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For Immediate Release: March 5th, 2012

Democracy Now! on BP settlement negotiations.

Democracy Now! Video Clip (click here to view video on Democracy Now! site)

Investigative journalists Greg Palast and Antonia Juhasz examine who wins and who loses in BP’s settlement. "[BP is] basically being told, if you’re like a bank robber, you put the money back in the vault, and everything’s forgiven," says Palast, who also investigated the Exxon Valdez settlement. Meanwhile, state and federal governments are still pursuing separate civil claims against BP for environmental damage. "That’s when we’re going to hopefully uncover those 72 million pages of investigation that will include wrongdoing not just by BP, not just by Transocean, not just by Halliburton, but every major oil company involved the offshore—and, very likely, at least based on my research, wrongdoing by the Obama administration," says Juhasz. "It’s the desire to keep that out of the public that has pushed this settlement process forward." We also speak with Florida State University oceanography professor Ian MacDonald about what it means to restore the Gulf of Mexico. In the wake of the oil spill, BP pledged up to $500 million over a decade to conduct independent scientific research on the environmental effects. But MacDonald notes, “When oil was gushing, there were literally hundreds of ships […] in place studying this disaster and trying to respond. Now, as we try to learn what happened and prepare ourselves for the next catastrophe, we have nothing like those kinds of resources present." [includes rush transcript]

Guests:

Antonia Juhasz, reporting on the BP Gulf oil spill trial for The Nation magazine on a grant from the Nation Investigative Fund. She’s an oil and energy analyst and author of the book Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Greg Palast, an investigative reporter with the BBC. His latest piece at Truthout.org is "BP Settlement Sells Out Victims: Deal Buries Evidence of Oil Company Willful Negligence." Following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Palast, with cameraman Rick Rowley, investigated the BP oil company over four continents for British TV. His new book about this investigation is called Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores.

Ian Macdonald, professor of oceanography at Florida State University.