Hop-Scotch the Herafter on the Heinous Halliburton Hydraulic Cement

October 31, 2010

The title quite a mash-up, huh?
A mouthful of alliterated sounds beckoning forth a bat-shit-crazy.
However, if according to the US Supreme Court and corporations are indeed people — “…citizens, or associations of citizens…” — then somewhere out there is some giant, asshole of a guy with a name synonymous with hideously-cruel, insane and arrogant incompetence: Halliburton.

This past week, once again the humongous, multi-tentacled body of companies was in the news after the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill reported Halliburton knew there were flaws in the cement used in the doomed well before the April 20 disaster.

Should come as absolute no surprise, that fact.

(Illustration found here).

And of course, Halliburton says there’s just a mix-up in the mixture — a different batch of ingredients is all: saying the cement cited for flaws in February was different from the mixture used to plug the well two months later.

The problem lies in the lies.
According the Commission’s report, officials at Halliburton knew the cement was bad.
From the New York Times:

“There is no indication that Halliburton highlighted to BP the significance of the foam stability data or that BP personnel raised any questions about it,” (the panel’s lead investigator, Fred H. Bartlit Jr.) Mr. Bartlit said in his report.
Another Halliburton cement test, carried out about a week before the blowout of the well on April 20, also found the mixture to be unstable, meaning it was unlikely to set properly in the well, but those findings were never sent to BP, Mr. Bartlit found after reviewing previously undisclosed documents.
Although Mr. Bartlit did not specifically identify the cement failure as the sole or even primary cause of the blowout, he made clear in his letter that if the cement had done its job and kept the highly pressurized oil and gas out of the well bore, there would have been no accident.
“We have known for some time that the cement used to secure the production casing and isolate the hydrocarbon zone at the bottom of the Macondo well must have failed in some manner,” he said in his letter to the seven members of the presidential commission.
“The cement should have prevented hydrocarbons from entering the well.”

Finger pointing on the cause of the oil spill disaster started early.
BP claimed in September Halliburton’s bad cement job was to blame, and Halliburton, in turn, switched fingers, pointed the blame gun at BP — oh, the shame.

Although BP is indeed an ugly corporate snake not at all giving a shit about the “small people,” Halliburton is in a nefarious class all by itself — one nasty piece of industrial waste.
These people are like a cancer: From killing showers in Iraq (trusted to a former Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, another ugly story altogether), gang rape without reprisal, and a long laundry list of criminal behavior.
One must remember The Dick‘s role with Halliburton.
Robert Reich advances that notion more neatly and eloquently than I:

Halliburton, in case you’ve forgotten, is not exactly a model citizen.
It has evaded U.S. taxes and export bans through foreign subsidiaries; admitted to bribing foreign officials (a subsidiary paid $2.4 million to a Nigerian government official in exchange for favorable tax treatment); conceded in an internal memo (leaked to the Wall Street Journal) its cost controls for government contracts in Iraq were “antiquated” and its procurement “disorganized; was found by Pentagon auditors to have overcharged estimated at $27.4 million for meals served to American troops at five military bases in Iraq and Kuwait (in one camp billing for an average 42,000 meals a day but serving only 14,000).
The list of Halliburton’s crimes goes on and on.
And yet, somehow, Halliburton goes on piling up profits. How? Because of its deep connections to Washington.
Dick Cheney hadn’t had any experience in the oil business when he became Halliburton’s CEO in 1995.
But he did have experience in government — as George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense.
And those military ties were invaluable to the company.
Under his reign, Halliburton rose from 73rd to 18th on the Pentagon’s list of top contractors, and the money garnered from government-sponsored agencies (such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank) soared from $100 million in the five years prior to Cheney’s arrival to $1.5 billion a few years after.
As vice president to George W. Bush, Cheney made sure Halliburton’s stunning performance would continue (Cheney continued to receive checks from the company).
According to congressional inquiries, Cheney’s vice presidential office was instrumental in forcing the Environmental Protection Agency to remove sections on climate change from reports in 2002 and 2003 (a process Christine Todd Whitman, then the E.P.A. administrator, subsequently described as “brutal.”)
The Bush-Cheney administration also sought to control or censor congressional testimony about climate change by federal employees, and tampered with other reports in order to inject uncertainty into the climate debate.

And that, indeed, is a nasty-tasting mouthful.

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