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BP Tries To Restrict Volunteer Rights As Oil Slick Triples In Size

BP Tries To Restrict Volunteer Rights As Oil Slick Triples In Size

Once again, it’s important to remember that you can’t believe everything you hear on TV (or on the internet for that matter), and that what you’re not hearing is probably the most important part of the story.

Since the offshore drilling platform Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank almost two weeks ago, officials from British Petroleum (the oil company responsible for the rig’s operations) and the federal government claimed that the open well was only leaking about 1,000 barrels of oil a day.

Subsequent monitoring and analysis of the spill via satellite and aerial data has shown that this was a gross (and probably deliberate) understatement, and that the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is probably five times that amount.

Five thousand barrels a day is “a bare-bones limit,” John Amos, the president and founder of the nonprofit firm SkyTruth, told OnEarth.org. SkyTruth specializes in gathering and analyzing satellite and aerial data to promote environmental conservation.

By SkyTruth’s calculations, 12.2 million gallons of oil had already spilled into the Gulf of Mexico by May 1st.

As a result of the potentially deadly threat this poses to marine life throughout the area, the NOAA decided yesterday to begin an immediate ban on all recreational and commercial fishing in the area.

BP was quick to enlist the services of out-of-work fisherman, using their boats to help deploy containment boom. But this move has proven to be more self-serving than first meets the eye.

It turns out that all volunteers were being forced to sign Master Charter Agreements (MCAs) that compromised their existing and future rights- including the right to speak freely about their involvement in clean up efforts.

The MCAs also prevented volunteers from holding BP accountable for any accidents that might occur, and required them to give the oil giant a month’s notice before filing any legal claims.

The Commerical Fishermen’s Association was quick to spot the compromising language of the agreements, and convinced a federal judge in Louisiana to order BP to stop using them.

BP has already been mandated to take 100 percent responsibility for the oil clean-up, but time will tell whether or not they’re really up to the task.


Find full Care2 Coverage of the Spill here.

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Please stay tuned to Care2 Causes for more information about the Gulf Spill as it develops.

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Deepwater Horizon skimming operations
Image Credit: US Coast Guard

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94 comments

+ add your own
5:04PM PDT on May 25, 2010

Time to buy an electric car and get a solar panel on your house if you want to be part of the solution. I haven't owned a car since bush decided to go to war for oil. I want no part of it. Now I am trying to eliminate all the other products from my life that are a by product of the oil industry. If you were looking for more motivation in order to change your life away from oil, now is the time.

8:27AM PDT on May 20, 2010

No wonder it took Obama nearly two weeks before getting on the ball with the Gulf oil spill. He’s the top recipient of British Petroleum donations in the last election cycle. Now watch him demonize them every chance he gets. If he wants to lead by example, he should return their money.

5:54PM PDT on May 9, 2010

Noted and signed.

8:37AM PDT on May 9, 2010

signed. Thanks.

2:06PM PDT on May 8, 2010

I am passing the word around thru' my site - http://bit.ly/16sNpf - but curious about the goal of signatures. I saw the original goal being 10,000 - now it's only 1,000. Seems so low & what impact will that have?

Thanks,
Jane A. Nelson

12:42PM PDT on May 8, 2010

I believe that all oil companies should contribute a couple of million dollars for emergencies such as these. Also, a fine of a billion dollars an hour for the leak plus whatever the courts think in terms of billions. This would go on continuing environmental cleaning and compensating the affected communities. The leak into St Lawrences Bay some 20 years ago is still causing a problem.

7:59AM PDT on May 8, 2010

No more Oil Please!!

6:02AM PDT on May 8, 2010

And you KNOW B P is gonna use this "loss" as a reason to RAISE the prices on "crude"....After all..This "loss" and subsequent clean up is gonna cost them{US} a LOT OF MONEY!!!!!

5:43AM PDT on May 8, 2010

Not their fault eh? Sounds a lot like a little kid who just got caught stealing and is blaming the store.

4:59AM PDT on May 8, 2010

Noted and sign !

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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