6/18 US-BP Tar Ball: the global state of the matter: part 2

'Informed' by the state and its media to focus inward, this disaster's causes and consequences cannot be understood if we allow our eyes to be riveted on 'our backyard'. The systemic forces work globally. The oil industry relationship with the state, is like all major corporate enterprises, but more central and critical to its hegemonic agenda. As is the horrendous human and ecological destruction.
The essential political lesson of the capitalist state's absolute power, its dictatorship, as the governing body of the US bipartisan ruling class -
which Obama and all electoral politicians, represent, imust be obscured by capital's agents and apologists. As usual, congessional cover-up is center stage, Waxing outrage, diverting attention from the fact that 'the good company' the largest US oil co. is in, is in fact the states' because to keep us in the killer gane, state-corporate industry relationship must appear adversarial. part 1 at http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/295

corporate context analysis
Analysis: BTC pipeline explosion
by John C.K. Daly
Washington (UPI) Aug 6, 2008
Following the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, a new "Great Game" began, this time between Russia and the United States, which replaced Britain in a protracted, covert struggle for the Caucasus and Central Asia, the ultimate prize being the region's vast energy reserves, particularly those of the Caspian. A decade ago Vice President Dick Cheney, then Halliburton CEO, remarked, "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian."
The problem for Washington was how to export rising volumes of Azeri oil without using the traditional network of Soviet-era pipelines, which transited northward to Russia's Black Sea Novorossiisk port, or constructing export facilities southward through Iran, subject to U.S. sanctions. The solution was the construction by an international consortium of the $3.6 billion, 1 million barrel per day, 1,092-mile Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which began operations in May 2005.... Western concerns receive 75 percent of BTC's revenues... BTC now supplies an estimated 1 percent of global daily energy needs.
For Turkey, BTC's transit revenues are payback for supporting Western sanctions since 1991's Operation Desert Storm, as Ankara subsequently estimated in March 2003 that in supporting sanctions against Saddam's regime it had lost $80 billion in transit fees...

President Obama’s successful move to force BP to establish a $20 billion compensation fund has reinvigorated a debate about the reach of government power
First there was General Motors, whose chief executive was summarily dismissed by the White House shortly before the government became the company’s majority shareholder. Chrysler was forced into a merger. At the banks that received government bailouts, executive pay was curbed; at insurance companies seeking to jack up premiums, scathing criticism led to rollbacks. But President Obama’s successful move to force BP to establish a $20 billion compensation fund ...may have been the most vivid example of what he recently called his determination to step in and do “what individuals couldn’t do and corporations wouldn’t do.”http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/us/18assess.html?th&emc=th

What Does The BP "Escrow" Deal Really Mean?
... Behind the scenes, the company had signaled what it expected from Wednesday's meeting—and the company appears to have gotten exactly what it wanted....The company issued a press release after the meeting in which it quoted Svanberg saying that he was "confident that the agreement announced today will provide greater comfort to the citizens of the Gulf Coast and greater clarity to BP and its shareholders...We welcome the administration's statements acknowledging that BP is a strong company and that the administration has no interest in undermining the financial stability of BP....The "escrow account" in 2010 is not $20 billion dollars. BP will put in $3 billion dollars in the third quarter of 2010 (ending September 30) and another $2 billion in the fourth quarter (ending December 31). Thereafter, it will have to make installments of $1.25 billion each quarter for the next three years. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25751.htm

BP AMERICA is America’s largest energy producer

JPMorgan Biggest BP shareholder

According to European financial database Amadeus, JPMorgan Chase is No. 1 holder of stock in BP...“Global Ultimate Owner” with 28.34% of BP...The world's biggest asset management company BlackRock Inc., based in New York, owns 7.1% of BP...Barclays Global Investors, asset manager, owned by BlackRock, owns 3.8pc of the shares. (Data from Bloomberg as of June 3)

BP's Largest Shareholder says Oil Spill Good for the Economy
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) one of the largest financial institutions in the United States ... says Oil Spill Good for the Economy

