US: BP challenges record fine for explosions in Texas
Date: 30 Oct 2009
Oil giant BP has said that it will challenge a record fine of over $87m levied for failing to correct problems that led to the explosion in 2005 that killed 15 workers.
The company said that it had been taken by surprise by the fine, which is considerably higher than any previous similar penalty, because it had thought there was good co-operation between it and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency over moves to improve site safety.
The OSHA says that BP has seriously failed to eliminate hazards similar to those that caused the explosion in the years since. BP strongly denies the claims, saying it has spent over $1bn putting in place 550 corrective actions to improve safety at the Texas refinery.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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