Texas Supreme Court sides with Big Oil
John Astad | January 25, 2008 at 04:25 pmby
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The after effects of the castastrophic BP refinery explosion in Texas City are still being felt in the court room since the tragic event occurred nearly three years ago on March 23, 2005.
Former BP PLC chairman Lord John Browne cannot be questioned without limits about the oil giant's deadly 2005 Texas City refinery accident, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday.
BP was aware of the problem with the blowdown drum, three years earlier, in the unit which overflowed flammmable petroleum products and ignited .
BP executives rejected a $150,000 budget request in 2002 that would have piped flammable hydrocarbons to a flare instead of the blowdown drum, which could have prevented the 2005 explosion that killed 15 people
Other Big Oil companies such as Exxon Mobile endorse the actions of the Texas Supreme Court.
Exxon Mobil Corp. and several business groups filed a brief in support of BP, arguing such depositions would hurt corporate management and would discourage companies from moving to Texas.
It seems that the whole case is now evolving into an us against them attitude with the Big Oil Companies having a difference in opinion with labor organizations that provide the workers for the refineries here on the Gulf Coast.
In a joint statement, leaders of various labor and consumer groups expressed disappointment in the ruling.
"In Texas, the value of personal responsibility is sacrosanct. No one should be above having to answer fully and completely for their actions," said the statement from the Texas AFL-CIO, Texas Watch, Texans for Public Justice and Texas Progress Council.
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