Gulf-spill committee members bullish on oil stocks
seattletimes.nwsource.com/ html/ nationworld/ 2012145577_oilbp18.html?
Nearly 30 members of the five congressional committees overseeing oil-and-gas companies held personal assets in the industry totaling $9 million to $14.5 million late last year. That included at least $400,000 in three companies at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to financial-disclosure forms...Among members who owned the most oil-industry stocks... Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass held as much as $650,000 in ConocoPhillips... 2008 investments worth at least $8.1 million in companies they oversaw... more than 12 percent by the end of 2009...
At the top end of the estimates, lawmakers on those panels may have held nearly $1 million in shares of BP; Transocean, which owned the oil rig; and Anadarko Petroleum, a lease partner. Federal laws do not require exact amounts; they must show only where assets fall within a broad range.

Sen. Kerry Praises Oil Industry for Their Support
Care2 reports, "A piece of machinery costing .004 percent of BP's 2009 profits might have prevented the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that is currently ...
www.care2.com/.../full-magnitude-of-gulf-oil-spill-wont-be-known-for-yea... /

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), co-authors of a Senate cap-and-trade bill (pdf), said Obama has joined their fight.

Lesson in state-media silent about Mexico National oppression and its ideological engine racism are pillars of US white supremacist imperialism
Throughout its history, Mexico has had an ambivalent love-hate relationship with its northern neighbor. Nationalist rhetoric continuously highlights the loss of one-half of Mexico's territory and natural resources to the United States in the 1800s. Even when United States-Mexican relations have been at their best, this loss is still present in Mexican rhetoric. During the Rio Group summit in September 1994, for example, President Salinas commented on the United Nations-sponsored United States intervention in Haiti, "Having suffered an external intervention by the United States, in which we lost more than half of our territory, Mexico cannot accept any proposal for intervention by any nation of the region." In economic terms, good relations with the United States have long been critical for Mexico, given that its northern neighbor is its principal trading partner, both for exports and imports. For its part, the United States gives serious consideration to its relations with Mexico because of Mexico's strategic location on the United States southern border as well as the fact that Mexico has the largest oil deposits in Latin America....

...By 1975 Mexico's oil output once again exceeded internal demand, providing a margin for export. President López Portillo announced in 1976 that Mexico's proven hydrocarbon reserves had risen to 11 billion barrels. They rose further to 72.5 billion barrels by 1983. López Portillo decided to increase domestic production and use the value of Mexico's petroleum reserves as collateral for massive international loans, most of which went to Pemex. Between 1977 and 1980, the oil company received US$12.6 billion in international credit, representing 37 percent of Mexico's total foreign debt. It used the money to construct and operate offshore drilling platforms, build onshore processing facilities, enlarge its refineries, engage in further exploration, prove fresh reserves, and purchase capital goods and technical expertise from the US....
Analysts attribute much of the antagonism to the great disparities in wealth between the two countries; a history of intervention by the United States that makes Mexico highly critical and suspicious of United States positions; cultural differences and stereotypes of both nations; and the high levels of interdependence on many socioeconomic and political issues, both at the national level and in border areas.
In the past, Mexico defied the United States on a number of crucial hemispheric issues. Mexico never broke relations with the Cuban communist regime as did the rest of Latin America in the early 1960s. During President Echeverría's sexenio , Mexico took a leading role in demands for a new international economic order. During the 1970s, Mexico challenged the United States position in Central America and led a concerted regional effort that excluded the United States to bring a peaceful end to regional conflicts. During the 1980s, Mexico was highly critical of United States policy in El Salvador and, along with the French government, called for formal recognition of the Salvadoran guerrillas in the peace process.

Mexico's reserves are sufficient to guarantee current production levels for fifty years. Since the nationalization of the oil industry in 1938, the state-owned Pemex ...

