Tuesday, October 25, 2005

NEI's Bowman to Serve on Baker-Led BP Panel

From today's Houston Chronicle:

BP named political heavyweight James Baker as chairman of an independent panel to review safety lapses at the troubled oil giant.

Baker, a former secretary of state and Treasury secretary, vowed Monday to lead a panel that would delve into the company's corporate culture and issue a public report within a year.

"You are going to see an aggressive and complete and thorough investigation," Baker said. "And we're going to let the chips fall where they may."

With 22 deaths since 1995, BP leads the refining industry in fatalities over the past decade, including a refinery worker killed in May at BP's Cherry Point refinery in Whatcom County and 15 people killed in an explosion at the company's Texas City, Texas, refinery in March. That explosion injured 170 people and set off widespread concern that company managers have a lax attitude toward safety.

Creation of the panel was urged two months ago by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, which has been investigating the March 23 explosion at the Texas City plant. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined BP $21.4 million -- almost double the previous record -- after finding hundreds of willful and serious violations at Texas City.
NEI's President and CEO, Skip Bowman, was also asked to serve on the panel. For more, click here to read BP's press announcement on the investigation.

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