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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

to be in place regarding the Atlantis platform were missing, and that his attempts to raise his concerns with the oil company were not taken seriously.” 428

Rival oil company bosses have expressed their belief that blowout could not have happened to them, professing their procedures are tighter. There has been criticism of BP only using one casing on the well that blew out, with some companies saying they use two.429

Demonstrations in 29 US cities will call on Obama to seize BP. The Answer Coalition, a campaign group that grew out of opposition to the Iraq war, is organising a week of demonstrations in 29 cities calling for seizure of BP. Robert Reich: “This is a national emergency. It's simply untenable for a for-profit company with responsibility to its shareholders to be in charge of handling one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. At the moment, the president has no direct ability to instruct BP to do anything.” He cites the precedent of AIG, where the US government had few qualms.430

$550bn spent each year by big developing countries on oil, gas and coal energy subsidies, about 75 per cent more than previously thought ($c300bn), according to the first exhaustive study of fossil fuel subsidies. The IEA included 37 large developing countries in the study. Phasing out subsidies over the medium term, as agreed last year by the G20, would trigger vast savings: energy consumption could be reduced by 850m tonnes equivalent of oil by 2020, or the combined current consumption of Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The consumption cut would save the equivalent of the current carbon dioxide emissions of Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain. Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and China top the ranking of subsidy givers. Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA: “I see fossil fuel subsidies as the appendicitis of the global energy system which needs to be removed for a healthy, sustainable development future.”431

Getting rid of fossil-fuel subsidies would raise GDP in most countries. FT Energy Source: “Many countries are reluctant to abandon subsidies. The American Petroleum Institute opposed the US signing the G20 agreement, and India says it needs subsidies to encourage development and fight inflation. Their opposition might be misguided, however. The IEA’s modelling in 2008 showed that removing subsidies are actually raiseper-capita GDP “in most countries concerned”.432

7.6.10. BP seeks to increase capture of leaking oil: Hayward says the aim is “the vast majority.” But at the moment only around half is being collected. FT: “The only proven way the leak can be stopped is with one of the two relief wells now being drilled. The challenge is formidable. The drillers need to intersect the original well, about eight inches across, through a mile of water and more than two miles of rock. The method is proven, but it takes time.433

Obama turns fire on Hayward. He says that if he were in charge of BP, the chief executive “wouldn’t be working for me after any of those statements ”. “The fact of the matter is there is going to be a thorough review, and I don’t want to prejudge it, but the initial reports indicate there may be situations in which not only human error was involved, but you also saw some corner cutting in terms of safety.”434

Goldman accused by FSA of hindering probe into financial crisis. The FSA speaks of an “abysmal” response to requests for information: an attempt to “stonewall” and “obfuscate” over months of “mischief making.” It says it has issued a subpoena to compel the bank to provide documents and executives for interviews as other banks have done.435

IPSOS-MORI survey shows responsible businesses outperform rivals in both good and hard times. Business in the Community CEO Steve Howard: “The analysis revealed that those companies managing and measuring their corporate responsibility issues through the CR Index continued to outperform their FTSE 350 peers on Total Shareholder Return (TSR) in seven out of the eight years from 2002 to 2009. Furthermore, their TSR recovered more quickly in 2009. The business case is clear, therefore, for investors and shareholders, as well as the business. This research demonstrates that our assertion that responsible business is just good business is valid.”436

8.6.10. “Fossil fuels have plenty of form in staring down disasters.” FT Energy Source: “Look at coal, for example: cheap, geographically well-distributed and ever more popular in recent years. The industry’s history is littered with accidents and fatalities, and just this year we have seen tragic mine accidents in the US (in which 29 people died) and Russia (at least 66 died) . There were also major coal accidents in China, but they need to be seen in the context of 2,631 deaths in coal accident deaths in the country last year alone. And few have raised the prospect that coal mining will be reduced.”437

Norway bans deepwater oil drilling until the investigation into the Gulf disaster is complete, Terje Riis-Johansen energy minister, has said. “It is not appropriate for me to allow drilling in any new licences in deepwater areas until we have good knowledge of what has happened with the Deepwater Horizon and what this means for our regulations.” 438

More than $40 trillion needs to be spent on infrastructure – the stuff that makes economies turn - in the next 25 years, in developed and developing worlds, for replacement as well as projected growth. In the UK, the Treasury estimates £40-50bn a year ($59-73bn) all the way to 2030. But banks are less willing to lend, pension fund money is less attracted to infrastructure, equity is in shorter supply ….and governments are intent on deficit reduction. (L: special FT issue).439

$787bn US stimulus gets mixed reviews as airports are built for small towns etc. Around $126bn of it went on infrastructure, and of that some $50bn went on transportation, mostly highways. Shovel ready projects were favoured and the expenditure was neither at the scale of the New Deal nor designed to provide lasting legacy. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board had received 1,771 complaints by late January.440

China’s stimulus spending seems to have been greener than the US’s. About half went on infrastructure, with the biggest emphasis on rail. The airlines watch this anxiously.441 South Korea has allocated 80% of its $38bn stimulus package to broadly green projects (energy efficiency in buildings, railways, water and waste management). Africa, meanwhile, needs $93bn a year in infrastructure investment if it is to halve poverty, accoridn to a 2009 World Bank report. Nothings else would have such an impact.

Corruption has been and still is a huge problem in the infrastructure industry, part of an unholy trio including arms and energy industries. Recent fines and legal costs: Siemens - $1.6bn ref $1.6bn of suspect payments; Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR - $579m for bribery in Nigeria (a $130m fund to win a $5bn gas liquefaction project, 4% of the contract size, and a former KBR CEO serving 7 years; BAE Systems - $400

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