Oil Spill Disaster

Revolution Reporters Condemn and Protest Illegitimate Deepwater Horizon Project Investigation Hearing


This System is NOT Fit to Be the Planet's Caretakers...Minerals Management Service Is Not Fit to Investigate Catastrophe It Helped Create!
 
Press release
 
On May 11, the Coast Guard and Interior Department’s Mineral Management Service convened the first public hearings in New Orleans on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon Project explosion that has flooded the Gulf of Mexico with oil, threatening an unparalleled environmental catastrophe. MMS has repeatedly allowed BP to bypass safety standards and avoid environmental reviews, contributing to a criminal destruction of species and ecosystems in the Gulf.
 
As the hearings commenced, Revolution newspaper reporter Larry Everest stood up, holding a banner reading “Gulf Oil Spill: System Not Fit To Be Caretaker of the Planet” and condemned the fact that the public wasn’t even allowed to speak at this “public” hearing and the illegitimacy of MMS being in charge of investigating a disaster they helped create. 
 
Another Revolution colleague unfurled a banner saying- “Stop All Offshore Drilling” and also spoke out against the hearings. Both were prevented from finishing their statements and quickly herded out of the room by Coast Guard officials and Radisson hotel security. Security then threatened that if they returned to pass out flyers at this “public” hearing, they would be subject to arrest for criminal trespassing.
 
MMS exempted BP from environmental restrictions and went along with BP’s lie that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur,” and that “no significant adverse impacts are expected” if a spill did occur.  The Center for Biological Diversity states, "MMS exempts hundreds of dangerous offshore oil drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico every year,” and exposed on May 7 that the MMS approved 27 new offshore drilling projects since the first day of the BP spill—"26 under the same environmental review exemption used to approve the disastrous BP drilling that is fouling the Gulf and its wildlife." Two were awarded to BP.
 
The Times Picayune today reported that independent investigations conducted by Robert Bea, a University of California at Berkeley engineering professor, that gas surges weeks before the explosion had forced BP to shut the well down, but that work on the rig went ahead. Bea’s investigations are compiling statements and testimony from workers present on the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the explosion and others. A further gas surge caused the explosion now wreaking destruction in the Gulf, and the release of methane gas had previously been called by BP “a negligible risk”.
 
BP has not been acting alone, but had the full backing of the government – the Obama administration approved BP's Gulf drilling bid in February 2009 - and now those who responsible for this crime against the environment claim we must rely on them not only to stop the continuing gush of oil polluting the Gulf, but also to clean this up and on top of that, investigate themselves.
 
This environmental disaster was not an "unavoidable accident” or an “act of god” - it’s a capitalist oil spill.  BP refused to spend money on safety and environmental measures and equipment such as a back-up "acoustic switch" to stop oil from spilling because $500,000 was too high.

The Gulf of Mexico has been turned into a vast laboratory for deep-water oil drilling to serve capitalism's relentless drive for profit and strategic control of energy resources.  Obama and other world "leaders" are not, and cannot be, caretakers of the planet—because they are caretakers of a system that is, by its very nature, behind the environmental emergency confronting humanity.

But things don't have to be this way. Under a radically different system, the tremendous wealth and technology that exist could be shared by all of humanity and used to meet the needs of people everywhere for decent and fulfilling lives and to safeguard the planet we live on.  See “State of Emergency: The Plunder of our Planet, The Environmental Catastrophe and the Real Revolutionary Solution,” special environmental issue of Revolution.
 
Revolution newspaper is part of building a movement for all-the-way emancipatory revolution and a whole new world focused now in our campaign - “The Revolution We Need, the Leadership We Have”. Everyone concerned and outraged about the state of the world should find out about this, find ways to relate to it or become part of this effort.
 
The Rulers have no solutions to the environmental emergency, but the Revolution Does!

We demand:  

1) Permanently ban all offshore oil drilling and exploration starting now!

2) Full public disclosure of the whole story on the causes and impacts of the spill. No cover-up! “Proprietary secret" (including ingredients of chemical “dispersants” poured into the Gulf) must not stand above health and the environment!

3) Government and all oil companies must assist volunteer clean up and assistance and provide safety equipment and training

4) Mobilize all government and corporate resources to stop the spill and to clean up the damage, to
the planet must come first, not profit!                                                                                                                                                                             
5) Full compensation to the families of the workers who were killed and those injured, and to the businesses impacted by the spill.
 
Orpheus writes on issues of the environment and the antiglobalization movement and contributed to "State of Emergency! The Plunder Of Our Planet, The Environmental Catastrophe and The Real Revolutionary Solution.”
 
Larry Everest is a Revolution correspondent, and author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda, and Behind the Poison Cloud: Union Carbide’s Bhopal Massacre. The National Academy of Engineering drew on the book’s "Design for Disaster" chapter at their 2002 Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering.

Links to coverage of Protest at Hearing
 
New York Times, “Finger-Pointing, but Few Answers at Hearings on Drilling,” 5/11/2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/us/12spill.html?hp

 

Times Picayune: http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/protesters_try_to_interrupt_st.html

 
 

Main Environment Oil Spill Disaster

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.