Thursday, November 11, 2010

BP Oil Spill Cover-up & “Cleanup”: Disaster Capitalism At Its Worst

Has the Post-Disaster Recovery Program become a profitable scam? – Part IIIc of Root Causes.

- BK Lim
9 Nov 2010

As we have seen in many cases, disasters can be highly profitable for those who know in advance or privileged few in the know (PFitK). This is very clear from the pattern of massive selling by BP’s directors and Goldman Sachs before the advent of an impending disaster. See A pattern of massive shares sell-off by BP directors prior to expected disasters.

Though hard to believe, there are many who would profit without hesitation upon the miseries of others. A mega-disaster like the BP’s Oil Spill is one of those. Sometimes it is hard to say if a prescribed cure is supposed to make you feel better or improve the bottom line of the one prescribing it. Time will always tell, as it is revealing in the case of the BP Gulf Oil disaster.

Just as it would be highly improper for surgeons to mislead on the medical procedures, BP the “doctor” should lose its “medical license” and be held criminally liable for deliberate misleading information on so many occasions. Six months later, NOAA and the Presidential Investigative Panel should have been able to evaluate not only the effectiveness of the medicine prescribed but also the manner it was administered. If these regulatory bodies are still sleeping on their job after six months, then either delinquency or corruption has already set in.

By most accounts BP, NOAA and all the regulatory bodies fared poorly in this disaster. Later postings will delve into the technological and geological aspects. In this posting, we will concentrate on the question whether the post-disaster recovery program had become a profitable scam. It goes without saying that BP as an organization would suffer hefty financial losses not monetary gains. That would make it all the more; much “safer” for the privileged few to profit personally. Evidence of profit motives in the post-disaster recovery efforts would substantiate earlier suspicions that this disaster had been allowed to happen.

It is an undeniable fact that corners are cut everyday across the globe in almost every sector of human societies. Of all the industries, the offshore oil industry is the most regulated with the most stringent HSE policies. Hence it is logically impossible for a potential mega disaster to sail through the elaborate screening “Check & Balance” process. Unlike wildcat drillings in the pre-seventies, every location to be drilled had to be evaluated with respect to exploration and production objectives, shallow geohazards, seabed and logistics problems. That is why few mega-disasters occurred even though near-misses and accidents do occur on a daily basis. By all accounts, this disaster could have been averted. Yet it was allowed to happen. Why?

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