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Tag Archive for spill

Duke Energy and the Dan River: the dangers of corporate money in politics

Catawba Riverkeeper, Sam Perkins, compares coal ash which forms a six-inch thick layer on the Dan River bed (left) to the river’s natural sediment (right)

Catawba Riverkeeper, Sam Perkins, compares coal ash which forms a six-inch thick layer on the Dan River bed (left) to the river’s natural sediment (right). Source – wnca.org

Last week, a new guide from the US SIF Foundation, Confronting Corporate Money in Politics was published, arguing that greater transparency is needed over the inordinate lobbying power corporations have in the US. Taking the perspective of the sustainable and responsible investment community, the report claims that investor confidence is hit when companies affect the political process to favour their own interests over that of the US population at large. Pension funds, with a wide and politically-engaged member base, are particularly sensitive.

South America’s Resource Curse – ConocoPhillips and Ivanhoe Energy sidestep indigenous rights

Two flashpoints have flared this week over the issue of indigenous peoples’ rights in South America, both championed by the excellent NGO Amazon Watch.

In Ecuador, already plagued by the disastrous pollution of its Amazon Basin by Chevron, Canadian oil firm Ivanhoe Energy is preparing to drill into a 426 square-mile stretch of land, much of which is legally-titled to the Rukullakta people.

SNC-Lavalin, Shell, DynCorp, U.S. Chamber Watch, ‘Indigenous Flashpoints’

One day, someone will write a case study of Canadian construction giant SNC-Lavalin‘s time in Libya and hand it to businesses thinking of expanding into corrupt, undemocratic parts of the world. The cover will boast a gaggle of newly-orphaned children wagging their fingers disapprovingly at the reader. And you know those bleary-eyed brats will be onto something.

SNC-Lavalin: The Canadian engineering firm boasted a close working relationship with Col. Gaddafi's son

BP, Greece privatisation, Enbridge Inc., SABMiller, Occupy London

Credit: US Chemical Safety Board

A former BP engineer has been charged by the FBI with obstruction of justice after deleting around 200 text messages from his iPhone pertaining to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Kurt Mix, a drilling and completions project engineer working at BP to stem the leak, allegedly deleted the messages with a supervisor, according to a complaint unsealed yesterday in an Eastern District of Louisiana court.

Shell Nigeria oil spill estimates balloon as profits rocket

Royal Dutch Shell’s 2008 oil spill in the Niger Delta resulted in 1,640 barrels of oil spilt into the environmentally sensitive region. At least, that was the company’s story at the time.

New documents obtained by Amnesty International cast doubt on this. They claim that a total of between 103,000 and 311,000 barrels of oil flooded into the Bodo creeks over the period of a week – at least 60 times greater than Shell’s official estimate.

Posco; Formula 1 in Bahrain; Johnson & Johnson; Transocean; US Federal Income Tax; UK lobbying

Following the Indian government’s approval of POSCO’s steel plant in Orissa almost exactly one year ago, human rights experts are visiting the site to evaluate reported human rights abuses.

POSCO

Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO): Asia's most profitable steel-maker

A team from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) are meeting with local villagers complaining that relocation mechanisms have failed, and that South Korea-based POSCO hired a construction company to buy land from the villagers at a tenth of its actual value.

Activist Aminul Islam; Siemens AG; Balfour Beatty; Gulf of Mexico drilling; Apparel industry pollution in China

A labour rights activist in Bangladesh was found tortured and killed last week outside Dhaka.

Aminul Islam was killed in what appears to be retaliation against his vocal championing for increased health and safety, fewer working hours and increased pay for apparel workers who sew garments for major international retailers and brands. Bangladesh is currently the cheapest place in the world for garment manufacturers to produce clothing.

A4e, lobbying, Chevron and Transocean, Gitto Costruzioni, Doe Run, ‘No Fault Corporate Crime’

Stupidity, acute amnesia, or good ol’ fashioned corruption. These are the only three possible explanations behind the Coalition government’s decision to make fraud-riddled A4e the preferred bidder for a new lucrative contract.

A4e - Under investigation for fraud under both Labour and Coalition governments

Despite government-led and police investigations into allegations of systemic fraud at the employment agency handling the UK’s work-to-welfare program, the Home Office has picked A4e to take over the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) helpline, advising people on their rights in discrimination cases.

Rosoboronexport, Petrobras, Foxconn and Apple, G.E., News Corp, Range Resources

A brilliant piece in You’ve Been Sanctioned describes the ties between the US-military apparatus and a controversial Russian arms dealer to both Syria and Iran.

Rosoboronexport: Its management includes many ex-KGB officials

Rosoboronexport, which accounts for 80-90% of Russia’s total arms sales, was criticised in January this year for selling arms to Syria’s Assad regime after an outbreak of civil war and documented human rights abuses by the Syrian government. It was also sanctioned in 2008 for providing illicit assistance to Iran’s nuclear program.

Coal India, Big Pharma, SNC-Lavalin, Goldman Sachs, Chevron and Transocean

Following from a story early this week, it turns out that The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), the largest minority shareholder in Indian state-owned Coal India, has commenced legal action against the government for poor corporate governance regulations.

The Coal India corruption scandal has proved a useful gauge for the state of corporate governance in corporate India as a whole.