[Local_activists] Public Citizen: Cost of Doing Business: BP’s $730 million in fines/settlements + 2 criminal convictions

Raging Grannie (Wanda B) wsb70 at comcast.net
Sat May 8 14:46:43 PDT 2010

Have to ask - do the fines fit the crimes?  Are 
they any more than slaps on the wrist, especially 
given the accumulation of violations?  Then ask 
shouldn't "three strikes and you're out" apply 
here?   What are the other oil companies getting 
away with?  Be sure to watch video at the end.


Cost of Doing Business: BP’s $730 million in 
fines/settlements + 2 criminal convictions
by Tyson Slocum

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 judgements 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 OSSHA history 
million and 
million – foor willful negligence that led to the 
deaths of 15 workers and injured 170 others in a 
March 2005 refinery explosion in Texas.
o 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 
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 
fine against BP for $63,000 for violations at the 
same facility. In December 2009, a Texas jury 
returned a 
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, 
paid $3 million fine to OSHA for 42 willful 
safety violations at one of its refineries in 
Ohio. This follows a 
million fine BP paid for safety & health 
violations at this refinery in April 2006.

In September 2001, 
fined BP $141,000 after an explosion killed 3 
workers at BPs Clanton Road facility.

In October 2007, the Minerals Management Service 
BP $41,000 for various safety violations.

In October 2006, the Minerals Management Service 
BP $25,000 because "operations were not performed 
in a safe and workmanlike manner. While making an 
assessment of the unsafe conditions on the 
platform that needed repairing, the construction 
crew did not barricade a 3'4" x 3'4" opening in 
the stairway landing. Later, one of the crew 
members was injured when he fell through the open 
hole approximately 20’ and into the Gulf of Mexico."

Inn July 2004, 
paid a $190,000 penalty to MMS for safety violations that resulted in a fire.

In February 2004, MMS fined 
$25,000 because "The Rig's Gas Detection System 
was bypassed with ongoing drilling operations being conducted."

In November 2003, 
fined BP $25,000 for violations that resulted in 
an oil rig crane falling into the Gulf of Mexico.

In July 2003, MMS fined BP $20,000 because 
subsurface safety valve was "blocked out of service."

In January 2003, 
was fined $70,000 by MMS for a faulty fire water 
system. Also that month, BP was fined $80,000 by 
MMS for  bypassing 
for the Pressure Safety High/Low for four producing wells."

In January 2002, 
fined BP $20,000 for a safety violation.

In May 2002, 
fined BP $23,000 for a workplace safety violation 
that resulted in a worker having his hand injured from an electrical shock.

In September 2002, 
fined BP $39,000 for missing 13 monthly tests of an "oil low level sensor."

In February 2001, 
fined BP $20,000 for workplace violations 
resulting in serious injury to an employee.

penalties/settlements, plus a guilty plea to an 
environmental felony and one criminal misdemeanor.

• In October 2007, BP agreed to pay a 
million fine and plead guilty to a felony 
violation of the Clean Air Act and will serve 
three years of probation for the Texas City 
refinery explosion. Additionally, the EPA 
required BP to 
$785,662 to resolve Emergency Planning and 
Community Right-to-Know Act violations at its 
Texas City refinery in March 2009. In 2006, the 
Commission on Environmental Quality fined BP 
$130,625 for unlawful releases of harmful 
pollutants at its Texas City refinery.

• In October 2007, 
plead guilty to one misdemeanor of the Clean 
Water Act, agreed to serve three years probation, 
pay $4 million to the National Fish and Wildlife 
Foundation to support research and activities on 
the North Slope, pay $4 million in restitution to 
the State of Alaska and a $12 million fine for 
spilling 200,000 gallons of crude oil onto the 
Alaskan tundra in March 2006. Investigators 
determined the leak was caused by a build up of 
sediment in the pipe, and that BP failed to 
properly inspect or clean the pipeline, which is 
required by law to prevent pipeline corrosion. 
The investigation revealed that in 2004, the 
company became aware of increased corrosion in 
the pipeline. In March 2009, the Department of 
Justice filed a civil lawsuit against BP for 
comply in a timely manner with a Corrective 
Action Order" involving this oil spill.

In May 2002, the Alaska Department of 
Environmental Conservation required 
to pay a $150,000 fine for pipeline leaks.