Pemex, U.S. Shell take step toward major joint venture. (Petroleos Mexicanos, Shell Oil Co.)
Sources at Pemex note that the Mexican state oil company is looking for additional joint-venture opportunities in the United States.
Encyclopedia.com > International Newspapers, Major Markets > The Oil Daily > August 1992

just the beginning of global imperialist Joint Ventures /JVs examples:
BP, Caltex, Shell partnership seen as anti-competitive.(South African joint...
NPN International.......Global oil giants Shell Group, BP and Caltex Oil subsequently...deregulation of industry." ...
China Chemical Reporter 1 500 Joint Venture Filling Stations.(SINOPEC Ltd., Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP...China Chemical Reporter ...
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News ...Altura Energy, Houston-based JV of BP Amoco and Shell Oil Co...Altura holds Shell's and BP Amoco's oil and gas properties...
AP Online ...BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC agreed to form joint ventures with Venezuelan state oil compan
AsiaInfo Services 01-19-05 BP AND SHELL RETAIL REFINED OIL IN CHINA BY JOINT VENTURE..SinoCast via COMTEX) -- BP (China) Ltd.
AP Worldstream BP, Sinopec plan dlrs 263 million oil retail joint venture in eastern China
China Chemical Reporter CNOOC and Shell launch biggest joint venture project in China (Newsdesk).(CNOOC.... with Shell, BP and Exxon Mobile...

"...there is no need right now that the U.S. cannot meet..."
U.S. not accepting foreign help on oil spill
By Josh Rogin May 6, 2010, thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/05/06/us_not_accepting_foreign_help_on_oil_spill

May 5, Crowley announced that 13 [including Iran and other non-friendlies?] international offers had been received and that decisions on what to accept would be made "in the next day or two." Two weeks later, the State Department said the government saw no reason to accept any of the offers...decision-making has been complicated because federal officials must consult with the oil giant before signing off on any offer... In some cases, the administration rejected offers because they failed to meet U.S. specifications...[ed: Iran]...State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, said the United States has received 21 aid offers from 17 countries and four international groups.... State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters on May 19 "We'll let BP decide on what expertise they need," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters on May 19. "...And as we see that our supplies are running low, it may be at that point in time to accept offers from particular governments." Crowley said the Obama administration is well aware of what happened after Hurricane Katrina, when the U.S. government failed to capitalize on an unprecedented amount of foreign aid offers. Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil meant to be sold for cash. In the end, only $126 million in cash from 40 donors was received.
Cleanup aid from overseas comes with a price tag
At least 22 nations have offered oil-collecting skimmers, boom, technical experts and more to help the U.S. cope with its worst-ever environmental disaster. But their generosity comes with a price tag..Israel, which receives roughly $3 billion in U.S. military aid and other assistance, also said it would send containment boom, if the U.S. paid for it...

BP eyes billions of dollars in bank loans and bonds
BP Plc is seeking to raise up to $7 billion in loans from seven banks, banking sources told Thomson Reuters LPC on Friday.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council Responds to UNSC Resolution
How can a regime not able to contain an oil well be trusted by the world to contain its arsenal of nuclear weapons that jeopardizes global security...the United States is the principal offender in using, proliferating, and testing nuclear weapons, and thus poses the greatest threat to the international community and mostly its own people.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25763.htm

'big people' care about 'small people'
BP: New Oil Collection Plan Has Safety Risks
by Mark Seibel
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. 6/15/2010
URL: http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=94730
BP's latest plan to capture the oil gushing from the runaway Deepwater Horizon well poses significant safety risks for "several hundred people" working aboard the ships that will process the corralled crude, the oil giant has told the Coast Guard....Coast Guard Rear Adm. James Watson, on-scene coordinator of the Obama administration's response to the disaster, praised BP's new plan... Watson didn't comment on [BP] worries about safety, however, which have been a growing concern not just for workers on the ships near the Deepwater Horizon site, but also for cleanup workers and coastal residents who might come in contact with crude oil and its vapors. A plan ... as much as 10,000 barrels a day of crude captured by the Q4000 drilling platform also has increased concern that workers and coastal residents would be exposed to toxic gases.

