Sunday, October 29, 2006

BP tells 60 Minutes, "We're Sorry"

60 Minutes did a piece last night on the British Petroleum explosion last year that killed 15 people and, while it didn't grant an interview about the explosion, it was smart enough to give Ed Bradley & crew a tour of the Texas City plant.

Then, before the story aired, the company released a written statement to 60 Minutes that essentially said, "It's our fault and we're sorry," even though a videotaped deposition of a BP bigshot shows him insisting no one had a clue anything was amiss at the refinery (Big Lie and so predictable when big lawsuit damages are at hand.)

The fact they released a written admission acknowledging fault shows they've pretty much thrown in the towel as far as convincing a jury they knew nothing was wrong at the Texas City refinery.

They've settled a lot of the lawsuits, but some, including one filed by a woman who lost both parents in the blast, want to go to trial, since they don't want to sign any sort of nondisclosure agreement, which is what the corporate shyster lawyers insist on so they can shut everybody up before they fork over an out-of-court settlement

We went back to check our last post on the BP blowup nearly a year ago, which notes if the British company had installed a flare, as Amoco suggested when it sold them the plant, the explosion would have been prevented.

Ed Bradley reported the same last night.

More interesting in the old post, though, are two of the comments we received from TTyler5, a one-time prolific commenter on this blog who we don't hear a lot from anymore.

What TTyler5 said concerning the aging condition of the BP refinery formed a major part of the 60 Minutes report.

BP just didn't want to spend the dough to fix up the place and make it safe.

Here's what TTyler5 said last November:


Banjo, my late father was a Union indutrial contractor in TC and the old AMOCO was one of our biggest clients, in fact our shop was just up the street a block or so from the main entrance.

I spent many many long hard hours inside that refinery, and I can tell you it was a very old refinery even then.

I have a buddy in the Operators Union who invests in Valero because they do things right when they buy an old refinery and upgrade it.

[He was working on the construction job where the people died, and he missed being killed in the BP explosion last March because he was given the day off.]

BP bought an old refinery and despite all the hype it did not invest what it needed to invest in upgrading that old refinery.
3:24 PM said...

PS, this will give you an idea of just how old that refinery is and how long many of its units have been in operation.

My late grandfather, C. R. Johnson of the OCAW, was chief operator on catcracker number 1 at AMOCO Texas City from the time it was built to provide gasoline for the war effort against Hitler and the Nips, to the day he retired.

As a young Union construction worker for my father's company, I spent many double shifts on overtime working on large-scale shutdowns for that unit long after my grandfather had retired.

The explosion, if I am correct, took place in a unit related to the old cat number 1.
5:05 PM "

I hope that young woman who's taking her lawsuit to trial gets a boatload of money outta BP, but, I guess with the state's ballyhooed tort reforms of recent years, the company will be somewhat insulated from too much pain. And I guess we have the Republican Party to thank for that.
UPDATE @6:40 am on Tuesday ----
"...internal BP documents prepared between 2002 and 2005 revealed knowledge of significant safety problems at the Texas City refinery and at 34 other BP business units around the world – months or years prior to the March 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers, injured 180 others, and was the worst U.S. industrial accident in more than a decade."
[US Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board]


ttyler5 said...


Hope I am not posting this twice, something went astray on my first attempt and I don't think it went through! Anyway:

Texas tort reforms won't affect the BP cases. It's all federal.

I don't get to post as often as I'd like anymore because I'm swamped with work! I've been trying to keep up with Eric over at SciGuy but even this is difficult right now! That's been the extent of my blogging participation lately!

I'l be back into it soon, though, as this stuff winds down and I get back to life on the web!!!

But in the meantime, I drop in to see what you are up to, that's for sure!! :^D :^D

Banjo Jones said...

thanks. after i posted that, i realized it was a fed suit, so thanks for setting me straight and thanks for reading.

Banjo Jones said...

clarification: no, the lawsuit is in state district court, not fed court.