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Texas City 7 articles

Judge calls BP counsel “sloppy” in Texas City pollution trial

A Texas judge presiding over litigation involving BP’s alleged release of half a million tons of carcinogenic gases in Texas City, Texas, sharply rebuked the oil giant’s lawyer, calling him “sloppy” for improperly using and mischaracterizing evidence during trial. Galveston County District Judge Lonnie Cox heard a midtrial motion made by a plaintiffs’ attorney seeking to remove attorney Damond Mace as BP’s counsel. Despite the judge’s own objections to Mr. Mace’s court performance, however, he denied the motion. “I’m just going to tell you this, damn it. This is getting kind of sloppy here,” Judge Cox said after temporarily excusing ... Read More

BP readying itself for unprecedented government fines for oil spill

On August 12, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced BP finally agreed to pay a record $50.6-million fine for safety violations that led to the 2005 explosion at its Texas City, Texas, refinery that killed 15 workers and injured 170 others. Now, in the wake of its oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, BP faces federal fines that will make the Texas City penalties look like pocket change. According to U.S. law, oil companies must pay penalties of up to $1,100 per barrel of oil accidentally spilled. However, if the oil spill was caused by a company’s gross ... Read More

BP agrees to pay record OSHA fines for Texas City refinery explosions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced that BP Products North America Inc. will pay a  record $50.6 million penalty for violations that caused the 2005 explosion at its Texas City, Texas, refinery. The blast killed 15 workers and injured 170 others. The agreement resolves failure-to-abate citations OSHA levied for problems found in a follow-up investigation last year. In addition to paying the record fine, BP has agreed to take immediate steps to protect workers currently employed at the Texas City refinery, allocating a minimum of $500 million to that effort. “This agreement achieves our goal of protecting workers at ... Read More

New law would ban BP from new offshore drilling in U.S.

In a 27-21 vote, the House Natural Resources Committee has approved new legislation that would effectively ban BP from future offshore drilling leases in the United States and its territories. The bill, which also strengthens offshore drilling safety standards, now makes its way to the full House for a vote. “While the incident in the Gulf does not signal the end of drilling off America’s coasts, it certainly is a game changer and is proof positive that broad reforms are needed,” Representative Nick Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat and the panel’s chairman, said in a statement. Oil companies with a ... Read More

BP received back-to-back record OSHA fines before Gulf oil spill

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit BP Products North America Inc. with nearly $90 million in penalties less than nine months ago for the company’s failure to correct an array of safety violations that threatened the lives and health of its workers. The fine, which OSHA announced on October 30 of last year, was the largest in the agency’s history. According to OSHA’s website, prior to the $87,430,000 fine, the largest penalty issued by the agency was $21 million. That fine, issued in 2005, was also levied against BP. OSHA issued the fine for safety violations found at BP’s ... Read More

After 8 industrial worker deaths in 4 months, OSHA vows to do more

Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a warning to the petrochemical and energy industries today, prompted by the deaths of 58 workers in just the last four months. Eleven of those deaths occurred when the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. Fifteen days prior to the BP oil rig disaster, 29 miners were killed in a West Virginia coal mine explosion. That mine is owned by Massey Energy, another company with a long and troubled history of federal safety violations. In testimony before a congressional panel on workplace ... Read More

BP used Three Little Pigs story to explain employee housing options

The Daily Beast has located some internal BP documents that throws much light on the disaster that took place aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and a mile below it. The documents, which surfaced after a March 2005 explosion at a Texas oil refinery killed 15 workers and injured 170 plant employees and residents of nearby neighborhoods, concern a cost-savings analysis of employee housing. What’s particularly telling about these memos and the corporate culture of BP, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, is that they illustrate the value of employee lives with the story of the Three Little Pigs. ... Read More