Thursday, October 31, 2013

"The Big Fix": documents the BP Deep Horizon oil spill in 2010, and pins the lobbyists

The Big Fix” (2012) starts out with a history of how BP (British Petroluem) came to have such a presence in the Gulf of Mexico.   The filmmaker Joshua Tickell explains how, growing up in a large family in Louisiana (although Australian born), he became a filmmaker (Rebecca Harrell Tickell also co-directs). (Tickell directs “Fuel”, Sept. 19, 2009).
Louisiana, he says, became a target for “internal colonialism” and mercantilism, as the big oil companies controlled the state government. 
The film then covers the huge BP Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.  It sent a plume of oil all the way out beyond Florida into the Atlantic Ocean.  The company claimed to have capped the spill by July, but the film presents plenty of evidence otherwise.  One of the most disturbing revelations is the medical problems of residents in the area, particularly huge skin ulcers, especially on the legs, and rashes, and chemical pneumonia, and probably cancers.
The film does make some comparison to the Exxon Valdez accident near Alaska in 1989, and then returns to the issue of lobbying, which the film says is the largest employer in Washington.   It mentions “Americans for Prosperity” and the Koch brothers. 
Matthew Simmons, author of “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock” appears. So does Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
I did have Exxon in my portfolio for many years (since the 1970s) and it served me well.   Another family member owned a gas well, which paid for her eldercare.
Will we face comparable disasters with the inevitable pipelines from Canada, transporting new shale crude and natural gas? Will we be able to get off fossil fuels eventually?  How does the Pickens Plan, of a conversion to domestic natural gas, fit in?
The official Facebook is here.   The film is distributed by GoDigital and Lionsgate.


I watched the film on Netflix Instant (the DVD is due soon), but it appears to be free on YouTube.  

Picture: Mississippi Gulf Coast after Katrina, my picture, Feb. 2006

Update: June 16, 2016

Media reports that Omar Mateen, implicated in the Orlando Pulse Club attack on 2016/6/16, appears as a security guard at an oil company in this film. 

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