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Public Citizen Solicitation Letter

Public Citizen Solicitation Letter

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Published by Carter Wood
Public Citizen solicitation letter pegged to criminal prosecution of BP executives over Deepwater Horizon spill. Agenda closely aligned with trial lawyers.
Public Citizen solicitation letter pegged to criminal prosecution of BP executives over Deepwater Horizon spill. Agenda closely aligned with trial lawyers.

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Published by: Carter Wood on Oct 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Dear Friend, When was the last time an executive of a major oil company went to prison for an environmental crime? Try-never. Hasn't happened. That's one of the reasons why eleven workers are dead. Why the birds in the Gulf of Mexico are now covered with oil. Why the fisheries of the Gulf are shutting down. Why-.oil -is-heading- toward the beaches of East Coast. Why -e-conemies and livelihoods are being destroyed. Now we must insist that the federal authorities do their jobs. We must demand that BP and its executives be held accountable for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. And we must insist on the only good thing that might come out of the tragedy-a wholesale refashioning of our energy policy, to end our fossil fuel addiction and move us to a clean energy future. How?

First. the enclosed petition demanding that Congress rein in Big Oil and set America on course for a new energy policy built on efficiency, conservation and new technologies. Second. join Public Citizen with a contribution of $20. $35, $50 or more today. We urgently need your support to help with our campaign to hold BP accountable and to craft a new energy policy for America.
- -- wonder if it's --possible-t&bn:lak-tbe -and-BigOil have on our government and to bring accountability and reform to the energy industry. The fact is time and time again, Public Citizen has prevailed in "David versus Goliath" battles against the world's wealthiest and most powerful corporations. Since our founding in 1971 , and right up to the present, we have a history of big wins against corporate America. Wins for workers' rights to be safe on the job. For new consumer protections against Wall Street predators. For passage of the Superfund law requiring cleanup of toxic waste sites without limits on corporate liability. For drug safety-we've petitioned the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to ban 33 prescription drugs; 2] of them are now off the market.
(Over, please)

1600 20th Street, N.W • Washington, D.C. 20009 • www.citizen.org


Against corporate welfare. For victims' rights to sue corporations selling dangerous products. For auto safety inlprovements, including a 20-year battle for air bags in cars. For the most significant limits ever on corrupting lobbyist activity (we still have a ways to go!). For the ban on dozens of carcinogens and allergens. For the Clean Air Act. For wind energy. For new aviation security in the wake of the Septelnber 11th terrorist attacks. For campaign finance reform. And for your Internet rights. And because Public Citizen does not accept money from government or corporate sources, we are free to name names and expose the trail of corruption, no matter where it leads. Only support from concerned citizens like you makes that kind of hard-hitting success possible. And, I hope you will join with us today. But, about the BP spill, Rand Paul said-accidents happen. But this was no mere accident. BP cut comers in the Gulf. And BP has a long history of cutting comers in its operations worldwide. BP is a reckless criminal recidivist corporation. With a long rap sheet. In the Gulf of Mexico, BP made a series of decisions that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. It cut comers on well design. It ignored contractor warnings about problems with the well's cement job. It decided to forego safety tests that would have revealed inlpending disaster. BP knew that the blowout preventer had failed tests and become conlpromised, but proceeded ahead with a risky well plug strategy to save time and money. Had BP chosen in any of these and other instances to prioritize safety over profits, it likely would have averted the worst environmental disaster in u.s. history. The Deepwater Horizon disaster fits a pattern. BP has one of the worst environnlental and safety records of any oil company operating in the United States. Over the last half decade, the company was responsible for a Texas refinery explosion that killed 15 workers, a massive 200,000 gallon oil spill in Alaska, and illegal manipulation of the propane market (for which it paid a $300 million-plus fine).

Public Citizen is determined that BP's reckless run finally comes to an end.
We spearheaded a boycott campaign that attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters, and is sending a direct message of outrage to BP. We are demanding criminal prosecution ofthe conlpany for the GulfofMexico disaster. We are driving a campaign for hard-hitting sanctions against BP-billions of
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-3­ dollars in fines, loss of valuable government contracts, suspending the con1pany's right to government-granted oil leases. And we are calling for prosecution, conviction and jail time for responsible executives. There can be no more business as usual for BP, ever again. Of course, the same goes for the rest of Big Oil. That's why we're pushing for far­ reaching reforms to avoid another Deepwater Horizon­

You Spill, You Pay. Current law caps oil company liability for a spill at a paltry
$75 million. This liability cap must be removed altogether.

• New Cops on the Beat. The Minerals Management Service-the agency
with-responsibility for regulating oil drilling"-=-is literally in bed with the oil industry. Government investigators found that MMS regulators were partying and sleeping with oil company representatives. We must have an entirely new regulator, and local communities must have a role in ensuring the safety of oil drilling operations.

Ban New Drilling. We must reimpose and make permanent a ban on new
offshore drilling.

Criminal Prosecution. Swerve your car on the road while texting and accidentally
take a pedestrian's life, and the local prosecutor will charge you with manslaughter. BP's recklessness killed 11 people and is despoiling the Gulf. We must pass a Public Endangerment Act, making it a crime for a corporation to recklessly expose its employees or consumers to life-threatening hazards.

Environmental Receivership. When a giant corporation faces billions of dollars
in environmental liabilities, the government must be able to exercise enough control over the company to make sure it doesn't strip assets and avoid paying for

the damage it has inflicted.
Of course, the best way to keep the oil from spilling is to stop drilling. Keep the oil in the ground. That's yet another reason why we must transition-quickly-to a clean energy economy. One based on solar, wind and efficiency. As someone said, when air spills on a wind farm, no damage is done. We know this won't be easy. Big Oil and the dirty energy industries exert enormous influence on Capitol Hill. If you need a reminder, look at BP's political response to the catastrophe: Spend $50 million on a PR campaign. Hire dozens more high-powered lobbyists. Or look at the lead-up to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe itself. BP and Big Oil controlled the regulator. BP and Big Oil leveraged their power to weaken safety
(Over, please)

-4­ rules. BP and Big Oil's power is so great that President Obanla alillounced his support for expanded offshore drilling just weeks before the Deepwater Horizon blowout. But, Big Oil's power notwithstanding, we now have a unique opportunity. There is fury across the country at BP. There is an insistent clamor that BP and its executives beheld accountable. And there is widespread recognition that our energy policy must change fundamentally. We have been astonished by the response to our boycott call (more than 20,000 petition signers at our BeyondBP.org site, more than 800,000 pledging to boycott on Facebook). We have been besieged by media requests to talk about BP, receiving coverage in everything from the New York Times to CNN, the Washington Post to NPR, and on more radio programs than we can count. The quick and massive response to our boycott call confirmed that people want to take action to make a difference. They want to make change. We need your help to take advantage of this moment. The only good that can come from the Gulf tragedy is it forces us to end our oil addiction and transform our energy policy. Please give now-whatever you can-to Public Citizen, to support our campaign to bring BP and responsible executives to justice, and reorient our energy policy.

Because Public Citizen does not accept contributions or grants from government or corporations, we are free to challenge corporate abuse of the system and demand accountability from our elected leaders. And that's exactly what we have done for almost 40 years.
Together, we can make this happen: BP will be held accountable. We will end the governmental coddling of Big Oil. And we will redirect energy policy to make peace with the planet.

. President



There has been enormous damage done to the Gulf, some probably irreversible in our lifetime. We must make sure that this does not happen again. So, please help us in this historic battle to bring BP to justice. To tighten controls on Big Oil and to fundamentally reorient our national energy policy. Your donation will us stand to BP and Oil. Thanks again.

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