All of the world now knows about the massive oil spill resulting from the explosion and sinking of the oil platform Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th. When we sent this issue to the printer, at least 250,000 barrels of oil had already been spilled into the Gulf. Actually, that might be a conservative number. Unfortunately, the efforts to stop the spill have been largely unsuccessful. It now appears there is no quick fix available. In fact, many believe that the amount of oil being spilled is ten times worse than is indicated by many reports.
The companies responsible for this disaster must be held accountable for the damages done and they must be made to fully compensate all of the folks who will be hurt badly by what has happened. BP and all responsible parties must repair the ecological damage, make full and prompt reparations to every single person whose livelihood was taken away or greatly damaged, and pay appropriate and full damages to all victims in a court of law.
I am convinced there really aren’t any good oil companies, but BP has been devastatingly bad. For example, BP elected not to install a $500,000 safety device that could have prevented this disaster. A company that made $21.6 billion in profits in 2008 alone refused to spend $500,000 to safeguard the people on the coast from what has turned into the worst oil spill of all time. As the investigations proceed, more and more is being uncovered about the failed safety measures in place, and also about those that were available but were never installed on the rig.
This isn’t the first time BP has had major problems. For example, BP has pleaded guilty in just the last few years to two crimes, willful disregard for workplace safety, and energy market manipulation. A Washington-based research group says two BP refineries in the U.S. account for 97% of “egregious willful” violations given by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The study by the Center for Public Integrity says the violations were found in the last three years in BP’s Texas City refinery and another plant in Toledo, Ohio. As we have previously reported, 15 people were killed in a 2005 explosion at the Texas City refinery.
According to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab, BP has a “systemic safety problem.” He told The Associated Press that BP has not adequately addressed the issues, despite being fined more than $87 million. Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels says similar problems are pervasive throughout the U.S. petroleum industry. That’s most disturbing.
It’s time to realize that the oil companies must be properly regulated by the federal government and their activities carefully monitored. BP and all other oil companies must be made to obey and follow the law. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar admits that the federal government has failed to hold the oil industry accountable and ensure safety in offshore oil drilling. He promises to give “more tools, more resources, more independence and greater authority” to the Minerals Management Service, which regulates drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. But the primary emphasis now must be on helping those who will need help because of the massive problems BP and others have caused.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.