BP Will Pay $50 Million Fine For Texas City Refinery, But You're Not Getting $80 Million Out Of Them, By God

BP will pay a whopping $50 million fine to the feds for chronic safety violations at its notorious Texas City refinery, OSHA announced today.

The fine is whopping in terms of previous fines; it's more than double the previous record fine of $21 million, says OSHA ( the Occupational Safety & Health Administration).

But how bad was BP? The amount of fines they're still contesting easily eclipses the old record, too.

It takes a lot of lack of effort to rack up those kinds of numbers.

"This agreement achieves our goal of protecting workers at the refinery and ensuring that critical safety upgrades are made as quickly as possible," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The size of the penalty rightly reflects BP's disregard for workplace safety and shows that we will enforce the law so workers can return home safe at the end of their day."

The fine stems from the 2005 explosion at the refinery that killed 15 and injured 170. BP has come up short -- way, way short -- in its safety-improvement efforts since then.

Apparently, the feds were a little too trusting of BP's promises to shape up. OSHA says:

[T]he agreement provides an unprecedented level of oversight of BP's safety program including regular meetings with OSHA, frequent site inspections and the submission of quarterly reports for the agency's review. Finally, in a step toward workplace safety corporate-wide, BP agrees to establish a liaison between its North American and London boards of directors and OSHA, which will allow the agency to raise compliance problems at the highest level.

BP has promised to spend $500 million on safety improvements.

And hey, you know how good BP promises are.

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