Regulating deregulation

American news writer Michelle Chen, in Washington’s Anti-Regulatory Crusade, notes,

“. . . politicians in both parties, including the White House, have claimed that scaling back regulations would unleash economic growth, suggesting that businesses should be liberated from rules that protect the environment, occupational health and other public interests.”

But we also read today the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the U.S. offshore drilling regulator, was investigating reports of an oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, 180 miles southwest of BP’s Macondo well, where 11 people died in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. BP says it is not the culprit.

That may be correct. It might be incorrect. The company lied about severity of the 2010 Gulf disaster. While BP was reporting one set of spill estimates internally, it was giving the public and investigators a much lower estimate.

The Guardian is reporting Shell Oil has been castigated over its lack of transparency in reporting the Gannett Alpha leak in the North Sea and for downplaying its magnitude and potential impacts. This is the single largest in UK waters in the last 10 years. The newspapers says,

“. . . its significance lies in the fact that it took place under the much vaunted “gold standard” regulatory regime of the UK and by a company that has been trading on its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.

“Gannet A should serve as a wake-up call to a government that has for too long relied on industry assurances that the regime in the UK is “fit for purpose” and “robust”.

“. . .  With the government’s “red tape challenge” and swingeing cuts under way, there is a high probability that we will see more major oil spills and worker injuries in the coming years due to lack of regulatory capacity, a general drive towards “light touch regulation” and an apparent reluctance on the part of a government obsessed with “energy security” to challenge Big Oil.

Shell’s oil spill in the UK North Sea comes barely a week after the UN issued a strong condemnation of the company’s environmental impact in the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta. In a string of allegations, the UN environment programme accused Shell of failing to meet its own environmental standards, colluding with government officials to cover up oil spill sites and 40 years of devastating pollution. An estimated nine to 13 million barrels of oil have been spilled in the Delta – equivalent to one Exxon Valdez oil disaster every year, for 50 years.”

No thanks to all you that clamour for deregulation. I don’t trust soulless corporate robber barons.

Categories: Deregulation

1 reply »

  1. Then we have Harper deceiving Europe. Trying to con those country's, the dirty tar sands oil is clean energy. Harper is rabid and frantic, to peddle the dirty oil to every country he can con into buying that crud. Europe doesn't trust Harper. What does Harper do, he sends a politician, with the worst, most corrupt political record, in Canada's history, as High Commissioner to England….Gordon Campbell. How embarrassing is that?

    Actually, the Guardian has excellent articles on Harper's deception of, the dirty tar sands oil. I felt very ashamed of Harper and his ministers.

    Quite some time back I read. The public doesn't hear about, half of the spills around the world. We only hear of the big disasters, they can't possibly hide. We don't hear about every pipeline burst either, unless that too is impossible to hide. The Enbridge pipeline could burst in, Canada or BC's vast wilderness, and may takes days to find the burst.

    I agree. Giant oil and gas corporations, are bottomless pits of greed. Their assets should be seized, and they should be kicked out of every country. Their money could be used, to start up renewable energy. They have made, utterly trillions off, every country's natural resources.

    Harper has no intention of following our environment standards. The tar sands tell us that. Greed trumps common sense every time.


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