Muckraker and investigative journalist Greg Palast joined George Knapp for inside details on stories that American media doesn't report, including revelations on Big Oil, and financial "vultures" who use shady practices for mega-profits. He uncovered that two years before the BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, a similar incident happened to BP in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan, indicating that they were well aware of such drilling problems. BP covered up the incident by bribing Azerbaijani officials, and flying them to London for lap dances, he detailed.
Palast referred to a number of former Soviet republics as having become the "Islamic Republics of BP," where oil companies have come in and given ruling families enormous sums. "The oil companies know very well that the money just disappears into these holes, and that's part of the game-- that's how they get cheap oil contracts through winking and nodding at the looting of the oil money," he said, noting that the citizens of these countries don't see any of the money, and remain poor. Interestingly, countries such as Brazil that didn't play along with the oil companies, are doing well economically, he pointed out.
In the Exxon Valdez incident of 1989, BP was actually in charge of emergency equipment and procedures in the event of a ship running aground in the Arctic, but they didn't spend the money following through on it, and then ended up lying about it, Palast charged. What BP learned in Alaska, is that they could get away with lying, and that's what they proceeded to do in the Gulf spill, he continued, adding that BP has only paid out 1/10th of the amount they promised for clean-up and settlements. Generally, oil companies have found that it's easier to cover-up oil spills with cash, and PR campaigns than to actually clean up the spills once they happen, he observed.