U.S. scientist warns impact of methane gas as result of Gulf oil spill
HOUSTON, June 17 (Xinhua)-- A U.S. scientist has warned the impact of methane gas, erupted from undersea of the Gulf of Mexico, on the seawater and the earth's atmosphere. "We know that millions of years ago, there were vast undersea eruptions where methane gas escaped just like it is doing right now," he adds. "It is thought that this methane eventually contributed to climate change millions of years ago, so this gives us a chance to study the methane from that perspective as we measure how much is entering the atmosphere today." said Dr. John Kessler in the Department of Oceanography of Texas A&M ... a chemical oceanographer who focuses on isotope biogeochemistry to elucidate how gases in the ocean cycle and ultimately participate in global climate change.who specializes in ocean chemistry...
"The mixture coming up is now about 40 percent methane and 60 percent oil from undersea of the Gulf of Mexico," Kessler explained in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. "This means there are immense amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, being input into the Gulf." Kessler said that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, while no doubt an environmental and economic disaster to much of the Gulf Coast, has been focus of criticism, but the eruption of methane gas has been ignored.[...]

U.S. disappears climate change connection
"This has the potential to harm the ecosystem in ways that we don't know," Garrison said. "It's a complex problem."...
Gulf Oil Full of Methane, Adding New Concerns
The dangerous gas has played an important role throughout the disaster and response. A bubble of methane is believed to have burst up from the seafloor and ignited the rig explosion. Methane crystals also clogged a four-story containment box that engineers earlier tried to place on top of the breached well.Now it is being looked at as an environmental concern... scientists found that some parts of the plume had oxygen concentrations just shy of the level that tips ocean waters into the category of "dead zone" — a region uninhabitable to fish, crabs, shrimp and other marine creatures....Shallow waters are normally more susceptible to oxygen depletion. Because it is being found in such deep waters, both Kessler and Joye do not know what is causing the depletion and what the impact could be in the long- or short-term...
The National Science Foundation funded research on methane in the Gulf amid concerns about the depths of the oil plume and questions what role natural gas was playing in keeping the oil below the surface, said David Garrison, a program director in the federal agency who specializes in biological oceanography."This has the potential to harm the ecosystem in ways that we don't know," Garrison said. "It's a complex problem."...
Representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration acknowledged that so much methane in the water could draw down oxygen levels and slow the breakdown of oil in the Gulf, but cautioned that research was still under way to understand the ramifications. "We haven't seen any long-term changes or trends at this point," said Robert Haddad, chief of the agency's assessment and restoration division....
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard signaled a shift in strategy Friday to fight the oil, saying it was ramping up efforts to capture the crude closer to shore. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said an estimated 2,000 private boats in the so-called "vessels of opportunity" program will be more closely linked through a tighter command and control structure to direct them to locations less than 50 miles offshore to skim the oil. Allen, the point man for the federal response to the spill, previously had said surface containment efforts would be concentrated much farther offshore....http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25764.htm

... each time, the Minerals Management Service approved the plan...
BP's spill plan puts it in good company
Five oil giants. Five plans for coping with an oil spill, all written by the same tiny Texas subcontractor.Three of them listed the phone number for the same University of Miami marine-science expert, Peter Lutz — who died in 2005. Four talked about the need to protect walruses, which, as Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., dryly noted, "have not called the Gulf of Mexico home for 3 million years." The plans also mentioned protecting sea lions and seals, which aren't found in the Gulf, either.
The five oil companies submitted these plans "each more than 500 pages long, each relying on the same reassuring language" as part of their applications for permits to drill deepwater wells in the Gulf. And each time, the Minerals Management Service approved the plan and gave the go-ahead for drilling. Yet, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said the "cookie-cutter" plans show "none of the five oil companies has an adequate response plan" for a spill like the one that began April 20 with a blowout on a BP well.
The government-mandated plans all came under attack at a congressional hearing Tuesday: The spill-response plans for all five companies were written by the same firm, the Response Group...has operations in at least seven cities nationwide...
Waxman also noted the five companies rely on Marine Spill Response to provide equipment. "When you look at the details," he said, "it becomes evident these plans are just paper exercises."...
Asked about lax federal oversight of spill-response plans, Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff wrote in an e-mail that the department is examining the issue....[Interior Dept. / MMS apparently 'exempted' from congressional 'tough questioning']

