. Oh well. Maybe Kevin Costner will save us.

Good video here of a Maine EF!er on trial. He was supposed to be the police liaison.

Also from Maine, they’ve just posted directions to this year’s Rendezvous. There’s also the beginnings of a ride board, but no one’s posted anything yet.

The Sea Lion Defense Brigade has wrapped up their campaign and is claiming success. Congrats to them for keeping a close eye on the State’s insane plan to kill 64 California sea lions this year. They only actually killed 10.

In other pinniped news, the Navy is using sea lions to sniff out bombs. Props to Earth Island Institute for trying at least to tell them what they’re doing is wrong.

And last week RAN locked down at Cargill HQ in Minnesota. The video isn’t very good, and they’re still a bunch of compromisers on board with the FSC. Which by the way, was a good idea gone horribly wrong.

In other big enviro news, big green groups and corporations have reached an agreement to better manage a whole bunch of acres of Canada’s Boreal forest. Seems to reek of compromise. We’ll see if logging up there is slowed significantly, or if the forest will continue to disappear.

Climate Ground Zero is still busy, speaking out at a public hearing on what could be the largest mine in WV history. Two of their road blockaders still need our help to get their bail reduced.

ScienceDaily uses the Asian shore crab to make the dangerous point that maybe invasive species aren’t all bad.

And scientists at the Craig Venter Institute have created the first synthetic living cell. Next up: synthetic meat, coming to fast food joint near you.