British Petroleum is still an incredibly evil corporation. The alleged end of the Gulf oil spill may have moved them out of many of the headlines, but their behavior hasn't improved. They still deserve to be boycotted and put out of business. Here are some examples of why.
British Petroleum Weaseling Out of Cleanup Commitment
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had some recent comments that suggest that British Petroleum is poised to renege on what little they were doing to clean up their oil spill. (CNN 8/19/10)
Landrieu said the spill and cleanup efforts were a continuing threat to New Orleans and other Louisiana coastal areas. "BP and others are acting like this is the beginning of the end. It is not," he said.
"We have no confidence in the claims that much of the oil is gone." In fact, he said, a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Tuesday "found 70 percent of the oil is still in the ecosystem. This is the beginning of the beginning," he said.
Remember when the Obama administration was shilling for British Petroleum, parroting their lies about most of the oil being gone? Even the Obama administration has given up on that one. If British Petroleum gets itself out of the headlines, they will take advantage of the lack of spotlight to avoid cleaning up their mess.
Much of British Petroleum's Spill Losses Will Be Subsidized by the US Treasury
If you want an example of just how corrupt our tax system can be, look at how British Petroleum plans to write off their spill costs, avoiding taxes on the taxable portion of that money. Oil companies already are some of the worst examples of corporations not paying anywhere near their fair share in taxes, even without this latest outrage. How much will British Petroleum claim on their taxes, according to Public Citizen, the figure is roughly $10 billion.
Thanks to big money campaign contributions, our government has all the money in the world for this corruption, but Social Security supposedly must be reigned in. How about reigning in the corruption instead?
British Petroleum Used Corporate Ad Money to Overtly Control and Censor the Press
Corporations have used all sorts of pressure to censor unfavorable coverage, but British Petroleum was one of the first to use ad pulling to shut down unfavorable coverage at least as early as 2005. (Advertising Age 5/24/05)
Days after financial services giant Morgan Stanley informed print publications that its ads must be automatically pulled from any edition containing "objectionable editorial coverage," global energy giant BP has adopted a similar press strategy.
According to a copy of a memo on the letterhead of BP's media-buying agency, WPP Group's MindShare, the global marketer has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward editorial coverage it is not informed about in advance, "regardless of whether editorial is deemed positive or negative."
The memo cites a new BP policy document entitled "2005 BP Corporate-RFP" that demands that ad-accepting publications inform BP in advance of any news text or visuals they plan to publish that directly mention the company, a competitor or the oil-and-energy industry.
British Petroleum was already spending $95 million in ads in this country, showing that there has been real power behind this policy.
Not too long after knowledge of the 2010 spill become public, the corporation's multimillion dollar ad campaign featuring the irritatingly smug Tony Hayward was labeled as a failure that had backfired by many media analysts.
However, the real purpose of the ad buy wasn't to directly influence public opinion. It was to position British Petroleum as an even more important advertiser in order to influence corporate media coverage. It worked. Corporate news outlets spun spill stories much more to the oil giant's favor than they had done before.
British Petroleum's Role in Bringing About Iran's Islamic Fundamentalist Regime
British Petroleum did incredibly evil things under its original name, Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and did it with the assistance of a pliable and corrupt US government. This time it was the Eisenhower administration. First, their greed and thievery caused them problems in Iran. From LA Progressive 6/24/10:
With exclusive rights to extract, refine, export, and sell Iran’s rich oil resources, the company reaped enormous profits. Meanwhile, it shared only a tiny fraction of the proceeds with the Iranian government. Similarly, although the company’s British personnel lived in great luxury, its Iranian laborers endured lives of squalor and privation.
In 1947, as Iranian resentment grew at the giant oil company’s practices, the Iranian parliament called upon the Shah, Iran’s feudal potentate, to renegotiate the agreement with Anglo-Iranian. Four years later, Mohammed Mossadeq, riding a tide of nationalism, became the nation’s prime minister. As an enthusiastic advocate of taking control of Iran’s oil resources and using the profits from them to develop his deeply impoverished nation, Mossadeq signed legislation, passed unanimously by the country’s parliament, to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.
The British government lashed out at the people getting screwed over by this corporation, imposing a trade embargo against Iran. Britain then tried to overthrow Mossadeq, but they were unable to do it because President Truman refused to cooperate. President Eisenhower's incredibly corrupt Sec. of State, John Foster Dulles, happily changed that policy.
To the delight of Anglo-Iranian, it received a much friendlier reception from the new Eisenhower administration. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had worked much of his life as a lawyer for multinational corporations, and viewed the Iranian challenge to corporate holdings as a very dangerous example to the world. Consequently, the CIA was placed in charge of an operation, including fomenting riots and other destabilizing activities, to overthrow Mossadeq and advance oil company interests in Iran.
Organized by CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt in the summer of 1953, the coup was quite successful. Mossadeq was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life, the power of the pro-Western shah was dramatically enhanced, and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was once again granted access to Iran’s vast oil resources. To be sure, thanks to the key role played in the coup by the U.S. government, the British oil company—renamed British Petroleum—henceforth had to share the lucrative oil extraction business in Iran with U.S. corporations. Even so, in the following decades, with the Iranian public kept in line by the Shah’s dictatorship and by his dreaded secret police, the SAVAK, it was a very profitable arrangement—although not for most Iranians.
If not for the brutality and thieving of the Shahs and their corporate overlords, there never would have been an Iranian Revolution against them, and the world's first militant Islamist republic wouldn't have happened. This action also discredited the US throughout the world, especially US rhetoric about supporting democracy, the effects of which were felt most acutely in the Middle East.
If a pliable US administration going along with the same reprehensible corporation that was involved in past corruption and misdeeds sounds familiar, it should.
The Punk Patriot is still speaking out forcefully on the issue.