Kamiar's excellent short history belies his american-exceptionalist pretense that politics = electoral', thus capitalist imperialism is " Beyond Politics..."
Beyond Petroleum, Beyond Pollution, Beyond Politics
A Short History of BP
By M. Kamiar
...Oil concessions generally covered very large areas and were for long durations. They paid a small, fixed, non-negotiable royalty. Until 1953, Anglo-Iranian Oil Company [AIOC] was paying Iran a 16% royalty. The government of Iran was not even allowed to check AIOC’s records....these oil imperialists were supported by the full military might of their respective governments. Iran’s shah, installed by the Allies in 1941, headed a corrupt dictatorship. There is no telling what or how much he stole from his people. With the help of these corrupt shahs, first backed by the British then by the US, AIOC appropriated the lion’s share of Iran’s wealth.
By the post-WWII era and the beginning of decolonization, educated people in Iran realized the country was in effect occupied and controlled by AIOC. Coinciding with the growth of a new nationalist fervor in the region, the shah was forced aside, remaining primarily as a figurehead, and a new prime minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, was elected in 1951. Mossadeq, with the approval of Majlis (the Iranian parliament), nationalized Iran’s oil industry. The British government contested the nationalization at the International Court of Law, but its complaint was dismissed.The British had, in effect, been kicked out of Iran... The British approached Washington for help... In 1953, the year Eisenhower took office, the CIA went into action, in partnership with the British. Eisenhower approved the plan, called Operation Ajax, of instigating a counter-coup designed to return the shah to total power. The director of the operation was Theodore Roosevelt’s grandson, Kermit Roosevelt, who headed the CIA’s Middle East division. The CIA paid out $1 million to hire demonstrators—mostly gang members, prostitutes, drug addicts, and thugs (Gelvin, 2005, p. 279; Fayazmanesh, 2003, p.4). This same tactic had been used successfully in Italy in 1948 to prevent the communists from winning the elections...The riots and chaos that ensued did the trick, and Mossadeq was forced to resign. (See Alexander Cockburn's The Crude Truth.)
When the shah triumphantly returned to Tehran on August 19, he personally expressed his gratitude to his savior, Kermit Roosevelt, for putting him back on his Peacock Throne. Upon returning to the US, Roosevelt accepted a job with Gulf Oil. He remained in demand as a consultant and liaison between American oil companies and Middle Eastern governments.The shah’s return opened a reign of terror, funded by the US, in Iran. Mossadeq was found guilty of treason, spent three years in solitary confinement, and was put under house arrest until his death in 1967. The majority of his supporters, however, were turned over to firing squads. Mossadeq’s foreign minister, Hossein Fatemi, was taken from a hospital to be executed.
In return for US help, AIOC agreed to share its Iranian concession with US oil companies. American victory in Iran resulted a newly formed oil consortium, expansion of the right of extraterritoriality (meaning US and UK nationals could not be tried in Iranian courts), and the establishment of SAVAK, the shah’s secret police created in 1957 with CIA assistance and US tax dollars... to eliminate threats to the shah. Its tactics included censorship, “disappearances” of dissidents, torture, and execution.
The shah showed his gratitude to US foreign-policy makers. During the wars of 1967 and 1973 between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the shah provided cheap fuel for the Israeli war machine as Arab members of OPEC decreased oil production and created an oil embargo directed at the western nations, causing oil prices to quadruple in two months. By 1975, as the world’s second-largest oil producer (after Saudi Arabia), Iran was earning nearly $20 million per hour. Much of this money went to the US.. From 1953 to 1979, Iran was a BP prison, polluted and poor, run with an iron fist by the company and its puppet, the shah.
In 1954, AIOC changed its name to British Petroleum. In 1959, BP expanded beyond the Middle East to Alaska, and in 1965 was the first company to strike oil in the North Sea. Today, the oil company that began in Iran has gone global. It has oil wells and gas stations on all continents. Now it is drilling offshore near the US in the Gulf of Mexico. Many Americans in the region are beginning to feel the pain and outrage Iranians endured for 70 years—getting a small taste of how BP goes Beyond Politics.
Dr. M. Kamiar is a professor of geography at Florida State College. With Professor Stanley D. Brunn, he is editing Native World Geography. Each chapter on a region in this book is going to be written by a geographer with a doctoral degree from that region. He can be reached at mkamiar@fscj.edu.

