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BP Shortchanging Safety Even After Deadly Texas Explosion

Since a 2005 disaster that killed 15 people, the culture at BP's Texas City refinery doesn't seem to have changed much. Production and profit have been the priorities, trumping safety and the environment.

In case you missed it in your rush to skip town for the long weekend, we published a three-part investigation into BP’s Texas City refinery that we think is worth circling back to.

The investigation highlighted the ways in which BP’s production- and profit-driven culture continually compromised safety and environmental concerns at its Texas City refinery--even after the plant’s infamous 2005 disaster, which cost 15 lives. In the years since, four more workers have died and more than a hundred people have been sent to the hospital after accidents at the plant.

And in one underreported incident that occurred just two weeks before BP’s disaster in the Gulf, the company spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals in a release that went on for 40 days. Instead of stopping production while making some equipment repairs, BP chose to keep operations going, resulting in a release of chemicals—which included a known carcinogen--that far exceeded state limits.

What’s more, a photographer working with this investigation was detained briefly by a BP security officer and law enforcement on Friday, after he shot photos from public property.

Read BP’s explanation as to why the photographer received the treatment he did, and check out the photos in question, which were reviewed by officials from BP, local law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security before being returned.

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