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Who Actually Owns BP?

Too many sites fail to mention who owns a whopping 28.34% of BP—more than the other 9 out of the top 10 together. That would be Wall Street’s JPMorgan Chase. And that certainly explains why our own government has offered mostly limp and phony bluster and coverup as BP has done pretty much whatever it wants in our new energy sacrifice zone—such as the deliberate blockage of oil collection in favor of bringing in “Carolina Skiffs” and huge aircraft to spray dispersants at night.

By Rand Clifford
Global Research, August 22, 2010

Most relevant sources agree that 40% of the shares of BP are held in the United Kingdom, 39% of the shares are held in the United States, while the remaining 21% are held throughout Europe and the rest of the world. The largest single holder of shares is getting harder to track down. Generally an Internet search will lead to the other 9 leaders, roughly 23%:

BlackRock (New York) 5.9%
Legal & General (United Kingdom) 4%
Barclays Global Investor (owned by BlackRock) 3.8%
Norges Bank Investment Management (Norway) 1.8%
Kuwait Investment Authority (manages funds for the Kuwaiti Government) 1.75%
M & G Investment Management (UK asset owned by the Prudential) 1.67%
Standard Life (Scottish insurance company) 1.5%
Capital Research & Management Company (Los Angeles) 1.3%
China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange 1.1%

Too many sites fail to mention who owns a whopping 28.34% of BP—more than the other 9 out of the top 10 together. That would be Wall Street’s JPMorgan Chase. And that certainly explains why our own government has offered mostly limp and phony bluster and coverup as BP has done pretty much whatever it wants in our new energy sacrifice zone—such as the deliberate blockage of oil collection in favor of bringing in “Carolina Skiffs” and huge aircraft to spray dispersants at night. BP lies, our government lies and covers, and the Gulf dies. Evidently, our government’s top priority is limiting BP’s liability.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20738

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A poet once wrote: “When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble. Give a whistle. And this’ll help things turn out for the best.” This famous Python ditty appears to be the government, BP and media spin on the oil disaster at this point, and it could be the biggest display of wishful thinking, denial and deception in the face of a serious crisis since Chris Matthews and G. Gordon Liddy swooned over President Bush’s crotch bulge aboard the U.S.S. Lincoln when the Iraq war was apparently “over.”

For several weeks now, the traditional media, and especially cable news, has been wondering, “Where’s all the oil?” as if to suggest the biggest water-based oil disaster in history is over and the oil is gone. And while it’s easy to pick on the press, its short attention span and the superficial reporting typical of TV news, it’s only right to underscore who specifically is to blame for downplaying the size and scope of the disaster.

Remember the first time this “where’s the oil?” question was raised? Back on May 16, Brit Hume asked, “Where’s the oil?” on Fox News Sunday. Days later, the oil washed ashore and no one dared repeat the same question. Until now.

Patient zero in the most recent “where’s the oil?” analysis appears to be Thad Allen:

“What we’re trying to figure out is where is all the oil at and what can we do about it,” said US spill response chief Thad Allen.

Coincidentally, my next book is titled: Where Is All The Oil At? (And What Can We Do About It). I’m joking, of course, because we know precisely where the oil is. And there’s very little we can do about it, other than to stop candy-coating the post-kill status of the disaster.

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(The leopards attempt at changing spots)

BP By Any Other Name – The Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute – 1951

Crooks & Liars- By Gordonskene Friday Jul 30, 2010 7:00pm

When Iran, under Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized Iran’s oil production in March of 1951, it put a crimp in the relations between Iran and Britain, who had enjoyed massive profits from drilling operations going back to 1909 and who, by 1950 had come to rely (as did the U.S.) on Middle East oil for 70% of its consumption (even back then). After a hotly contested dispute, which brought in the League of Nations to re-negotiate in 1933, Iran got slightly more of a percentage and by 1946 had negotiated to get 30% profits to Britain’s 70%.After Mossadegh took over and nationalized Iran’s oil production, Britain quickly attempted to negotiate a 50/50 split, but Mossadegh would have none of it. The dispute between Britain and Iran went on for two years. So on August 22, 1953, with the help of our very own CIA the Mossadegh government was overthrown and The Shah was reinstated. Shortly after, Britain and Iran were negotiating oil.

And shortly after, The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company became British Petroleum. And the rest, as they say, is history.

This clip comes from a CBS newscast of August 21, 1951 when the negotiations had broken down.

AUDIO CLIP HERE

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“I’m wondering if Fox News isn’t pressing up very closely to its tipping point; to the moment where Fox News reveals how certifiably insane it is by rushing to BP’s defense.”

June 24, 2010 |

Eight-two percent.

That’s the number you need to keep in mind as you listen to the right-wing caterwauling about how poor, helpless BP has been tormented and demonized by the bullying, Constitution-hating Obama White House.

Eight-two percent.

According to the latest CNN poll, a huge, huge, huge majority of Americans supports the $20 billion escrow fund that BP agreed to create in order to help pay for the Gulf of Mexico cleanup.

And get this: According to the same CNN poll, a microscopic 5 percent of Americans think Obama has been “too tough” on BP. Just 5 percent.

But apparently those 5-percenters all host radio and TV shows, or blog online, because that radical claim that Obama’s to blame for creating the hated escrow fund (not to mention for causing the oil spill in the first place), has been exploding within the GOP Noise Machine as pundits, bloggers, and talk show hosts rush to defend BP and denounce one of the most popular things Obama has ever done.

And, of course, helping lead the charge to guard BP from Obama’s wicked ways has been Fox News.

