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BP’s assault on the Great Lakes

By Rob Kezelis
May 29, 2010

2005 – 15 people were killed and over 170 injured from a fire and explosion on the Isomerization plant (ISOM) at the BP Products North America

2006 – BP’s Prudhoe Bay  pipeline exploded, spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of heavy crude.

BP attack on the Great Lakes comes in three parts:

a) BP wants to drill under Lake Michigan, almost a mile below the lake’s bottom. Think of the Gulf leak, but with fresh, not salt water.

b) BP is the 6th largest polluter in the Chicago area. With its new Whiting Refinery capacity (Canadian oil shale & tar sands), that will increase by 40%.

c) BP is deliberately pollutes Lake Michigan with benzene & mercury. Remnants from tar sands refining process will be far, far worse.

a) Directional Drilling under Lake Michigan

Detroit (WWJ)  — As BP continues to pump heavy mud into its blown-out well beneath the Gulf of Mexico in an attempt to plug it, the oil company says it will be two more days before they know if it’s working.  Meantime, there are those in Michigan are speaking in support of lifting a ban on directional drilling in the Great Lakes.

Environmental analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Russ Harding, tells WWJ that he believes tthe ban should be lifted.

Harding explained that we’re not talking about drilling in the Great Lakes, but under them.

“What you’re doing is accessing those reserves that are thousands of feet under the Great Lakes, underneath that continuous cap of rock,” Harding said.

“Basically, what the scientists said, that if anything you would be relieving any pressure if there was ever seismic activity, an earthquake or something that would disrupt or cause a crack. If you got that oil out of there, you would potentially not have a problem,” he said.

Drilling is good for the ecology.

Let me get this straight. BP would have us believe that removing a huge natural collection of highly pressurized gas and crude oil, safely locked deep under the Great Lakes, would be good for the environment.  Uh huh. Right.

According to the EPA, extensive drilling operations near New Orleans have rapidly increased the rate that its wetlands are disappearing, and appear to contribute to the sinking of New Orleans. Some how, I find anything that BP says rather hard to believe.

Safe for the environment? No way. It is far more likely that BP’s lackadaisical and profit driven behavior in the Gulf of Mexico would be repeated here, with the same result.

Right now, directional drilling under the lakes is banned. Let’s make sure that ban stays intact.

Bastards.

– – – –

b)  BP already a major polluter in the greater Chicago area.

In 2007, BP applied for a waiver from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to increase the amount of air pollution it produced. Not because of increased operations, but because BP was found to be lying about the amounts of air pollution it was already releasing.

WHITING, Ind. (AP) — An exemption from clean air rules would allow BP PLC to emit more pollution from its oil refinery along Lake Michigan than normally permitted.

The company has asked the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for permission to emit more particulate matter, which forms when gases burnt in stacks are released into the atmosphere, cool down and condense.

The reason for the request is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revised its estimates of how much particulate matter is emitted from gas. The estimates are twice as high as they used to be, which means that BP would have to reduce its emissions by about 50 percent to comply with current limits.

“There’s been no change in the emission that we’re talking about,” BP spokesman Ron Rybarczyk said. “This is a change in the way the emissions are calculated and the variances are made in accordance with that.”

BP caught lying about its air pollution estimates.

Note how smoothly BP explained away its request for a waiver or variance. “We are already polluting your air at 2x the permissible rate. So, all we want is to be rewarded by doubling the amount of air pollution we can release. Because we want to be good corporate citizens.”

BASTARDS (squared)

– – – – –

c) BP already polluting Lake Michigan

While most of our attention is rightly focused on growing disaster occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, we ignore a growing danger here in Illinois. Most of us  enjoy clean, cheap, and plentiful Lake Michigan water, one of our region’s greatest natural resource. That the “clean” part will soon be gone. BP’s Whiting Oil refinery poses a huge threat to the Great Lakes, especially to our drinking water.

The $3.8 billion dollar Whiting expansion project is designed to refine dirty Canadian oil shale and tar sands.  Even before the expansion, BP’s Whiting plant was 6th largest polluter in greater Chicago area. When the expansion is complete,  the US EPA estimates that greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 40 percent. According to the EPA, BP will add huge amounts of nitrogen oxides (NO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide(C0), and particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10) emissions to our air.

The worst is yet to come. While planning its expansion, BP asked Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) for permission to increase the amounts of pollution it could dump into Lake Michigan. Over the objections of Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Indiana granted BP’s request. BP is now free to take as much water as it needs, and can dump all the pollution it creates.

Oil shale and tar sand refinement is a ugly, dirty, process and requires huge amounts of water. Because Canada refused BP’s request to process and refine oil shale and tar sands in Canada, BP decided to transport millions of tons of those materials to Indiana, a far friendlier place for industrial polluters. Without access to Lake Michigan, and without the ability to dump millions of tons of polluted water back into the lake, BP’s  Whiting plant would be less profitable.  The Whiting refinery already releases huge amounts of  toxins, including benzene and mercury,  into our drinking water. The expansion will release even more of these toxins very close to where Chicago takes in our drinking water. To learn more about this lurking danger, check out today’s  Fort Wayne’s Journal Gazette at www.journalgazette.net

BASTARDS (Cubed)

– – –

If you want to get very, very angry, download this PDF report on the 2005 Texas explosion. BP accountants estimated the cost of cement and steel living quarters, the risk of explosion, and how much they would save by giving workers cheap, unprotected mobile homes. They figured that they could settle the death cases cheaper than it would be to build safe housing.

