BP Texas City Refinery Blast Victim: BP Keeps 'Killing People'

The OSHA anouncement led Texas City blast victims' lawyers to first request the revocation of the BP plea agreement -- which could potentially reopen the Texas City investigation -- last fall. In May, Coon also sent a letter urging the judge who presided over the plea deal to revoke the agreement.

Coon said he's not heard back from the judge but did meet with Justice Department officials late last month. Whether anything comes of that meeting, he said, remains to be seen.

"We're waiting to hear from them," he said.

Lindsay Lohan Faces Harsher Punishment Than BP?

Perry said that the BP situation contrasts starkly with the those of individuals who violate probation, including actress Lindsay Lohan, who was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Tuesday for missing alcohol education classes.

"You have an individual like Lindsay Lohan, who violates their probation and their probation gets revoked and they go to jail. BP violates their probation and nothing happens," he said. "It's not a good lesson to teach our children."

Scott West, a former special agent at the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division who has investigated BP in the past, said that threatening individual executives with jail time is more effective than fines in preventing future crimes.

"The idea is you change corporate behavior when you hold individuals criminally liable," he said. "It's one thing if a company has to pay a fine for your decision. It's another if you have to go to jail because of a decision you made at your company."

West worked on the government's investigation of another BP disaster -- a 2006 Alaska pipeline spill. BP agreed to a settlement in that case at the same time it reached a plea deal in the Texas City case. In the Alaska case, the company plead guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the U.S. Federal Water Pollution Control Act and agreed to more fines. In exchange, the Justice Department and the State of Alaska agreed to file no other criminal charges.

West said that that settlement put an abrupt end to an investigation that should have taken years to complete and might have eventually pointed the finger at specific people responsible for the spill.

"Instead, we had to settle for the misdemeanor against the company and were unable to go after any individuals," he said.

West said he supports efforts by the Texas City victim lawyers to get the 2007 plea deal revoked.

Leining, the former BP construction adviser injured at Texas City, said he's also in favor of the revocation efforts but is skeptical that anyone connected to the Texas City explosion will spend time behind bars.

"Everybody's going to shake hands and come out smiling," he said. "Nobody's going to be held accountable for nothing at the end of the day."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.
Courtesy 1715 Fleet - Queens Jewels, LLC
Lisa Kudrow
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library | Getty Images
PHOTO: Motorists were startled when an axe from a dump truck in front of them flew at their windshield.
Massachusetts State Police/Facebook
PHOTO: In this April 26, 2013 photo, a large home intended for the family of Warren Jeffs is seen in Hildale, Utah.
Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune/AP