05.20.10

Time to Think About a Government Administered ‘Death Penalty’ for Evil Corporate Giants

Posted in Stumble and Fail, Why the World Doesn't Need US at 11:59 am by George Smith

In college football, the NCAA ended Southern Methodist’s football program in 1987, killing its reputation as an honorable and respected school in what became known as the ‘death penalty.’

And that was only for really bad conduct in a college football program.

It will be the Obama administration’s challenge to see to it that the public perceives justice in the case of the BP oil spill.

A government-administered ‘death penalty’ to the energy giant’s operations in the United States is one idea that comes to mind.

Extraordinary screw-ups and perfidies call for extraordinary counter-measures.

Using the power of the government to quickly dismantle BP, seize its holdings and dismiss its employees, to be branded with some sort of official mark of Cain would certainly be seen as a just response.

There would certainly be no public outcry. And there would be considerable political risk in being any part of government or a political party that would take BP’s side.

Using Feds to remove BP officials from their US offices would be good, visually speaking.

At a time when the US government and military are allowed to pick off civilians and suspected terrorists around the globe with impunity, there certainly is nothing irrational about an argument calling for the picking off of an entity that’s caused an environmental disaster of Biblical proportion.

As if to underline the point, from the New York Times today:

Agency Orders BP to Use a Less Toxic Chemical in Cleanup

After submitting a list of one or more alternatives to the agency, the company would then have 72 hours to start using one of them.

In seeking to break up the oil bubbling to the surface from the Deepwater Horizon well, BP has sprayed nearly 700,000 gallons of Corexit chemical dispersants on the surface of the gulf and directly onto the leaking well head, a mile underwater. It is by far the largest use of chemicals to break up an oil spill in United States waters to date.

But scientists and politicians have increasingly questioned why the E.P.A. is allowing use of the Corexit products when less toxic alternatives are available.

Because oil spills are relatively rare, only small amounts of a few dispersants are kept stockpiled, so at the outset of the disaster in the gulf, the amount of Corexit used was only in the tens of thousands of gallons. BP then ordered much more from its manufacturer, Nalco North America of Naperville, Ill., and applied the product repeatedly.

On Monday, Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of New Jersey, sent a letter to Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A.’s administrator, demanding details of the formula for Corexit products and information about any testing that had been carried out on the chemicals.

In most countries, the active ingredients of dispersants are trade secrets carefully guarded by the companies that make them, but the recipes must be conveyed to national testing agencies.

It was not clear what chemical alternatives BP would select in response to the agency’s order, or whether the company would choose instead to rely less heavily on chemical treatment of the oil spill. But U.S. Polychemical of Spring Valley, N.Y., which makes a dispersant called Dispersit SPC 1000, said Thursday morning that it had received a large order from BP and would increase its production to 20,000 gallons a day in the next few days, and eventually as much as 60,000 gallons a day.

DD mentioned Corexit in connection with its nasty-looking safety sheet last week.

Currently, just switching to another compound of similar nature would seem to just mean substituting one poison for another.

More meaningful national leadership might call a halt to the process of turning the disaster into an even more gigantic ocean chemistry experiment and business opportunity for firms which have no real idea what their products will do when used in this manner.

What’s the old medical admonition to first do no harm?


Political risk taker or just more stupid than people realize?

From the wire:

Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill Friday as anti-business and sounding “really un-American.”

Paul’s defense of oil company BP PLC came during an interview as he tried to explain his controversial take on civil rights law, an issue that seemed to suddenly swamp his campaign after his victory in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,'” Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”

Other Republicans have criticized the administration’s handling of the oil spill, but few have been so vocal in defending BP …

The rest of the GOP apparently still lacks the nerve to assert its un-American not to like big corporations which create Biblical disasters.

Where’s Ted Nugent when you need him?

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