Category Archives: Texas City refinery

How BP values human life.

I wrote about the BP Texas City refinery disaster way back when the lawsuits were humming along and BP was trying to make them and the US government go away. Fifteen employees lost their lives in that explosion most likely because BP housed them in flimsy-assed trailers instead of a building that would be able to withstand such a blast. The Daily Beast  has uncovered a BP document that puts a $ value on the lives of their employees. It ain’t pretty sportsfans. From the DB writeup:

The two-page document, prepared by BP’s risk managers in October 2002 as part of a larger risk preparedness presentation, and titled “Cost benefit analysis of three little pigs,” is harrowing:

“Frequency—the big bad wolf blows with a frequency of once per lifetime.”

“Consequence—if the wolf blows down the house then the piggy is gobbled.”

“Maximum justifiable spend (MJS)—a piggy considers it’s worth $1000 to save its bacon.”

“Which type of house,” the report asks, “should the piggy build?”

It then answers its own question: a hand-written note, “optimal,” is marked next to an option that offers solid protection, but not the “blast resistant” trailer, typically all-welded steel structures, that cost 10 times as much.

At Texas City, all of the fatalities and many of the serious injuries occurred in or around the nine contractor trailers near the isom unit, which contained large quantities of flammable hydrocarbons and had a history of releases, fires, and other safety incidents. A number of trailers as far away as two football fields were heavily damaged.

Coon says that during the discovery process, he found another email from the BP Risk Management department that showed BP put a value on each worker when making its Three Little Pigs calculation: $10 million per life. One of Coon’s associates, Eric Newell, told me that the email came from Robert Mancini, a chemical engineer in risk management, during a period when BP was buying rival Amoco and was used to compare the two companies’ policies. This email, and the related Three Little Pigs memo, which has never before been publicly viewed, attracted almost no press attention.

Between the Texas City explosion and the Deepwater Rig explosion, BP has snuffed out a total of 26 lives…..whilst saving money…or to put it bluntly..being cheap-ass mutha fuckas and playing the odds.