Climate & Energy Blog

Fire at BP refinery -- isolated incident or business as usual?

Posted Mar. 8, 2012 / Posted by: Marcie Keever

In an in depth piece in Crosscut, Friends of the Earth's Northwest consultant, Fred Felleman, wades into the need to fully investigate the safety and environmental record of BP after a fire broke out at BP's Washington state refinery at Cherry Point last month.

In particular, Fred highlights BP's fix-it-only-when-it-breaks corporate culture, best summarized by two telling facts:


  • According to the Center for Public Integrity BP had 829 refinery violations between June 2007 and February 2010 as compared with 33 for the rest of the industry.
  • Late last year, federal prosecutors sought to revoke BP’s criminal probation that had been on and off since 2001, stating BP is a “recidivist offender and repeated violator of environmental laws and regulations.” (In December 2011, a federal judge rejected the request and released a BP subsidiary from probation.)

Fred has worked for many years to protect the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, the dwindling and genetically unique Cherry Point herring and the entire Salish Sea from the threat of oil spills and other hazards posed by BP's refinery and the significant number of oil tankers and other vessels that visit the refinery dock every year.

Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard/via Wikimedia Commons

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