Poisoned legacy : the human cost of BP's rise to power

by Magner, Mike

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 338.27282 M27
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  338.27282 M27

The story is all too-familiar: On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing eleven workers and creating the largest oil spill in the history of U.S. offshore drilling. But, this wasn't the first time British Petroleum and its cost-cutting practices destroyed parts of the natural world. It also was not the first time that BP's negligence resulted in the loss of human life, ruined family businesses or shattered dreams. Journalist Mike Magner has been tracking BP's reckless path for years and, for the first time, focuses on the human price of BP's rise to power. From Alaska to Kansas to the Gulf, Magner has talked to people whose lives have been destroyed by BP's almost unparalleled corporate greed. When BP acquired an abandoned Kansas refinery in 1998, it discovered one of the most contaminated groundwater plumes in the U.S. Rather than begin a full cleanup, BP declared there was no cause for concern. A former schoolteacher alarmed by cancer cases in the town pushed her community to take BP to court. In 2005, an explosion at BP's Texas City refinery, operating with a raft of safety problems because of neglected maintenance, killed fifteen people including the mother and father of a young woman who was driving there to spend the Easter holidays with her parents. A year later, thousands of gallons of oil spilled onto Alaska's North Slope from a corroded BP pipeline. Following a hurricane, BP's Thunder Horse rig almost sank because of a flaw in its construction, and repair work exposed even more serious problems. Poisoned Legacy is the searing true story of the rise and fall of BP, a company that went from being a green maverick promising a world "Beyond Petroleum" to one of the most notorious corporate villains in history.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* In Drowning in Oil (2010), Loren Steffy reported how the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted from a corporate culture of cost cutting reaching to the top management at BP. Here Magner expands the examination of BP to three locations of major human and environmental disaster. In Neodesha, Kansas, what started as an oil boomtown 100 years ago has left a legacy of high cancer rates and a toxic plume of pollution permeating the ground and water. When BP inherited this mess, it refused to clean it up; the town's class-action lawsuit, Neodesha v. BP, has been the longest in Kansas history. The March 23, 2005, fire and explosion that occurred at BP's Texas City Refinery in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 workers and injured more than 170 others. BP was charged with criminal violations of federal environmental laws, and lawsuits from the victims' families are ongoing. Finally, Magner examines the BP gulf oil disaster itself with a detailed analysis of events leading up to the explosion that killed 11 workers, the numerous attempts to cap the leak, specific environmental impacts, and the aftermath. Tightly written, concise investigative journalism.--Siegfried, Davi. Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill was but one blowout amid a gusher of corporate misdeeds, according to this expose of the British oil giant. Journalist Magner gives a comprehensive rundown of the Gulf oil well explosion and leak, and of the rushed scheduling, substandard engineering, skipped tests, and faulty equipment that precipitated that disaster. That's just the capstone of his detailed account of BP's misadventures in North America, which include a 2005 explosion at the company's Texas refinery that killed 15 people, a 200,000-gallon leak from a corroded Alaskan oil pipeline, a steady drip of workplace accidents, fatalities, and pollution violations and a drumbeat of callow apologies, lawsuits, fines, and criminal probes. The author fingers a callous corporate culture that sacrificed safety to profits: one BP cost-benefit memo he cites used a cartoon of the Three Little Pigs to justify the trade-off between human lives and expensive safety precautions. Magner sometimes overstates his case; his account of a lawsuit by a Kansas town against BP over a shuttered refinery, for example, insinuates more than it demonstrates about the dangers of long-buried toxic waste. Still, he presents a lucid, hard-hitting indictment of BP's ingrained greed and irresponsibility. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects British Petroleum Company.
Petroleum industry and trade -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Petroleum refineries -- Accidents -- United States.
Petroleum workers -- Health and hygiene -- United States.
Publisher New York :St. Martin's Press,2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xii, 417 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [381]-398) and index.
ISBN 9780312554941
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