Source: Picasso Dreams

In a recent New York Times’ article “Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup”, journalist Paula Quinlan questions why BP is using the 100 % toxic, 54 percent effective dispersant Corexit to clean up the oil when twelve other dispersants proved more effective in EPA testing.

BP spokesman Jon Pack defended the use of Corexit, which he said was decided in consultation with EPA. He called Corexit “pretty effective” and said the product had been “rigorously tested.”

“I’m not sure about the others,” Pack said. “This has been used by a number of major companies as an effective, low-toxicity dispersant.”

BP is not considering or testing other dispersants because the company’s attention is focused on plugging the leak and otherwise containing the spill, Pack said.    “That has to be our primary focus right now,” he said.

Nalco spokesman Charlie Pajor said the decision on what to use was out of his company’s hands. He also declined to comment on EPA comparison tests, saying only that lab conditions cannot necessarily replicate those in the field. “The decision about what’s used is made by others — not by us,” he said.

Quinlan only looks at part of the picture.  She associates BP’s investment in Nalco and oil industry representation on the board as the main reasons that Corexit was used instead of Dispirsit, which EPA testing shows to be twice as effective and a third less toxic.  Yes, BP is hedging its losses with the profit it will make with its investment in Nalco, but who else benefits?

Follow the money…and the money goes to Goldman Sachs and friends.  Instead, Quinlan (or her editor) goes after Exxon.

Critics say Nalco, which formed a joint venture company with Exxon Chemical in 1994, boasts oil-industry insiders on its board of directors and among its executives, including an 11-year board member at BP and a top Exxon executive who spent 43 years with the oil giant.

“It’s a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically,” said Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife.

In defense of the oil industry, it makes financial sense that Exxon and BP were the initial investors in this type of dispersant.  It’s not surprising that oil executives sit on the board.  I am not defending the toxicity of their product, the integrity of their board members or the likely Halliburton-stye billing process that will kick in when BP decides it is no longer responsible for  the impact of the “very, very modest” oil blowout that is already twice as large as Exxon-Valdez and is far more devastating economically and let the bankrupt US Treasury cover the bills.  (To be fair, BP has accepted full responsibility and within days of the accident and without a court order, BP gave the states of Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi each $25 million to help with the immediate damage.)

But BP’s investment in Nalco is the token diversion.  The real players are Goldman Sachs and their fellow Sexually Inadequate Masters of the Universe, the Blackstone Group and Apollo Management.

From Nalco’s website:


USFilter and Ondeo Nalco enter into a strategic partnership providing equipment, chemicals and service to industrial customers.

The Blackstone Group, Apollo Management L. P. and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners buy Ondeo Nalco.

Nalco Company, a recognized symbol of strength around the world, unveils new logo.

Never mind item three, the logo change executives consider one of the three most important events in Nalco’s 2003 history, hence its prominence on the Nalco corporate history webpage.  Look at item number two.

If for no other reason that Goldman Sachs is newsworthy, I think that their $4.3 billion purchase of Nalco in 2003 would be worth mentioning, especially in light of their short trade on TransOcean.  The shorts are another missing item in the business section of The Times, as is any information on Goldman’s role in the 9-11 put options on American and United for that matter.  “All the lies that are fit to print…” on their banner would be more apropos. Seems someone is treating the demon children at GS with kid gloves.

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