10 June 2010

Serial Criminal BP: Crimes Against Humanity & Political Clout

DAY THREE:  Crimes Against Humanity & The Environment

Right at four years ago, in the summer of 2006, BP lost a multi-million pound settlement to a group of Colombian farmers after being accused of benefiting from a regime of terror enforced by Colombian government paramilitaries protecting one of BP's pipelines.

BP has been heavily criticized for its complicity in human rights violations (defined), and environmental and safety concerns stemming from its involvements with the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

The Crees (first nation's peoples) in Canada have described BP as being complicit in "the biggest environmental crime on the planet".  Probably true, that is up until April 20, 2010.  BP is one of a number of companies there using a process to extract oil from sand that produces four times as much CO2 as drilling!

Concerned and fearful British Columbians have called on BP to cease its "Mist Mountain" Coalbed Methane Project in a stretch of the Rocky Mountains which is immediately adjacent to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

After the Texas City explosion ( detailed yesterday) OSHA found that two BP refineries, one in Texas City, Texas and the other in Toledo, Ohio were responsible for 97% of the 851 safety violations by oil refiners from June 2007 to last February---two months before the Gulf disaster.  These two sites had between them 829 safety violations leaving only 23 to be spread out over every other refinery in the nation!

Mother Jones Magazine has twice (2001 & 2003)  cited BP as one of the ten worst corporations as a result of their shoddy environmental and human rights history.  BP, according to Public Interest Research
Group investigations, caused 104 oil spills in the one year period of 1997 to 1998.  Additionally, BP has paid a $10-million EPA fine for its mismanagement of US refineries and an imposed fine of $1.7-million after having been charged with burning polluted gases its Ohio refinery.

The Center for Responsive Politics found that BP is an aggressive and generous donor to American political campaigns, particularly Republican.  Of the more than $5-million of identifiable corporate contributions since 1990, 72% have gone to Republicans

Speaking from one side of his mouth in 2002, BPs chief executive, Lord Browne of Madingly, said, "...from now on we will make no political contributions from corporate funds anywhere in the world".  Seven years later, in 2009, BP was still bankrolling Washington, that year alone shelling out $16-million to K-Street lobbyists topping its own previous record of $10.4-million. Not surprisingly, BP sought exemptions from U.S. corporate laws and reforms.

Three days ago we set out to prove that the British company now calling itself BP was no better than career criminals and repeat offenders who, in many U.S. jurisdictions, find themselves facing life imprisonment.  We believe we have made our case and that BP should be treated as we would any other thug that repeatedly preys on the unsuspecting, weak and innocent.

Therefore, we beseech those with the authority to immediately: (1) Cancel all visas and lift the passports of all foreign nationals employed by BP above the level of "line" manager and incarcerate them until such time as they may be deported. (2) Seize and nationalize all holdings, accounts, businesses, and any and all other BP assets now held by BP in the United States or its territories. (3)  Put Americans in those executive positions left vacant by the deportation of foreign nationals.  (4) Use all net revenues, immediate and future, to satisfy the legitimate claims of those sustaining loss as the result of the current oil spill catastrophe and to clean up and restore damaged coastlines, seabeds, beaches, communities and habitats.  (5) Once all such claims have been settled and all restoration is complete or the restoration process is properly funded and ongoing all ensuing net revenues should be placed in a "lock-box", interest-earning fund dedicated to the preservation and protection of Social Security, Medicare, and other social safety net programs.

It is really no different than seizing the assets and expelling any other repeat offenders!

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