5 May, 2010 — MRZine-Monthly Review – Citizen Energy
BP is a London-based oil company with the worst safety and environmental record of any oil company operating in America. In just the last few years, BP has pled guilty to two crimes and paid over $730 million in fines and settlements to the US government, state governments, and civil lawsuit judgments for environmental crimes, willful neglect of worker safety rules, and penalties for manipulating energy markets.
Worker Safety: $215 Million in Penalties/Settlements
BP paid the two largest fines in OSHA history — $87.43 million and $21.36 million — for willful negligence that led to the deaths of 15 workers and injured 170 others in a March 2005 refinery explosion in Texas. In September 2005, OSHA cited BP for 296 “Egregious Willful Violations” and other violations associated with the explosion, fining BP $21.36 million and entering into a settlement agreement under which BP agreed to corrective actions to eliminate hazards similar to those that caused the explosion. In October 2009, OSHA determined that BP was in non-compliance with the settlement agreement, finding 270 “notifications of failure to abate” and 439 new willful violations, resulting in the $87.43 million fine.
The U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board concluded in 2007 that “The Texas City disaster was caused by organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation. Warning signs of a possible disaster were present for several years, but company officials did not intervene effectively to prevent it.” This followed an August 2004 OSHA fine against BP for $63,000 for violations at the same facility. In December 2009, a Texas jury returned a $100 million award against BP on behalf of workers injured in 2007 at the Texas city refinery while making repairs after the 2005 blast.
Just last month, BP paid $3 million fine to OSHA for 42 willful safety violations at one of its refineries in Ohio. This follows a $2.4 million fine BP paid for safety & health violations at this refinery in April 2006.
In September 2001, OSHA fined BP $141,000 after an explosion killed 3 workers at BPs Clanton Road facility.
In October 2007, the Minerals Management Service fined BP $41,000 for various safety violations.