Texas City Refinery Explosion Report

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4 Responses to BP’s assault on the Great Lakes

  1. Carl Nemo

    May 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    BP (British Petroleum) is a “nasty piece of work” to use a Brit expression. It’s the largest corporation in Britain and the fourth largest conglomerate on the planet.

    Why they have such a huge influence and footprint on U.S. territory is beyond me, but is you take the time to read the Wiki corporate bio from 1909 onward you’ll also see that they’ve been heavily involved with government intrigues; ie., a corporate arm of British and no doubt cooperation with U.S. intelligence activities which makes them highly toxic and dangerous to freedom loving people anywhere on earth and for all time. Re: Operation Ajax 1953 within Wiki article

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP

    They’ve been involved with the destablization of governments, assassinations no doubt and a host of other ugly enterprises that we’d have diffculty wrapping our minds about. If you read their mission statement it’s enough to make a sane person upchuck based on their activities during the past twenty years or so.Citizens need to get it in their heads that “big oil” is simply not in the business of exploring and producing oil and gas, but also the influence of governments and the general tenor of how things are to be on this earth relative to its peoples vs. corporations; ie, they always win, we always lose…period!

    Seemingly post the War of 1812 we still can’t get the dogsh*t of old world, British influence off our national shoes…!?

    Carl Nemo **==

    • griff

      May 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      No different than most other monstrous multi-national corporations raping, pillaging and plundering the planet and its peoples. They just happen to be unlucky enough to have the spotlight shining brightly on them at this particular moment, but rest assured they are not alone in their devious undertakings.

      In fact, you may have missed my posting this link the other day.

  2. Carl Nemo

    May 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks Griff for the heads up link concerning these seemingly as good as mom’s apple pie companies such as Apple, MS et al. that have migrated to China all with the blessings of our Congressional crimpols.

    Although investing in Chindia can be lucrative in these times, I won’t do so due to the horrible working conditions these people must survive on any given day to eke out a living.

    I simply don’t know how a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or any other CEO and their shareholders can sleep well at night knowing they are aiding and abetting virtual corporate slavery within the confines of China and a much lesser degree India and Malaysia, but that’s what it amounts to. Of course too it’s hard to believe these are soulless men and women who’ll sell anyone out including their nation out for just a few dollars more.

    http://www.impactlab.com/2010/04/17/microsofts-chinese-factory-workers-treated-like-prisoners/

    I’ve seen videos of the Chinese work force marching in formation to their work positions. They sit and stand on command in addition to doing exercises to the cadence of a floor manager. If a worker becomes a problem its been rumored that violent beatings and executions behind the factory are in order if necessary with a bullet to the base of the brain similar to state sanctioned executions in order to put fear into the workforce.

    It’s nigh impossible to buy products made in this country, but I try to do so if I have a choice and will pay the premium price. I never patronize Wal Mart which to me has become an extension of the PRC in the U.S. Besides most of the stuff sold there is not of the same quality as sold in other stores even if of the same name brand. Wal Mart manages to “pinch the pig” by using cheaper switches, nobs and even plastics compared to a similar product of the same brand and model sold in upscale stores.

    I recommend readers to pick up a book written in 1933 by Ralph Townsend, who was a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service. The book is written prior to the cultural revolution of Chairman Mao or it’s move into Western style industrialization courtesy of David Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger et al. in order to bring the massive Chinese labor force onboard; ie., the exploitation of such a force and all to our national detriment. The book is titled “Ways that are Dark” The Truth about China, published by The Barnes Review, 130 Thid Street, SE Washington, D.C. 20003, 5th printing 1998.

    Basically it sums up China as being the perfect nesting place for ‘pirate capitalism’ to thrive and to do well based on their communist paradigm. With a population of now 1.5 billion people with the population being 1 billion when the book was written, life is cheap and easily exploited by bullies with guns and clubs. As Chairman Mao is quoted as saying… “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”…so too it can extrapolated to now corporate power run amok in the form of unfettered, all-polluting, all-exploiting, “pirate capitalism” as found in China and with the blessings of greedy businessmen and women in the West.

    The web is full of links and vid clips concerning this dark subject concerning abject labor conditions in China. I urge readers to research the subject and think twice before grabbing a “Made in China” article. If you have a choice and the quality and function meets your needs, then buy American first.
    Revolutions first start within each and everyone of us with a raindrop of inspiration, then a trickle, then a stream and finally a mighty river of rebellion to overturn status quo as our people and people’s of the world must now suffer at the hands of greedy “globalists gone wild” … : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. dvl666

    May 31, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    The SS lives.