BP Spreads Its Negligence Around the World


As the presidential commission on the BP spill spins its report this week, give some attention to this allegation: “The emerging evidence in this case has brought to light BP’s central role in the construction of the [facility], and its failure to adequately appreciate risk and implement basic measures to protect the local environment and the livelihoods of impoverished local communities.”

Except the allegation and the “facility” are not from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, they’re over a pipeline in Colombia. And more than 70 farmers are suing BP over damages to the environment and, really, their way of life.

The Guardian newspaper in London notes that “…the case comes at the worst possible time for BP as it deals with the fallout from the new report into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the shutdown of the Trans-Alaska pipeline on Saturday after a leak.”

See if this sounds familiar: “…farmers say that BP engaged in ‘risky or dangerous activity’ and add that an environmental impact study submitted by BP to the Colombian Ministry of the Environment in 1994 was ‘inadequate and defective.'”

While the national commission report struggles to create some political momentum for actual reform – good luck with that when you didn’t have enough clout to get subpoena power or a single bill through the Senate back when Democrats had real power – the fact is that BP continues to crop up with big-time negligence all over the planet. Except, of course, in the commission report.

See the Guardian’s report here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/11/bp-oil-spill-colombian-farmers

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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