He feels the Exxon Mobile Corp., Chevron Corp, and ConocoPhillips have every right to ask lawmakers not to punish them for the ‘human and environmental damage inflicted by BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico’.
No mention however was made of all the other disasters, accidents and mayhem that these companies have been involved in ages past and present. It was almost as if they were being sanctified and absolved of any and all responsibilities, so that they could just be allowed to get back ‘into it’ as it were – and continue exploration and drilling.
The CEO’s of these three Oil Giants are to appear before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel, which will be examining offshore drilling safety and U.S. energy policy.
You can bet your bottom dollar they will be pleading for resumption of offshore drilling a.s.a.p. Whilst at the same time they will be doing all in their power to distance themselves from the utter chaos, confusion, mayhem, and wreckage that BP has spewed up in the Gulf of Mexico.
Anthony Sabino, who teaches Oil and Natural-Gas Law at St. John’s University in NY is on record as saying, “The hearing presents the U.S. oil CEOs with an opportunity to distance their companies from BP.”
“A crucifixion of the whole oil industry for the sins of BP in the form of a ban on deep-water drilling isn’t a good idea because look at all the people it’s going to put out of work,” Sabino said. “Exxon and ConocoPhillips will stress their own safety records to make that case.”
“These executives need to explain to the politicians that if you permanently shut us down in the deep water it’s going to wreak havoc with energy production and put the United States even more at the mercy of foreign oil producers,” Sabino said.
Did You Know?
BP engineers alerted federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service that they were having difficulty controlling the Macondo well six weeks before the disaster, according to e- mails released by the Energy and Commerce Committee.
“I don’t think this would have happened on Exxon’s watch,” Tom Bower, author of “The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century,” said in a June 11 Bloomberg Television interview. “They’d be much more careful and much more conscious of the need to supervise subcontractors.”
WELL excuse me your sainted Exxon……. and Chevron and ConocoPhillips.
Let’s just take a look at a few of your past misdemeanours, and then we can consider again – if the moratorium on deepwater drilling should be lifted, and place it all firmly back into your nice clean hands!
EXXON’s Environmental Record:
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Disaster of March 24th, 1989
Green Point Oil Spill – In September 1978 a United States Coast Guard helicopter on a routine patrol discovered a plume of oil flowing in the creek, originating from a bulkhead at Meeker Avenue. A subsequent study revealed the large-scale soil contamination, which was estimated in excess of 50 acres (0.20 km2) and a spillage volume of more than 17 million gallons.
Sakhalin-I in the Russian Far East – Scientists and environmental groups voice concern that the Sakhalin-I oil and gas project in the Russian Far East, operated by an ExxonMobil subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), threatens the critically endangered western gray whale population. In February, 2009, independent scientists, convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature issued an urgent call for a “…moratorium on all industrial activities, both maritime and terrestrial, that have the potential to disturb gray whales in summer and autumn on and near their main feeding areas” following a sharp decline in observed whales in the main feeding area in 2008, adjacent to ENL’s project area. The scientists also criticized ENL’s unwillingness to cooperate with the scientific panel process, which “certainly impedes the cause of western gray whale conservation.”
Funding of global warming skeptics
ExxonMobil has been accused of paying to fuel skepticism of anthropogenic global warming.
These charges are consistent with a purported 1998 internal ExxonMobil strategy memo, posted by the environmental group Environmental Defense, stating
Victory will be achieved when:
Average citizens [and the media] ‘understand’ (recognize) uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the ‘conventional wisdom’ …
Industry senior leadership understands uncertainties in climate science, making them stronger ambassadors to those who shape climate policy
Those promoting the Kyoto treaty on the basis of extant science appear out of touch with reality.
There is more see references below.
EXXON: Deepwater Oil
ExxonMobil expects that by 2010, deepwater oil and gas will account for more than 20% of its total production New deepwater production costs $95 a barrel or more. The higher cost of production comes predominantly from the $20-50 million plus that must be spent on drilling and setting up a new well.
Hummmm….. one must ponder on why Exxon will presumably push for the continuation of Deepwater drilling after reading this comment!
Oil in Utah leaked from quarter-size hole. Chevron spokesman Dan Johnson planned to take reporters to the origin of the leak, but reporters didn’t get closer than about 50 yards. Johnson said the tour was overruled by Chevron superiors or fire officials as a safety risk.
The True Cost of Chevron:
In April 2010 Chevron released its 2009 Annual Report. It would not take long for the cover design – Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico ultra-deepwater drillship, the Discoverer Clear Leader – to seem a terribly poor choice.
Just days prior to publication, 18,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a Chevron operated pipeline in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge in south eastern Louisiana.
A far worse disaster struck less than two weeks later. The largest blowout of an oil and gas well in the Gulf of Mexico in 30 years killed eleven people and saturated the surrounding areas in a blanket of oily destruction. The rig was owned and operated by Transocean, the same company with which Chevron has a five-year contract to operate the Discoverer Clear Leader, among other Chevron offshore rigs. (Read the entire article referenced below)
ConocoPhillips Slapped with $2.3 Million in Cleanup Costs and Fines for Oil Spill… 2006
HSE publishes investigation report into major incident at ConocoPhillips’ Humber refinery … 2001
ConocoPhillips in West Lake, reported 186 accidents (another section in the report had this number at 208), causing more than 3.3 million pounds of pollution to be released into the air, water and soil. The report says 24 percent of these accidents were preventable.
To Wrap up for now, I just thought it appropriate to mention that the above ‘accidents’ listed for the three sainted companies, are but the tip of the iceberg so to speak – just a ‘taste’ as it were, of some of their saintly antics, which —- just maybe will be ignored when it comes time for them to appear before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel, which will be examining offshore drilling safety and U.S. energy policy. Spose it depends on how much is being donated to whom, and for what! (yes I am a cynic)
“I don’t think this would have happened on Exxon’s watch,” has got to be the misquote of the millennium!
References used in creating this blog.
The True Cost of Chevron – a worthwhile read
ConocoPhillips Slapped with $2.3 Million in Cleanup Costs and Fines for Oil Spill
HSE publishes investigation report into major incident at ConocoPhillips’ Humber refinery
Conoco Phillips in West Lake