Originally published on September 8, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Goal: Impose harsher penalties and in-depth inspections of BP facilities to prevent disasters
An exploding compressor ignited a fire at BP’s largest U.S. refinery recently, leaving one worker injured. The company’s Whiting Refinery in Indiana has been the center of controversy and numerous incidents of incompetence. Known for causing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, BP has a notorious history of taking shortcuts, neglecting safety regulations, and harming the environment. To prevent another disaster and any further loss of life, the U.S. government must impose harsher regulations against highly detrimental corporations with proven histories of inanity like BP.
Shaking local homes and injuring a worker, the compressor’s explosion set Whiting Refinery on fire and took hours to extinguish the flames. The injured worker was taken to a hospital to receive treatment. Since the fire took place at night, only a few workers were exposed to the flames. Had the explosion occurred during the dayshift, hundreds of workers could have been injured or killed.
Less than two weeks after the U.S. lifted BP’s ban on seeking new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico, their Whiting Refinery accidentally leaked over 1,600 gallons of oil into Lake Michigan. After selling its petroleum coke to Koch Industries, residents of Chicago filed a class action lawsuit against BP for producing the filthy tar sands byproduct being stored along the Calumet River. The residents say the black dust from the uncovered piles of petroleum coke is drifting into their communities and causing a serious health risk.
By signing the petition below you will urge U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to enact legislation providing more in-depth and rigorous inspections of BP facilities operating in the U.S.
Dear U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
The incompetence and mismanagement at BP is a recurring theme that needs to end before another disaster or further loss of life takes place on American soil. Responsible for killing eleven workers and poisoning the environment, BP has learned nothing from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. On August 27, 2014, their largest U.S. refinery caught fire after an exploding compressor injured one worker. The government must impose harsher regulations against BP as a deterrent against further abuses and neglect.
Earlier this year, BP’s Whiting Refinery leaked over 1,600 gallons of oil into Lake Michigan. While refining tar sands, BP produces massive amounts of byproducts like petroleum coke that contaminates the air and water. BP has shown absolutely no respect for life or concern for the environment. With a history of cutting costs and enforcing lax safety standards, BP cannot be trusted to regulate itself. Rigorous inspections and harsher penalties need to be imposed against BP to prevent more environmental damage and deaths.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Linkfuss via Wikimedia Commons