FBI, DOJ Launch Probe of Unaoil, After Exposé Shows Global Corruption

The FBI, the Department of Justice and British and Australian authorities have launched a joint investigation into the Moroccan company Unaoil, which brokers contracts between governments and international oil service giants. This comes after The Huffington Post and Australia’s Fairfax Media published a multi-part exposé based on thousands of leaked documents showing how Unaoil paid million-dollar bribes to government officials in Iraq, Libya, Kazakhstan, Syria, Tunisia and other countries to broker contracts for some of the world’s largest companies, including Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR. The exposé also shows how U.S. military contractor Honeywell colluded to conceal bribes in Iraq contracts. Reporters are calling it the biggest leak of files in the history of the oil industry.

— source
democracynow.org | 2016

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Shell’s headquarters raided and formal investigation launched

Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second largest oil company, has been put under formal investigation by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s office for “international corruption” offences relating to a deal for oil block OPL 245 in Nigeria, according to reports in the Italian press this morning. A Global Witness investigation exposed that when OPL 245 was sold in 1998 for US$20m – a fraction of its value now – it went to Malabu Oil & Gas, a company secretly owned by the then Oil Minister, Dan Etete. The block was then passed on to Shell and Eni in 2011, with the Nigerian government acting as middleman, for US$1.1bn. This sum is equivalent to 80% of the country’s 2015 health budget, but it never reached state coffers.

— source globalwitness.org | 2016

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Fossil Fuel Companies Fuel American Fascism

The year 2020 will be remembered in history for a deadly pandemic and a deep economic crisis that touched almost every country on earth. Hopes for a brighter 2021 were one of the few things most people could agree on.

But just six days into the new year, these hopes were rudely shattered by images of far-right white supremacists, incited by an aspiring autocrat refusing to admit his electoral defeat, storming the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the election.

This fascist putsch was implicitly supported by some elected leaders, including GOP members of Congress who continued to promote the thoroughly debunked falsehood that the 2020 elections were “stolen.” Worse still, there are early indications that some elected officials may have aided the violent mob more directly as well.

But this attempted coup wouldn’t have progressed to this point without large amounts of funding, too. And playing a disproportionately large role among business backers of fascism are fossil fuel companies and their owners and top executives.

My Institute for Policy Studies colleagues Chuck Collins and Omar Ocampo recently documented the top billionaire donors to the Trump campaign. In first place is Kelcy Warren, co-founder and board chair

— source otherwords.org | Basav Sen | Jan 31, 2021

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Chevron Is Refusing to Pay for the “Amazon Chernobyl”

In 2001, Chevron acquired Texaco, including all of its assets and civil liabilities. One of those liabilities was the “Amazon Chernobyl,” a 1,700-square-mile environmental disaster in Ecuador that Texaco created through a disregard – and an attitude that local Indigenous groups have called racism – for the health of the region’s peoples. Texaco, the sole operator of the fields from 1964 to 1992, eventually admitted that it deliberately discharged 72 billion liters of toxic water into the environment, which ended up in the water supply, and gouged 1,000 unlined waste pits out of the jungle floor. According to several Indigenous witnesses, including Humberto Piaguaje, a leader of the Ecuadorian Secoya people, the company actually claimed that the oil wastes were medicinal and “full of vitamins.”

Studies have shown thousands of excess cases of cancer deaths and other health problems in the region.

— source theguardian.com | Alec Baldwin, Paul Paz y Miño | Sep 17, 2020

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Mauritians take to the street over oil spill and dolphin and whale deaths

People gathered in the thousands in Mauritius’s capital, Port Louis, to protest the government’s response to a recent oil spill. The Japanese-owned freighter M.V. Wakashio crashed into the coral reef barrier off the island’s southeastern coast on July 25 and leaked about 1,000 tons of fuel oil into the sea near ecologically sensitive areas, before breaking in half a few weeks later. The stranding of at least 39 dolphins and whales near the site has sparked an outcry, though a link between the Wakashio shipwreck and the beachings has not yet been established. In a controversial move, the Mauritian government decided to sink the front half of the ship several kilometers away from the crash site in open waters, which some experts say could have impacted the dolphin and whale populations.

— source news.mongabay.com | 1 Sep 2020

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Early childhood exposure to traffic-related air pollution affects the brain

A new study suggests that significant early childhood exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) is associated with structural changes in the brain at the age of 12. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study found that children with higher levels of TRAP exposure at birth had reductions at age 12 in gray matter volume and cortical thickness as compared to children with lower levels of exposure. The study found that specific regions in the frontal and parietal lobes and the cerebellum were affected with decreases on the order of 3 to 4 percent.

— source cincinnatichildrens.org | Jan 24, 2020

abandon oil vehicles. reduce travel.

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Big Oil wants to dump more wastewater into rivers

For more than six months, twin brothers Ronald and Donald Schweitzer have watched large amounts of salty wastewater bubble up from the ground in their wheat field. The “saltwater purge” has killed three trees and several acres of crops on their northwest Oklahoma farm.

“Absolutely ruined,” Ronald Schweitzer told a local TV station. “It won’t grow nothing, not unless they dig the dirt out and put new dirt back in.”

The Schweitzers’ property is surrounded by highly-pressurized underground injection wells that store wastewater from oil and gas drilling. After tests confirmed that the saltwater had a similar chemical profile to wastewater dumped in the area, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission shut down eight disposal wells and reduced pumping rates for several more in November. The agency, which regulates the oil and gas industry in the state, has also banned new wells in a 14,000-square-mile area near the Schweitzers’ field.

— source grist.org | Naveena Sadasivam | Jan 22, 2020

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Drivers could face £20 fine for leaving engines running when parked

Motorists will be ordered to switch off engines at the roadside under a crackdown on air pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles. Drivers could face a £20 on-the-spot fine for leaving engines running when parked. All 32 London boroughs will step up enforcement of engine idling, with council officers challenging drivers. Volunteers will also be recruited to take part. The scheme will begin in the City of London from today before spreading to the rest of the capital.

— source thetimes.co.uk | Dec 19 2019

Idling in our country its a common thing. People park cars and run ac. Please don’t do that.

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US Has ‘Absolutely No Right’ to Occupy Syrian Oil Fields

Citing U.S. President Donald Trump’s openly stated plan to maintain a troop presence in Syria with the sole purpose of plundering the country’s oil reserves, a top Syrian government official said America has “absolutely no right” to the nation’s natural resources and warned of “popular opposition and operations” against foreign occupiers. “It is our oil,” Bouthaina Shaaban, a political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, told NBC News in an interview Tuesday. “He’s talking about stealing it,” Shaaban said of Trump. “Our land should be totally and completely liberated from foreign occupiers, whether they are terrorists, or the Turks, or the Americans.”

— source nbcnews.com | Dec 26, 2019