The Obama administration, already charged with providing political cover for BP in the Gulf of Mexico mega-oil disaster, is also charged with allowing BP to renege on agreements between the firm, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the state of Indiana to prevent pollution of Lake Michigan from the firm's Whiting, Indiana refinery near Hammond.
In 2007, the EPA, under the Bush administration, said it was powerless to stop BP from dumping more toxic waste into Lake Michigan from its expanded refinery that was processing increased amounts of heavy crude oil from Canada.
However, the EPA did urge BP to mitigate the increased pollution of solid waste and ammonia by taking other proactive steps to limit environmental damage, including financing projects for other plants along the Grand Calumet River and Lake Michigan to reduce their pollution and other clean-up and run-off water-filtering projects.
Environmental groups opposed the EPA permit to expand its Lake Michigan refining operations. BP's position was bolstered by federal and state court decisions that shot down the suits from the environmental groups. BP also took out newspaper advertisements and paid Internet bloggers to defend the refinery's expansion. The payment of money to bloggers by BP is also evident in the number of pro-BP postings on the web concerning the crude oil disaster, including comments on many blogs that call WMR's reports on the Gulf disaster a "conspiracy theory" and "factually incorrect."
The Obama administration, including EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, has permitted BP to violate the promises it made to the state and federal courts that steps would be taken to mitigate the effects of increased Lake Michigan pollution.
Informed sources in Chicago have told WMR that what is occurring in the Gulf of Mexico could very well happen to Lake Michigan when considering that BP not only continues to pollute the lake at higher rates but also has a record of safety and environmental infractions at the expanded Indiana refinery.
By Wayne Madsen for OilPrice.com
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