BP at a glance

BP has been directly involved in several major environmental and safety incidents. Among them were the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion, which caused the death of 15 workers and resulted in a record-setting OSHA fine; Britain’s largest oil spill, the wreck of Torrey Canyon; and the 2006 Prudhoe Bay oil spill, the largest oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope, which resulted in a US$25 million civil penalty, the largest per-barrel penalty at that time for an oil spill.[13]

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest accidental release of oil into marine waters in history, resulted in severe environmental, health and economic consequences,[14] and serious legal and public relations repercussions for BP. 1.8 million gallons of Corexit oil dispersant were used in the cleanup response, becoming the largest application of such chemicals in US history.[15] The company pleaded guilty to 11 counts of felony manslaughter, two misdemeanours, and one felony count of lying to Congress, and agreed to pay more than $4.5 billion in fines and penalties, the largest criminal resolution in US history.[16][17][18]


8 comments on “BP at a glance

  1. Dena says:

    BP seems to be doing a big ad campaign here in Whatcom County, maybe all of Washington State. There was a full page ad this this week’s Northern Light (Blaine/Birch Bay weekly) and online ads targeted at Washington residents are showing up when I visit articles on an assortment of different publications. I submitted a few LTEs this week with this character-limited message for a broad audience. We’ll see if shows up in print anywhere over the next week. This is the longest version – The Northern Light accepts 350 words:

    In last week’s Northern Light, BP Cherry Point took out a full page ad presenting, foremost, their monetary investment in their refinery and how their plant can be made to look beautiful. In fine print the ad said BP has modernized their fossil fuel refinery to improve environmental standards, safety, and efficiency. To me, it seems BP feels money and pretty lights at sunset are the main thing that people care about.
    What the ad didn’t say is that BP has been putting pressure on our Whatcom County government to let go of proposed county planning and policy that would be in line with those same goals of improving environmental standards, safety, and efficiency. As recently as 12/8/2016, according to minutes of the Whatcom County Planning Commission meeting, BP’s Associate Director NW Government and Public Affairs Pam Brady asked the council to reconsider a planning policy requiring a study of legal ways the county can work to limit unrefined fossil fuel exports above levels existing last summer, advocating for alternative policy that would not include the study.
    According to the company’s Renewable Energy webpage, “BP currently has the largest operated renewables business among our oil and gas peers.” Aren’t people in our county who live and work with Cherry Point Industries supporting of this truly modern direction in energy for our industries at Cherry Point, not further expansion of exporting resource-depleting fossil fuels? This is one of the things the County’s planning study can help us achieve. Please contact the County Council, council@co.whatcom.wa.us, and support their proposed study. And since BP is going straight to the public, we should contact them directly too, to ask for a speedy transition to renewable energy operations and more safety for their workers, the surrounding aquatic reserve, and us, their good neighbors who see energy industry names in signage tethered to our State Park and soccer park where our youth play. Phone: 360.371.1519 Email: Pamela.Brady@bp.com

  2. Dena says:

    Link to the Good Jobs First, Violation Tracker report on BP. http://violationtracker.goodjobsfirst.org/parent/bp . You will note that under the Individual Penalty Records section, that BP Cherry Point workers, for all of their diligence, have not been able to keep their location violation-free, as BP Cherry Point received an environmental violation from the EPA in 2014 and a fine of $74,500.00

    Phillips66, ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery also received a $23,000.00 fine for environmental violation in 2014 according to the Good Jobs First, Violation Tracker report on Phillips 66, listed under Individual Penalty Records, http://violationtracker.goodjobsfirst.org/prog.php?parent=phillips-66

    This link, http://ehstoday.com/osha/bp-cherry-point-refinery-cited-willful-workplace-safety-violations , provides detail about citations for violating workplace safety and health rules resulting in penalties amounting to $81,500.00 that BP received in 2012 from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

    “L&I cited the company for a willful violation for not ensuring that inspection and testing procedures for process piping followed recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices for all deadleg piping circuits. The proposed penalty for the willful violation is $65,000.
    “A willful violation is the most significant civil classification that can be issued. It is used when L&I alleges that the violation was committed with intentional disregard or plain indifference or substitution of judgment with respect to worker safety and health regulations.”

    Phillips 66 has received health and safety penalties as well, as reported on the Washington Workers Advisor website in February of this year, https://workersadvisor.com/tag/violations/ .

    “Two of the violations, each with a penalty of $108,000, involve the refinery’s firefighting and fire suppression systems. Phillips did not inspect or follow recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices in respect to the firefighting water tank or the buried firefighting water distribution piping. Inspection and maintenance of these systems is required by state regulation and the National Fire Protection Association. The company also failed to address the potential loss of firefighting water, which puts employees and emergency responders at risk of serious injuries, disability or death if the system were to fail during a fire or explosion.”

    And lastly, before I include my comment from the 9/27/2016 Whatcom County Council meeting in which I mention them, I will provide links to information regarding the two fires that have occurred at the BP Cherry Point refinery in the last 4 years.

    2016 fire, ADVFN financial market website

    2012 explosion, Crosscut

    2012 explosion, EPA

    2012 fire, USA Today

  3. Dena says:

    I took the material in the above comment from a letter to Whatcom County Council on October 24, 2016. That’s why you see the reference to a 9/27/2016 comment by me that is not included in the post of the information I made here.

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