To some it may seem that I am spending a lot of time talking about BP. In large part that is because BP represents so much of what is wrong with the way our government is working (or not) now.
It seems to me that our government has been taken over by big business - especially banks and oil. They buy our politicians and then control our government.
How bad is BP?
The details of the violations have been reported by Jim Morris and M.B. Pell at The Center for Public Integrity. Most of the problems are related faulty safety practices associated with the 2005 explosion.
Wikipedia has a list of all the refineries in the world, organized by country. From this a spreadsheet has been constructed for all the U.S. refineries. BP operates six of the 150 U.S. refineries (4.5%) and processes 8.6% of the oil.
Are "willful and flagrant violation" of safety and "intentional disregard" of safety criminal acts? Can they be criminal only if someone is injured or dies? These are questions that need to be addressed.
One thing is clear. With 4.5% of U.S. refineries and 8.6% of capacity, BP’s 99.9% of all egregious violations over a 31 month period represents a disregard for safe operations that should be criminal.
With this abysmal safety record, the Deep Sea Horizon explosion appears to have been simply a matter that had to occur sometime. Other catastrophes at BP operations appear to be preordained as well, as long as they are allowed to continue to operate with egregious disregard of safety.