BP spills in California, wants to open Alaska pipelines

Beleaguered oil giant BP has admitted to yet another misdeed: a leak of 1,000 barrels of refined petro-product from an underground pipeline at the port of Long Beach, Calif. About 870 barrels had been recovered as of yesterday; authorities believe the leak did not taint water or ground soil. “We’re pleased that there was no significant environmental damage,” said a BP spokesflack. Yeah, we bet you are. BP executives recently appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for a wince-worthy tongue-lashing. Senators from both parties berated execs over recent spills and a new report showing that BP officials were warned three times between early 2003 and late 2004 that “a chilling atmosphere” intimidated workers from reporting pipeline environmental and safety concerns. Amidst the PR disaster, the company announced plans to request this week that it be allowed to resume oil production on a portion of Alaska’s North Slope, where production was shut down after an earlier spill. BP suggested it will be able to bypass corroded pipelines. And why would we doubt it?