Two years ago today, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused a massive oil spill that would last for months in the Gulf of Mexico.
Soon after the spill, FRONTLINE and ProPublica set out to joint investigate the trail of problems that led to the disaster, including deadly accidents and countless safety violations which long troubled the oil giant, BP.
Could the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico have been prevented?
Once again an American president summons the passions of a human rights crusade against a reprehensible ruler whose crimes, while considerable, are not significantly different from those of dictators the U.S routinely protects.
Establishing a no-fly zone is an act of war. It involves bombing. In the Persian Gulf war, this did not protect Shia in the South of Iraq. Given that our foreign and military policy shows we care not a whit for international law, cynicism indicates this has more to do with guaranteeing the flow of light, sweet crude.
What is immediately striking about the bipartisan call in Washington for a no-fly zone and air strikes designed to help rebel forces in Libya is the absence of any concern with the relevance of international law or the authority of the United Nations. None in authority take the trouble to construct some kind of legal rationalization. The ‘realists’ in command, and echoed by the mainstream media, do not feel any need to provide even a legal fig leaf before embarking on aggressive warfare.
It should be obvious that a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace is an act of war, as would be, of course, contemplated air strikes on fortifications of the Qadaffi forces. The core legal obligation of the UN Charter requires member states to refrain from any use of force unless it can be justified as self-defense after a cross-border armed attack or mandated by a decision of the UN Security Council. Neither of these conditions authorizing a legal use of force is remotely present, and yet the discussion proceeds in the media and Washington circles as if the only questions worth discussing pertain to feasibility, costs, risks, and a possible backlash in the Arab world. The imperial mentality is not inclined to discuss the question of legality, much less show behavioral respect for the constraints embedded in international law.
US oil industry lobbyist Bill Reinsch, to MoJo’s Suzy Khimm. The story did come out, and it’s a doozy: Find out why a lobbying outfit that represents Halliburton and other US companies opposes placing unilateral sanctions on Libya. (via motherjones)
BP and its cement contractor, Halliburton, knew weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the new well was unstable but still completed the work, staff for the presidential commission investigating the accident said in a letter Thursday.
Nearly fifty years ago they touted the glacier-melting capacities their oil supplies, and now they spend millions trying to convince us that climate change is not real. It reminds me of those 60s-era ads for the solution to “tired housewife syndrome,” Ritalin. Better living through science? I think marketing would try to convince us so.
What A Difference Fifty Years Make of the Day:An ad for Humble Oil and Refining Co. (now ExxonMobil) from 1962 promotes the 7-million-ton-glacier-melting propeties of its petroleum energy.
This giant glacier has remained unmelted for centuries. Yet, the petroleum energy Humble supplies- if converted into heat- could melt it at the rate of 80 tons each second! To meet the nation’s growing needs for energy, Humble has applied science to nature’s resources to become America’s Leading Energy Company. Working wonders with oil through research, Humble provides energy in many forms- to help heat our homes, power our transportation, and to furnish industry with a great variety of versatile chemicals. Stop at a Humble station for new Enco Extra gasoline, and see why the “Happy Motoring” sign is the World’s First Choice!