MORE HERE

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Well do I remember how my heart leapt for joy as I gazed out of the subway train that took me across the Charles River from Boston to Harvard Square and saw the yachts on the Charles plying joyously to and fro on the river below, their white sails gleaming in the summer sunshine.

Brought up by the sea, I cannot resist a good boat race, such as the J. P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race that took place around the Isle of Wight off England’s southern coast yesterday.

Nor, it seems, can another feller who’s been in the news lately, and who owns the yacht, Bob, pictured left.

Any guesses?

Clue: Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said: “I can tell you that yacht ought to be here skimming and cleaning up a lot of the oil.”

Commenting on the owner’s jaunty outing, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, sardonically observed, “he’s got his life back.”

No doubt, its owner is today nursing his disappointment at failing to secure the Roman Golden Bowl trophy, Bob coming in at fourth. That said, there’s nothing like a good boat race to take your mind off things!

Boats round the Needles on the Isle of Wight during the Round the Island Race. No short cuts here, it seems! Photograph: onEdition

FULL STORY

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BP is using federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability and is actually disappearing oiled wildlife.

June 12, 2010 |

Marine Photo Bank / Flickr Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Marine Photo Bank / Flickr Creative Commons

Orange Beach, Alabama — While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP’s spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP — not our president — controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf.

Even worse, as my latest week of adventures illustrate, BP is using federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.

For example, while flying on a small plane from New Orleans to Orange Beach, the pilot suddenly exclaimed, “Look at that!” The thin red line marking the federal flight restrictions of 3,000 feet over the oiled Gulf region had just jumped to include the coastal barrier islands off Alabama.

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“There’s only one reason for that,” the pilot said. “BP doesn’t want the media taking pictures of oil on the beaches. You should see the oil that’s about six miles off the coast,” he said grimly. We looked down at the wavy orange boom surrounding the islands below us. The pilot shook his head. “There’s no way those booms are going to stop what’s offshore from hitting those beaches.”

BP knows this as well — boom can only deflect oil under the calmest of sea conditions, not barricade it — so they have stepped up their already aggressive effort to control what the public sees.

At the same time I was en route to Orange Beach, Clint Guidry with the Louisiana Shrimp Association and Dean Blanchard, who owns the largest shrimp processor in Louisiana, were in Grand Isle taking Anderson Cooper out in a small boat to see the oiled beaches. The U.S. Coast Guard held up the boat for 20 minutes – an intimidation tactic intended to stop the cameras from recording BP’s damage. Luckily for Cooper and the viewing public, Dean Blanchard is not easily intimidated.

2010-06-12-UPLOAD2.jpg

A few days later, the jig was up with the booms. Oil was making landfall in four states and even BP can’t be everywhere at once. CBS 60 Minutes Australia found entire sections of boom hung up in marsh grasses two feet above the water off Venice. On the same day on the other side of Barataria Bay, Louisiana Bayoukeeper documented pools of oil and oiled pelicans inside the boom – on the supposedly protected landward side – of Queen Bess Island off Grand Isle.

With oil undisputedly hitting the beaches and the number of dead wildlife mounting, BP is switching tactics. In Orange Beach, people told me BP wouldn’t let them collect carcasses. Instead, the company was raking up carcasses of oiled seabirds. “The heads separate from the bodies,” one upset resident told me. “There’s no way those birds are going to be autopsied. BP is destroying evidence!”

The body count of affected wildlife is crucial to prove the harm caused by the spill, and also serves as an invaluable tool to evaluate damages to public property – the dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sea birds, fish, and more, that are owned by the American public. Disappeared body counts means disappeared damages – and disappeared liability for BP. BP should not be collecting carcasses. The job should be given to NOAA, a federal agency, and volunteers, as was done during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

MORE HERE

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We must become the owners, or at any rate the controllers at the source, of at least a proportion of the supply (of oil) which we require….and obtain our oil supply, so far as possible, from sources under British control, or British influence.” (Winston S. Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, 1919)

A BP petrol prices sign outside a BP Shop garage in the United Kingdom (prices in UK pence per litre)

From the bedroom window in  my house at the end of a little cul de sac in a large village/small town called Syston on the outskirts of Leicester, England, I can see a row of houses built in neo-Georgian style on the other side of the road, another row of similar styled houses to the right at the end of the cul de sac, a few flags with the cross of St. George, the flag of England (it’s the World Cup), draped from upper story windows, a “Sold” sign, and a “For Sale” sign, and, between the gap in the two rows of houses a disused and dirty BP (or should I say, as President Obama, in this mid-term election year, is wont to do, British Petroleum), sign, lying on its side, its top visible above a garage roof.

Ever since I moved into Syston in the summer of 2001, there have been two petrol-filling stations, one at my end of the village, which was run by Shell when I first moved in, and the other, at the other end, owned by Texaco.  (“Petrol”, btw, is what we Brits call the stuff you Yanks call “gas”, or “gasoline”.) Then Shell sold up and BP took over with their bright, shiny green and yellow logo betokening their much trumpeted commitment to the environment and green issues! (In fact, bp’s environmental record is the worst of all the major oil companies, as this video of an interview of Steve Lendman by James Fetzer shows.) It is the back end of this garage that I can see from my bedroom window.

Of the two petrol-filling stations, Texaco’s was usually the slightly cheaper.

Then the Texaco-filling station was closed down and into their place, yes, you’ve guessed it, came another BP station with the same bright, shiny green and yellow logo betokening their…etc. etc., etc,.

The heart-rending events in the Gulf of Mexico are, naturally, concentrating minds here in the UK, home, as Obama continually likes to remind us, of BP, and my cogitations on the subject revolve around three main issues.

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