American Fundamentalism Has Placed The Human Rights of Those In The Gulf Of Mexico In Danger Because Due To Corporate Influence The United States Has Refused To
Regulate The Environment And Ecosystems
As corporate profits are adversely impacted in the short term by stringent laws on the environment and ecosystem, the Congress of the United States has refused to put in place laws stringent enough to regulate the environment and ecosystem. In fact States like Arizona have promulgated laws forbidding their agencies from taking any action which would benefit the environment H2442.
Laws and policies which encourage the economic and social progress of a select few at the expense of the middle class, poor and backward regions has been the Congressional mantra. In order to ensure inequalities exist and there is no equality, with slick media, politicians put fear in people as to impact of stringent laws on the environment and ecosystem on the citizenry.
The United States Congress refuses to integrate environmental and ecosystem protection requirements into policies and laws. Cameron International Corp. built the blowout prevention equipment that was used in the Deepwater Horizon Rig which Halliburton Corp. cemented at about 18,000 feet and which was being operated by Transoceanic Ltd, leased by BPPLC. On April 21, 2010 the rig caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico. Cementing is a process which prevents oil and natural gas from escaping by filling gaps between the outside of the well pipe and the hole in the ocean floor.
BPPLC drills about 400,000 barrels of oil a day in the Gulf of Mexico using Deepwater Horizon Rigs. Foreign nations except the United States require additional failsafe mechanism and also remote controlled shutoff devices be incorporated into blowout protection mechanisms in Deepwater Horizon Rigs. When there are cracks in the cement or when cement does not properly settle, gas escapes with a great deal of pressure and ignites because gas is highly combustible. If there is faulty cement plugs at the bottom of the well or if the cement between the pipe and well and walls do not harden properly the gas escapes. The failsafe mechanism and blowout preventer which should be remote controlled activate and control the leak.
18 of the 39 explosions in the Gulf of Mexico over a 14 year period involving Deepwater Horizon Rigs were caused by cementing, contends a 2007 study by Minerals Management Service. Halliburton cemented the Deepwater Horizon Rig in the Timor Sea off Australia which exploded with thousands of barrels of oil escaping into the sea over ten weeks.
Robert McKenzie of Capitol Markets states cementing has historically been problematic. According to BPPLC they have not tested the ability of the blowout preventers to work. They rely on a device they do not know if it works. It is established that several gallons of gas have escaped into the ecosystem which is more than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. BP LLC has used unmanned submarines controlled by robots to activate the shut-off valves but has been unable to. It will take about three months to drill a new hole to cut off the damaged hole.
Now that this explosion has happened additional regulations may be put in place and there may be possible moratoriums on offshore drilling. Citizens in the areas affected by this ecosystem disaster are in the wetlands area richest in shrimp, oyster and fish breeding. Many species of birds breed in the area and the area serve as the nesting area for brown pelicans at night. Due to natural disasters like Katrina, Ike, Rita and Gustav, 90% of the oyster industry was wiped out. Louisiana spent millions of dollars to rehabilitate oyster reefs and had recently begun harvesting oyster. The Gulf of Mexico oil fire shall have devastating effect on the local community.
One third of the fishing industry shall be adversely affected and tourism shall decline because the white-sand beaches are blackened. Previous eco-disasters in Alaska, Massachusetts and Spain have had long-term disastrous impact. Shellfish; seabirds; whales; sea otters have had their chemistry altered, high stress hormones, erratic behaviour, contaminated eggs and long-term population declines.
National Marine Fisheries states 7 species of oysters, ducks, clams, killer whales are reviving after 20 years. There is no sign of two types of herring and salmon. “It is sad to see an already fragile habitat face a crisis like this one” states Grey Butcher of National Audubon Society. “The oil will make it hard for them to swim or fly and wreaks havoc with their food supply.”
Marine life is sentient beings whose welfare should always be considered. American Fundamentalism is refusing to promote sustainable development, economic and social progress of regions and peoples who are in backward regions. Environmental and ecosystem protection must be integrated into policies and laws. The livelihoods of people in the long-term are at stake.
Laws targeting Hispanics under the guise of immigration reform (S1070) denying the poor protection that is given by Patient Protection And Affordable Health Care Act (S1001 SCM1001) refusing to regulate greenhouse gases (H2442) do all promote inequalities and adversely affect the livelihood and welfare of the poor and minority. Congress needs to put in place legislation to protect the environment and ecosystem.
Short term political gains and financial benefit to the corporate entity must not be put above the goal and interests of the peoples, citizenry, environment and ecosystem taciturn. “Drill Baby Drill” is not the solution without environmental and ecosystem protection.
BY ANANT KUMAR TRIPATI
Anant Kumar Tripati is a student in the Postgraduate Laws Programme at the University of London External System