The U.S. regulators who were responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico accepted meals, tickets to sporting events and gifts from at least one oil company. A new report offers further evidence that the Minerals Management Service has what has been described as a culture of lax oversight and cozy ties to industry.
You can click on The Star link below to see some of the devastating effects the oil spill has had on wildlife.
The problem was not confined to the MMS. In 2007, a British Petroleum refinery in Indiana was allowed to continue to dump mercury into Lake Michigan by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. A permit exempted a BP plant from a federal regulation limiting mercury discharges into the Great Lakes.
The New York Times reports:
"In mid-2008, a minerals agency employee conducted four inspections on drilling platforms when he was also negotiating a job with the drilling company ... And an inspector ... may have been under the influence of [crystal methamphetamine] during an inspection."
But there are even more downright criminal activities taking place right now. According to a government panel, new calculations suggest that "an amount equivalent to the Exxon Valdez disaster could be flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every 8 to 10 days," the New York Times reported on June 10.
In addition, the CNN video above discusses the health problems suffered by the clean-up workers, and the fact that BP is strongly discouraging any type of protective gear, such as respirators and even rubber gloves! In the video, Kerry Kennedy mentions that the average age at the time of death of workers who cleaned up after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was 51!
Today, all those clean-up workers are DEAD!
Seems BP is far more worried about their PR, buying up search terms on Google and other search engines, than protecting the health and welfare of their clean-up crews...
Meanwhile, another New York Times article reports that the "U.S. EPA has quietly released a full list of ingredients in the two controversial dispersants BP PLC is using to combat the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, following weeks of complaints from members of Congress and public health advocates that the dispersant manufacturer had kept its complete formula a secret from the public."
This image is but one of literally hundreds of competing logos in LogoMyWay's BP logo contest. They write:
"I cant tell you how frustrated and upset we are about BP and how they are handling this oil disaster. Before this eruption of oil they had 17 violations. It's obvious this could have been prevented. This is the biggest environmental disaster we have ever faced in this country.
I think the (6000) creative logo designers at LogoMyWay should update the BP logo with a more suitable design and brand. The design community and the general public will vote on the winner of the redesign of the NEW BP LOGO."
To see all of the submitted logos, see LogoMyWay's contest page.