Liberal imperialist whitewash the point: the state to investigate itself on possible 'national security grounds'
Fueling War: Pentagon Still Buying Most of Its Oil and Gas from BP
...BP does billions of dollars in business with the federal government, specifically the Pentagon. BP holds more than $2 billion in annual US defense contracts and continues to be the premiere provider of fuel to the world's largest consumer of oil and gas: the Pentagon. BP is responsible for the worst environmental crime in US history. It is responsible for the deaths of 11 oil rig workers. Attorney General Eric Holder said he is conducting both criminal and civil probes into BP's actions in the US Gulf...
The Wall Street Journal reported [3], "Cutting BP off from future government contracts, though, would be an unprecedented and highly complicated move, lawyers say. BP supplies the military with nearly 12% of its fuel needs, making it the Pentagon's largest fuel supplier, with Royal Dutch Shell coming in a close second, according to the Defense Logistics Agency. 'It is not hard to block a debarment if an argument exists that it would harm the government, especially on national security grounds,' said Robert Burton, a Washington lawyer who worked as the Bush administration's top procurement official."

US 'AID': the benefits of state terrorist political-economic world domination ... still expanding, did not start with Bhopal
From Union Carbide to Exxon to BP
What Bhopal Started
By P. Sainath
Over 20,000 killed. Over half a million victims maimed, disabled or otherwise affected. Compensation around Rs. 12,414 per victim on average on the 1989 value of the rupee. $ 470 million total. And that divided between 574,367 victims.) Over a quarter of a century’s wait...seven former officials of Union Carbide Corporation’s Indian subsidiary sentenced to two years in prison and fined $2100. Not a single person from the far more responsible parent US company punished...
Seven years after Bhopal, Larry Summers, then chief economist at the world bank, wrote his infamous memo. This said, among other things: “Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]?” Summers suggested that “the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.” Summers was to later say that he was joking, being sarcastic, and so on. Few buy that pathetic plea. Still, he went on to become President of Harvard and is now President Obama’s chief economic adviser, And his memo’s logic holds in the real world. It is exactly what has happened since Bhopal...The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill in its present form ensures that US corporations causing any nuclear accidents on Indian soil will get away with minimal damages. A compensation now seen as a crime in Bhopal could be a legal norm...Welcome back Larry Summers


State investigates subsidiary, hands off giant mine owning corp.
Massey CEO Blankenship's 2009 salary-only of $17.3 million
Fed. prosecutors are investigating whether there was 'willful criminal activity' by Performance Coal Co. - A SUBSIDIARY OF MASSEY ENERGY which owns the mine - that operates the West Va. Upper Big Branch Coal Mine where 29 miners died in April.

Disaster in the Amazon
BP’s calamitous behavior in the Gulf of Mexico is the big oil story of the moment. But for many years, indigenous people from a formerly pristine region of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador have been trying to get relief from an American company, Texaco (which later merged with Chevron), for what has been described as the largest oil-related environmental catastrophe ever. “As horrible as the gulf spill has been, what happened in the Amazon was worse,” said Jonathan Abady, a New York lawyer who is part of the legal team that is suing Chevron on behalf of the rainforest inhabitants. Texaco operated more than 300 oil wells for the better part of three decades in a vast swath of Ecuador’s northern Amazon region. Texaco came barreling into this delicate ancient landscape in the early 1960s with all the subtlety and grace of an invading army. And when it left in 1992, it left behind, according to the lawsuit, widespread toxic contamination that devastated the livelihoods and traditions of the local people, and took a severe toll on their physical well-being. The quest for oil is, by its nature, colossally destructive. And the giant oil companies, when left to their own devices, will treat even the most magnificent of nature’s wonders like a sewer. But the riches to be made are so vastly corrupting that governments refuse to impose the kinds of rigid oversight and safeguards that would mitigate the damage to the environment and its human and animal inhabitants