• In February 2009, 
paid a $12 million civil penalty for 
“noncompliance with a 2001 consent decree and 
Clean Air Act regulations requiring strict 
controls on benzene . . . generated during 
petroleum refining” at BPs Texas City refinery.

In March 2005, the 
Coast Air Quality Management District forced BP 
to pay a $25 million penalty and $6 million in 
past emissions fees for air quality rule violations at BPs Carson refinery.

• In October 2006, BP paid a civil penalty of 
$900,000 for producing and distributing gasoline 
that failed to meet Clean Air Act standards.

• In October 2007, 
paid a $6,350 fine for failing to perform 
adequate corrosion protection inspections at 
three underground gasoline storage tanks. In June 
2007, the 
Department of Environmental Quality fined BP 
$869,150 for leaking underground gasoline storage tanks.

• In May 2005, 
paid a $58,687 fine to settle allegations it 
violated the Clean Air Act at its Whiting, 
November 2007, the EPA cited BP for numerous 
Clean Air Act violations at its Whiting 
facility,  and 
this notice of violation in October 2008.  In 
June 2009, the EPA 
additional allegations of Clean Air Act violations at the same refinery.

• In Juune 2005, 
paid a civil penalty of $115,138 for violations 
of the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act 
and Oil Pollution Act on the Lander and Winkleman 
Dome Oil Fields in Fremont County, Wyoming within 
the boundaries of the Wind River Indian 
Reservation of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes.

• In August 2005, 
paid a civil penalty of $28,360 for violating 
EPA's gasoline detergent additive regulations.

• In February 2000, 
paid $22 million to settle criminal and civil 
charges arising from illegally discharged waste 
oil and hazardous substances at the company’s 
North Slope drilling operations. BP was also 
placed on 5-year probation and was required “to 
establish a nationwide environmental management 
system designed to prevent future 
violations.”but even the citizenry do not watch 
to see if the company is adhering to its' 'probation'---sigh...

• In February 1995, 
paid $3.9 million to settle charges related to a 
tanker accident that spilled 400,000 gallons of 
oil into California's coastal waters.

• In March 1999, 
paid $1.75 million to settle allegations it 
violated the Clean Air Act at its Toledo, Ohio refinery.

• In January 2001, 
paid $10 million to resolve allegations it 
violated the Clean Air Act at 8 of its refineries.

BP was one of several oil companies found to have 
contaminated drinking water with MTBE. 
companies collectively were required to pay 
$423,963,564.67 in March 2008. It is unknown what 
share of this settlement BP was required to pay.

PRICE-GOUGING CONSUMERS/TAXPAYERS: $363 million in penalties/settlements
• In October 2007, 
paid $303 million to settle allegations it 
manipulated the US propane market. The feds might 
still be investigating BPs broader role in 
manipulating crude oil markets: in a filing with 
and Exchange Commission on August 9, 2007, BP 
revealed that “The US Commodity Futures Trading 
Commission and the US Department of Justice are 
currently investigating various aspects of BP’s 
commodity trading activities, including crude oil 
trading and storage activities, in the US since 1999.”

• In 
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fined BP 
a total of $21 million for manipulating the 
California electricity market, Enron-style.

In October 2007, FERC ordered BP to pay 
$7 million civil penalty for engaging in 
anti-competitative practices with its operation of natural gas pipelines.

In April 2000, the Department of Justice forced 
BP to pay 
million "to resolve claims under the False Claims 
Act and administrative claims that the 
corporation underpaid royalties due for oil 
produced on federal and Indian leases since 1988."

legally escaped paying $172,508,633 in royalties to
 US taxpayers on leases it operates in the Gulf of Mexico.

• In July 1997,, 
oil traders were found to have colluded with two 
other firms to fix the price of commissions.

Tyson Slocum is Director of Public Citizen's Energy Program

The problem of oil much bigger than carbon
The addictions are both to oil AND money, and 
they are based in our form of economy.  People 
are forced into the addiction by the system. Some 
have found ways to extricate themselves. The 
majority have not.  Knowledge of the facts should 
strongly motivate us to reduce energy use to a 
minimum and to find alternative economic modes as 
well, as with Transition Town plans.

“If we do not do the impossible, we shall be 
faced with the unthinkable.”  social philosopher Murray Bookchin

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