Prince William Sound
Now I can't say that I have first hand knowledge of the Gulf spill but others who have investigated their actions can say first hand what this company is all about. One investigator Greg Palast has such knowledge. In his report of the Exxon Valdez spill which by the way BP had the major financial stake in ownership and spill response, Greg gives a real insight into just how sleezy this company really is.
From his investigative report:
Before the Exxon Valdez grounding, BP's Alyeska group (BP's oil response group) claimed it had these full-time oil spill response crews. Alyeska had hired Alaskan Natives, trained them to drop from helicopters into the freezing water and set boom in case of emergency. Alyeska also certified in writing that a containment barge with equipment was within five hours sailing of any point in the Prince William Sound. Alyeska also told the state and federal government it had plenty of boom and equipment cached on Bligh Island.
But it was all a lie. On that March night in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef in the Prince William Sound, the BP group had, in fact, not a lick of boom there. And Alyeska had fired the Natives who had manned the full-time response teams, replacing them with phantom crews, lists of untrained employees with no idea how to control a spill. And that containment barge at the ready was, in fact, laid up in a drydock in Cordova, locked under ice, 12 hours away.
As a result, the oil from the Exxon Valdez, which could have and should have been contained around the ship, spread out in a sludge tide that wrecked 1,200 miles of shoreline.
And here we go again. Valdez goes Cajun.
I do recall now that I think of it when I first got my 80 hour hazmat certification and was on loan to another company to do some oil and jet feul clean up talking to a worker who had gone to work on that spill. He gets a call about 1:00am gathers a suit case and is on the next flight to Alaska. He said it was a joke. He and a handful of other workers were there cleaning rocks with absorbent pads only to have them get recontaminated at the next high tide. The clean up crew also used high pressure steam to clean the rocks which killed any benificial bacteria that eats the oil. The 'beach' is mostly rocks and to this day some 21 years later you can go there pick up a rock and find oil on the underside.
The fishermen there didn't fair any better. After fighting for years the average compensation was around $5,000. These were guys who were used to making that much in a week from fishing.