The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Halliburton Destroying Gulf Spill Evidence a 'Misdemeanor'
The 2010 BP Oil Spill is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. It spilled approximately 210,000,000 U.S. gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and the initial explosion, caused by faulty cementing around the injection well, killed 11 workers.
During an internal probe into the this cementing after the blowout, Halliburton ordered workers to destroy computer simulations relating to safety measures. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to the destruction of this evidence.
This charge—knowingly destroying evidence during a government investigation in an attempt to cover up the cause of 11 human deaths and one of the largest disasters in the country’s history—is considered a “misdemeanor” charge. Halliburton is required to pay a $200,000 fine.
In 2011, Halliburton Co. took in $24.8 billion in revenue—that’s roughly $67.9 million per day, or $2.8 million per hour, or $47,000 per minute. In four and a half minutes they made enough to pay the total fines for destroying evidence of their criminal negligence.
Halliburton has also agreed to make a $55 million donation to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, presumably as a sign of good faith. Though this may make it easier for politicians to claim that the world’s second-largest oilfield services company—a company that made $39.5 billion dollars on the Iraq War—cares about you, Halliburton clearly had their own interests in mind. On page five of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Vision for a Healthy Gulf of Mexico Watershed,” the Fish and Wildlife Service refers to wild animals as “resources” and makes it clear that they are more interested in economy than ecology:
“The natural resources in the five Gulf states are the foundation of a multibillion dollar economic engine that employs more than 8 million people, produces more than half of America’s crude oil and natural gas, and accounts for the majority of the nation’s annual shrimp and oyster harvest. Hunting, fishing, bird-watching and other wildlife-dependent recreation contributes more than $25 billion annually to the region’s economy … Over the last century, climate change, sea level rise, habitat conversion and fragmentation, decreasing water quality and quantity and invasive species have diminished the resiliency of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem … Natural disasters like hurricanes and man-made disasters like oil spills exacerbate these impacts. As a result, native fish and wildlife populations and their habitats are in decline, imperiling the very fabric that supports the Gulf Coast’s vibrant economy.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who previously served as the CEO of Halliburton, once said “We have to make America the best place in the world to do business.” I’m sure Halliburton, BP, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Justice can all agree on that."
Visit EcoWatch’s GULF OIL SPILL pages for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.
Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.
By Dave Cooke
So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.
By Richard Connor
A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.