Perry’s other comment on the oil spill

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Commentary, Had Enough Yet? at 3:09 pm by wcnews

Beside the “act of God” comment, Texas Gov. Rick Perry also made a comment regarding BP’s safety record that is wrong:

Perry said BP has “historically had a very good safety record from my perspective.” After a reporter pointed out that an explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery killed 15 workers in 2005, Perry acknowledged the company has been under scrutiny for its safety record.

“If you go from that point forward, they realize there is a bull’s eye on their back,” Perry said. “If there is a company that knows the world, the United States and Texas is watching what they are doing, it would be British Petroleum.”

In a letter to Gov. Perry, Alex Winslow of Texas Watch, “..share[s] a sampling of the reams of news reports written in recent years about BP’s long history of safety violations.”

Largest Workplace Safety Fine in History

  • “BP [paid] an $87 million fine in relation to an explosion at the Texas City refinery. … The fine [was] more than four times any previous penalty imposed by OSHA. … OSHA has issued 271 notifications to BP in the four years since the explosion.” (Bloomberg News, October 30, 2009)
  • “BP [paid] a $50 million fine to resolve criminal charges arising from the 2005 explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery.” (Houston Chronicle, March 12, 2009)

A History of Safety Violations

  • “The explosion … at the BP oil refinery in Texas City and another in March 2004 are among a long history of incendiary incidents, some deadly, that have cost the facility’s owners millions of dollars in fines and lawsuits.” (Houston Chronicle, March 24, 2005)
  • “[OSHA’s Houston Director Charles Williams] chided the company for allowing hazardous conditions to develop at its facilities. ‘OSHA will not tolerate this disregard for worker protection,’ he said.” (Houston Chronicle, March 24, 2005)
  • “At least 41 people have died at the plant in Texas City … since the mid-1970s” (AP, February 25, 2008)
  • “The [U.S. Chemical Safety Board]’s final report cited ‘organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of BP’ and said cost-cutting left the plant vulnerable to catastrophe.” (AP, February 25, 2008)

Ongoing Defiance of Safety Standards

  • “As we’ve seen from my department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recent enforcement actions, BP still has a long way to go to ensure the safety of its employees and those of the contractors who work in its refineries.” (OSHA Press Release, March 23, 2010)
  • “Nearly three years after a massive explosion killed 15 people at BP’s Texas City refinery, the oil giant continues to have more fatal accidents at U.S. refineries than any other major energy company.” (AP, February 25, 2008)
  • “Two BP refineries … account for 20 of the 29 deaths at U.S. refineries from 2005 to 2008.” (Houston Chronicle, March 10, 2008)
  • “BP’s five U.S. refineries, deemed employers with repeated and persistent violations of federal safety rules, remain under OSHA’s stepped-up ‘Enhanced Enforcement Program.’ … for companies found to have willful violations of workplace safety laws.” (Houston Chronicle, March 10, 2008)
  • “The oil conglomerate is also facing serious charges from OSHA that is ‘willfully’ failed to implement safety measures at its Texas City refinery following an explosion that killed 15 employees and injured 170 others five years ago.” (Truthout.org, May 4, 2010)

Winslow ends with this:

We encourage you to join others who feel strongly that BP and others who caused this man-made tragedy to be held fully accountable for their negligence. As Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) said this week regarding responsibility for the oil spill: “If you’ve suffered a damage, they [BP] are the responsible party.”

It’s a miracle, I agree with Jeff Sessions!

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