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BP: American Double Standards?

— Filed under: Politics & Government, Opinion
SHARM EL SHEIKH/EGYPT, 19MAY08 - Tony Hayward,...

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BP's Tony Hayward

It hasn't been a good time for BP CEO Tony Hayward, who has spent the last few weeks grovelling abjectly on television while being described in The New York Daily News as 'the most hated – and clueless – man in America'. BP has been the subject of protests in many cities, with protesters waving placards proclaiming 'BP=bad polluter' and 'fubp'.

President Obama, stung into action by criticism of his approach has weighed into the situation with unusually bullish language. Being quoted as trying to find out "whose ass to kick", he has given the green light to criminal proceedings to be brought against the BP board for the mass murder of the eleven rig workers, and has called for BP to be banned from giving dividends to its shareholders.

The President of the world's largest polluter and energy consumer, which consumes 25% of global energy with 5% of the world's population, has called the spillage "an affront to the American people".

The day before the BP oil disaster the U.S. President, who is still yet to sign the Kyoto Protocol, or indeed any other international binding action on climate change and still has the lowest taxes for gasoline in the western world, announced that he would open the door to drilling off Virginia's coast, in other parts of the mid- and south Atlantic, in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and in waters off Alaska.

Other news that happened this month that has been less widely reported:

Rainforest Action Network have started a petition that "denounces the environmentally catastrophic drilling that had as consequence U.S. Oil giant Chevron's deliberately dumping of more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater into [Ecuador's] rainforest."

Nigeria

Image by Travelling Steve via Flickr

Oil Rigs in Nigeria at night

Last Sunday The (UK) Observer rather stunningly announced that "more oil is spilled from the [Exxon’s Nigeria] Delta's network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico."

Still no news from the White House over the Indian government's request to talk to the CEO of Union Carbide about the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, which killed and estimated 15,000 people.

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Phlegm's picture

responsibility

While certainly there is some hypocrisy in the U.S.'s outrage, it doesn't change the facts on the ground. It was BP's rig, and remains their responsibility to clean up.

Winston Smith's picture

Obama "ass to kick" music video

This is pretty funny, very creative:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yghFBt-fXmw

timedesign's picture

Yes, very good.

Yes, very good.

Kuncen's picture

Bhopal disaster update

This just in - India to aggressively seek extradition of the boss of the American company behind the Bhopal gas disaster:

http://rawstory.com/news/afp/India_to_seek_extradition_of_US_Bho_0621201...

Kuncen

Seize the skull!
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