Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rolling the Dice

The more I learn about the chemical dispersants used by BP in the "clean-up" effort, the more baffled I become by the public's lack of alarm.

Following are quotes from an article published on the Corpwatch webpage, an entity, which as far as I can tell, is actually an independent corporate watchdog.

The most interesting part, if not the most disturbing, is that the oil industry is making the dispersant - Corexit to sell to itself. They've (BP and Nalco) been hanging around together in this king size bed with raw silk sheets, down comforters and feather pillows, sipping champagne and noshing cavier for quite awhile. And the EPA is about as effective as a limp rag in holding them to any accountability. And you know why. Surely they've been stopping by for an occasional sleep-over.

The most disturbing part? They're testing the seafood coming out of the Gulf for oil, not chemical dispersants. You realize what this means. They (the gov't and BP) are taking a "wait and see" attitude with the future health of the people who eat that seafood and making it seem safe by saying it's been tested for oil. I don't know about you, but that makes me slightly furious. Seems criminal to me.

I would stand with the people in the Gulf in demanding that the seafood be tested for ANYTHING unsafe.

Anyway, here are the quotes with a link to the full article:

"We're basically rolling the dice with the use of chemical dispersants in the Gulf," said Richard Denison, an Environmental Defense Fund scientist.

Aside from the public relations boon from low balling the flow, BP has a financial incentive: U.S.-government-imposed fines are based on quantity of oil released.

While state and federal agencies have been testing gulf seafood for oil, no one is conducting chemical testing for the presence of dispersants.

In the first month of the spill, Nalco stock spiked, and estimated sales of Corexit garnered $40 million. Next quarter sales will be released on July 27. Watching with envy, other dispersant manufacturers have cried foul, and linked the exclusive use of Corexit to Nalco's close relationship to BP, rather than to the products' superiority.

Nalco board member Rodney F. Chase, is a nearly four-decade veteran of BP, most recently as a managing director and deputy group chief executive. (A former Exxon Mobil Corp. president is also on Nalco's board of directors.)

"It's a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically," Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife, was quoted in a May 13 Greenwire blog.
And here is the material safety data sheet for Corexit.

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