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Republican Administration Ignored Warnings About BP

Von: Harry Hope (rivrvu@ix.netcom.com) [Profil]
Datum: 08.06.2010 17:34
Message-ID: <6sns06dg2pp43uvsb65m6v59tijaotu1dl@4ax.com>
Newsgroup: alt.rush-limbaugh alt.politics.usa alt.politics alt.fan.rush-limbaugh alt.politics.liberalismtalk.politics.misc
From The Washington Post, 6/8/10:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/07/AR2010060704826.html?hpid=
topnews

Reports at BP over years find history of problems

By Abrahm Lustgarten and Ryan Knutson

A series of internal investigations over the past decade warned senior
BP managers that the oil company repeatedly disregarded safety and
environmental rules and risked a serious accident if it did not change
its ways.

The confidential inquiries, which have not previously been made
public, focused on a rash of problems at BP's Alaska oil-drilling
operations.

They described instances in which management flouted safety by
neglecting aging equipment, pressured employees not to report problems
and cut short or delayed inspections to reduce production costs.

Similar themes about BP operations elsewhere were sounded in
interviews with former employees, in lawsuits and little-noticed state
inquiries, and in e-mails obtained by ProPublica.

Taken together, these documents portray a company that systemically
ignored its own safety policies across its North American operations
-- from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico to California and Texas.

Executives were not held accountable for the failures, and some were
promoted despite them.

Tony Hayward has committed himself to reform since becoming BP's chief
executive in 2007.

Under him, the company has worked to implement an operating safety
system to create "responsible operations at every BP operation," said
Toby Odone, a company spokesman.

BP has used the system at 80 percent of its operations and expects to
bring it to the rest by the end of the year, he said.

Odone said the notion that BP has ongoing problems addressing worker
concerns is "essentially groundless."

Because of its string of accidents before the April 20 blowout in the
Gulf of Mexico, BP faced a possible ban on its federal contracting and
on new U.S. drilling leases, several senior former Environmental
Protection Agency department officials told ProPublica.

That inquiry has taken on new significance in light of the oil spill
in the gulf.

One key question the EPA will consider is whether the company's
leadership can be trusted and whether BP's culture can change.

The reports detailing the firm's Alaska investigations -- conducted by
outside lawyers and an internal BP committee in 2001, 2004 and 2007 --
were provided to ProPublica by a person close to the company who
thinks it has not done enough to fix its shortcomings.

A 2001 report noted that BP had neglected key equipment needed for an
emergency shutdown, including safety shutoff valves and gas and fire
detectors similar to those that could have helped prevent the fire and
explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the gulf.

A 2004 inquiry found a pattern of the company intimidating workers who
raised safety or environmental concerns.

It said managers shaved maintenance costs by using aging equipment for
as long as possible.

Accidents resulted, including the 200,000-gallon Prudhoe Bay pipeline
spill in 2006 -- the largest spill on Alaska's North Slope -- which
was blamed on a corroded pipeline.

Similar problems surfaced at BP facilities in California and Texas.

California officials alleged in 2002 that the company had falsified
inspections of fuel tanks at a Los Angeles area refinery and that more
than 80 percent of the facilities didn't meet requirements to maintain
storage tanks without leaks or damage.

Inspectors had to get a warrant before BP allowed them to check the
tanks.

The company eventually settled a lawsuit brought by the South Coast
Air Quality Management District for more than $100 million.

Three years later, a Texas City refinery exploded, killing 15 people.

An investigation found that a warning system failed, and independent
experts found that "significant process safety issues exist at all
five U.S. refineries, not just Texas City."

___________________________________________

Harry

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