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BP spill exposed looming US energy crisis - author

Published time: November 16, 2010 11:56
Edited time: November 16, 2010 14:57

The infamous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was no accident, because the industry had operated unregulated for years, argues Bob Canvar, CEO of Luca Technologies and author of Disaster on the Horizon.

Six months after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico unleashed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, BP is selling its assets to cover the cost of the disaster.

Meanwhile, the US reports that its federal waters are once again open for fishing, in what America claims to be one of the most promising signs of environmental recovery. The story has somehow fallen from the front pages.

Up to this day BP has not disclosed the real amount of oil that escaped into the water.

“The deregulation of our industry in federal waters over the last ten years, the problems that we have are getting worse and worse, and there is no force to correct them,” Canvar said.

He believes the real scale of the America’s worst ecological disaster is as yet unknown, because vast majority of oil never reached the surface and, despite the processes of biodegradation, “we do not know how long it takes.”

“In cold waters 3,000-4,000 feet deep, there could be vast plumes of oil we cannot see that [are] destroying the food chain,” he said. “And the oil gets into the food chain and could cause damage all the way up, including to humans eating the seafood coming from the Gulf.”

Half a year has passed, but the American Congress has not acted to change legislation and the story itself has completely fallen off the radar of all major TV channels and newspapers.

The sharp rhetoric in the American mass media that was escalating against the British oil company abruptly came to nought once BP agreed to cover all the expenses and pay off the damages – something in the order of US$20 billion.

“All of a sudden the decision-making all merged,” recalls Canvar. “From there on, their [American government and BP] interests were allied.”

In order to keep BP afloat so that it could pay that $20 billion, the story, “was taken off the TV as fast as possible so BP could recover.”

Today, after the economic crisis that hit in 2008, Bob Canvar sees much in common between the unregulated oil industry and Wall Street, which continues to play by its own rules.

“If you look at the new drilling rules that have been proposed by the Department of Interior, nothing has really changed. And the changes that have happened are all basically put on another set of rules that are self-certified,” he underlined.

The American administration more than once promised to move the country away from fossil fuels, but has not fulfilled that promise.

“Today America is importing 75 per cent of the oil it needs from other countries, about half of it from countries that just hate us,” Bob Canvar asserted. So the US is giving money to the countries that are either sponsoring terrorism or allow terrorists to reside there.

“We have lost control of our own destiny. France does 80 per cent of its electricity with nuclear [power stations], we do something like less than 20 per cent and we have not built a nuclear reactor in the US for over 20 years,” he revealed. Neither does America provide any long-term investment support to renewables like wind or solar.

“The people in Congress are focused on one thing – getting re-elected. And as long as it is not right in their face, they will continue to look the other way,” he concluded.

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