How Not to Prove Your Innocence
BP under criminal investigation for oil pipeline problems in Alaska
When your massively profitable oil company is under criminal investigation by the U.S. government for possible violations of the Clean Water Act, it’s not a good idea to spill tens of thousands of gallons of crude onto the Alaskan tundra. So oopsie at BP. Turns out that federal regulators have for several months been investigating the company’s oil-pipeline management on Alaska’s North Slope, and that probe has now been expanded to include the early March rupture of a BP-operated pipeline. Caused by internal pipe corrosion, the spill dumped anywhere from 134,000 to 267,000 gallons of oil, and may rank as the largest North Slope spill ever. The company may also face criminal charges over an explosion at a Texas City plant last year that killed 15. Current and former workers say the company skimped on staffing and maintenance, which if true could pose some awkward PR problems — BP posted a record net profit of $22.63 billion last year.