About a week ago, I posted BP still hasn’t paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups. As you well know, BP destroyed lives, businesses, the environment, plant life, sea life, and wildlife. They accepted criminal liability in the 2010 oil disaster and were supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.
Additionally, tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP’s negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.
For years I've covered their atrocities (BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes), including their use of Corexit, a chemical dispersant that breaks up the oily mess and makes it appear as if it has diminished or even disappeared. Actually, the tiny globs are still around, lingering and endangering lives and the health of anyone who comes in contact with it.
Dispersants accelerate the absorption by the skin of toxic chemicals, and they continue to damage the gulf because they are also easily absorbed into the food chain. Blood tests have shown that oil and dispersant chemicals are “causing big health problems.”
I’ve ranted endlessly about the toxic and lasting effects that chemical dispersant has had on Gulf residents, sea life and wildlife, and complained about how little press coverage the topic has gotten.
Thankfully, a film called "The Big Fix" exposed this, the biggest environmental coverup ever... and Rachel Maddow is right there with them:
BP admitted in court that while they were saying publicly and saying to Congress even, that their gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico was only leaking 5,000 barrels a day, that was it, merely a flesh wound. while they said that publicly, not only was that wrong, but they knew it was wrong.
BP as a company internally was having all sort of discussions about how it wasn't 5,000 barrels a day. It was more like 60,000 barrels or maybe even 140,000 barrels a day. But publicly, they kept assuring everybody that it was no big deal, only five.
The important part was not just that BP was wrong or that they didn't know the answer and they were guessing. The important part in their culpability, of course-- the reason they ended up paying the largest corporate fine in history of corporate fines was not because they got it wrong-- it is because they did know the truth and they lied about it. They lied about it publicly, they lied about it to Congress.
"Newsweek" published some remarkable new reporting on the question that ... was expressed to me the most by people who live on the gulf coast and make their living on the water there, three years ago in the middle of that spill, this is what folks worry about more than anything. And now, 3 years later, we are starting to get some answers about it.
Mark Hertsgaard, Newsweek:
These people were basically treated as collateral damage by BP. As part of BP's coverup, they were willing to sacrifice the health of these workers, hundreds and possibly thousands of them, and also coastal residents, a little 3-year-old boy we write about in this story who was fine until he started breathing this stuff in. And now he got terribly sick.
And let's not forget the gulf eco system where 33%, one-third of the seafood we Americans eat comes out of that gulf. That too was terribly damaged by this use of Corexit. Which is an Orwellian term if I've ever heard one, Corexit as a name for a dispersant. Once you put that with oil it is 52 times more toxic.
Here's what Nalco has on its Corexit web page:
Prompt deployment of Nalco COREXIT® oil spill dispersants is one very effective and proven method of minimizing the impact of a spill on the environment. When the COREXIT dispersants are deployed on the spilled oil, the oil is broken up into tiny bio-degradable droplets that immediately sink below the surface where they continue to disperse and bio-degrade. This quickly removes the spilled oil from surface drift…reducing direct exposure to birds, fish and sea animals in the spill environment. By keeping the oil from adhering to wildlife COREXIT dispersants effectively protect the environment.