marked the anniversary of the worst man-made catastrophe in U.S. history. 12-years ago the Deep Water Horizon Platform explosion spewed 234 million gallons of oil throughout the Gulf of Mexico over a period of 87 days, killing at least 11 people. Almost 40,000 additional medical claims were filed by coastal residents, first responders, and cleanup workers seeking compensation from BP for health-related problems as a result of the oil spill and chemical cleanup efforts.
Oil sunk to the ocean floor, mixed into the water column, seeped into marshes and soiled beaches, animals were consumed by it, inhaled, and ingested it. The full extent of the ecological devastation is still unknown.
BP, the London-based oil behemoth pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanor environmental charges, and one count of obstructing Congress... BP received little consequences beyond a fine and five years’ probation for an oil spill that impacts the entire Gulf ecosystem to this day.
The oil and gas industry continues with unprecedented extraction and expansion, due in large part to the high-jacking of never intended corporate constitutional rights.
The 5th Amendment to the U.S Constitution has been a boon for the oil and gas industries.
Since the 1970s, oil corporations have been aware that the atmosphere was heating up, acknowledging behind closed doors that their extraction was the cause of the change. However, these corporations by invoking their 5th Amendment right to "remain silent" withheld studies and continued legally making billions to the known detriment of the earth and all of its inhabitants.
The “Takings Clause” of the 5th Amendment is another stark example of the inherent threat of a growing list of adjudicated corporate constitutional rights. In 2005, in Kelo vs. City of New London, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the city’s right to take private property to give to another private entity for “economic development,”—effectively handing the oil and gas industry power, as a constitutional right, to claim Eminent Domain over people’s land.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there are more than 3,000 active wells in the federally-regulated waters of the Gulf, over 25,000 miles of active oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing the Gulf of Mexico seafloor, and more than 18,000 miles of “out of service” pipelines. (Fact Tracker)
A lawsuit filed in 2015, by 21 children and young adults, accused federal officials and oil industry executives of violating their due process right to a “climate system capable of sustaining human life,” by knowing for decades that carbon pollution poisons the environment but doing nothing about it. The government argued that neither U.S. law nor history supported the young people’s claim of a fundamental right to a “livable climate.”
The scale of the solution must match the scale of the existential ecological crisis.
To resist the tyranny of "Big Oil" we must address corporate rule systemically, removing its power from the root by abolishing ALL corporate constitutional rights and money defined as political speech.
Today, on the eve of Earth Day, plan to join us in an important conversation about Abolishing Corporate Planetary Destruction and how you can plug into this growing people-powered movement.