Archive | October, 2011

Can Herman Cain Deliver?

Presidential hopeful Herman Cain, while controversial, has a possible chance of winning the Republican nomination.

Recent polls show Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain tied for the lead with Mitt Romney (GALLO/GETTY)

“Many of the Muslims, they are not totally dedicated to this country,” GOP campaigner Herman Cain said in March. “They are not dedicated to our Constitution. Many of them are trying to force Sharia law on the people of this country.”

Prior to this defence, a reporter had asked Cain if he would appoint a Muslim to his administration if he were elected president of the US, to which Cain replied unequivocally, “No”.

While he later apologised to Muslims in the US for his inflammatory comments, this was not the only time Cain has made controversial statements.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

The Pipeline of ‘Poison’

The aftermath of a tar sands oil spill in Michigan has left a community with sickness, anger, and loss of livelihood.

An underground pipeline owned by Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Energy Partners LP, began gushing into the Kalamazoo River area, and the affected area of the river remains closed to this day (GALLO/GETTY)

Deb Miller lives less than 30 metres from the Kalamazoo River in central Michigan, site of one of the largest inland tar sands oil disasters in US history.

In July 2010, nearly four million litres of toxic tar sands crude oil gushed into the river following the rupture of the Lakehead Pipeline 6B belonging to Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian oil and gas transportation company.

Meeting with other area residents at the office she owns with her husband on the banks of the Kalamazoo, Miller describes the adverse health effects she has suffered in the wake of the spill, including migraine headaches, burning eyes, a persistent sore throat, and a “cloudy brain” condition that she half-jokingly refers to as “Oil Alzheimer’s”.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Dangerous Allegations in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico residents accuse BP and their security company of harassment.

Security guards patrolled beaches in Louisiana, while residents braced themselves the arrival of BP's oil (EPA)

A simple swim in the Gulf of Mexico has complicated Steven Aguinaga’s life in ways he could have never imagined.

In July 2010, Aguinaga, now 33-years-old, had gone on a vacation with is wife and some friends to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. After he and his close friend Merrick Vallian went swimming in the Gulf, they both became extremely sick from what Aguinaga believes were chemicals in BP’s oil and dispersants from the largest marine oil spill in US history that began in April 2010.

The 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf continues to affect people living near the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.

Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic dispersants, which are banned by some countries, including the UK. According to many scientists, these dispersants create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

The Escalation of BP’s Liability

As oil, sickness and contamination persist, Gulf residents and lawyers file thousands of lawsuits against the oil giant.

Gulf Coast residents continue to express their anger towards BP (Erika Blumenfeld/Al Jazeera)

“If you got caught humping another woman – [if] you’re both naked and caught in the act – you’d want BP to explain to your wife how it didn’t happen.”

This colorful analogy was proposed by Dean Blanchard, a seafood distributor on Grand Isle, Louisiana, to explain oil giant BP’s continuing machinations to evade liability in the aftermath of the April 2010 disaster.

During a recent discussion in his office, Blanchard told Al Jazeera that the fishing waters off Louisiana are only producing one per cent of the shrimp they formerly produced. “Half of the local fishermen have shut down,” he stated. “They are dying. And [as] for the fishing, every day they are hauling dead porpoises in front of my place. I have a claim filed with BP, but none of us in the seafood business are being paid.”

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading