The quick answer: quite probably. The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post are both reporting that initial investigations on the explosion are focusing on flaws in the “cementing” process on the oil rig, by which gaps in the pipeline are filled with concrete. The Halliburton Corp. was engaged in this task, and completed it shortly before the oil rig exploded, sending 5,000 barrels per day hurtling toward the Louisiana coastline – which, we hasten to remind you, is likely to surpass the Exxon Valdez disaster as the worst environmental catastrophe in American history.
You might be familiar with the Halliburton Corp. Dick Cheney headed the oil-services multinational right up until he became Vice President in 2000. In the Iraq War, Halliburton and its subsidiary, KBR, received massive no-bid contracts to reconstruct much of Iraq (as well as build detention facilities like Camp X-Ray). They received this contract despite having previously opened an office in Tehran, potentially violating Federal “Trading with the Enemy” laws for which they were never prosecuted. Indeed, Halliburton/KBR acquired such extensive contracts in Iraq based upon estimates that their $2.5 billion contract would pay for itself. However the oil fields they worked on are barely usable. In particular, the company went against its own advisers in attempting to construct a pipeline underneath the Tigris River through a fault zone. “”No driller in his right mind would have gone ahead,” said Army geologist Robert Sanders when the military finally sent people to inspect the work. Nonetheless, Halliburton/KBR massively overcharged the federal government for their work.
This is all background, folks, and there’s lots more of it – the stuff that disappears down the memory hole when we pay too much attention to Heidi Montag’s plastic surgery. It all begs the question: is Halliburton the worst company in the world? And further: is Dick Cheney still messing up this country?
Again, the quick answer: probably yes.