BP Ordered to Pay $50M for Safety Policy Transgressions in 2005 Explosion

August 13, 2010

(ChattahBox) – Adding to the financial commitments by BP, the oil giant has now been ordered to pay an additional $50M in the 2005 explosion at an oil refinery in Texas, which killed 15 people and injured more than 170.

The explosion was found to have been caused by unsafe practices at the refinery, and a lack of procedures meant to protect the workers there…why does that sound familiar?

In 2007, there was a settlement that required BP to upgrade their safety at all sites, but they were fined again for not doing the minimum necessary for meeting the requirements. This fact alone, attorney Brent Coon told RAW, should have been enough to revoke the plea deal and begin criminal proceedings. But it hasn’t.

Instead, BP went on to create one of the biggest disasters in history, killing several other people, potentially destroying several ecosystems, and leaving a deep environmental and economic impact. All due to the same substandard safety policies that created the last several company scandals.

Another lawsuit from this year has also¬† been filed this week. According to the state of Texas, another refinery in the area caught fire during the earlier part of this year due to poor maintenance of a compressor. BP released damaging air pollutants over the course of 40 days after the incident…500,000 pounds of it.

This is all in addition to 439 safety violations found in the 2009 investigation involved in the 2005 Texas refinery settlements, which has had no real impact on the practices of the company. After all $500M is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions already thrown into the cleanup effort of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The settlement may push BP to put more safety into place, but it has never made a difference in the past. When are we going to begin punishing these companies criminally?


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