BP’s Texas explosion boss becomes Cameron’s top bureaucrat

This video from the USA says about itself:

1 May 2007 — Eva Rowe, daughter of two workers killed in the BP-Texas City disaster, testified about the disaster and worker safety before the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee on March 22, 2007.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Government accused of big business love-in over Manzoni Whitehall job

Former BP executive, who was criticised for his role in Texas refinery explosion, becomes chief of civil service

Rowena Mason and Jane Dudman

Thursday 2 October 2014 19.12 BST

The government has been accused of a “cosy love-in with big business” after it appointed a former executive of oil giant BP to a new role running the civil service.

John Manzoni was given the £190,000-a-year job as the government’s first ever chief executive of Whitehall, despite criticism of his safety record at BP following the Texas refinery explosion and his last company, Talisman, being fined over 50 alleged health and safety violations connected with fracking. He was plucked from the world of business to become chief executive of the Major Projects Authority earlier this year, joining Lord Browne, his former boss at BP, in the Cabinet Office.

The Guardian understands Browne, who is the government’s lead non-executive director and the chairman of the UK’s leading fracking company, Cuadrilla, was one of six members of the appointment panel who chose Manzoni for the job.

While at BP, Manzoni was second-in-command to Lord Browne at the time of the Texas City refinery accident – one of the worst industrial accidents in US history. After the disaster, in which 15 people were killed and 170 injured, a confidential BP report found Manzoni had paid insufficient attention to safety and failed to spot clear warning signs. It accused him of failing to perform his duties in the runup to the explosion and of engaging in a “simply not acceptable” standoff with a colleague. Regulators levied a then-record fine of $21m (£13m) on the company for breaching safety rules.

While Manzoni was in charge of Talisman, the company was fined more than $60,000 (£37,000) for alleged violations in reporting hazardous chemicals at 52 sites in Pennsylvania. Among these were natural gas wells and sites of hydraulic fracturing; the company neither confirmed nor denied the allegations in a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The company was also criticised in 2011 for producing a 24-page colouring book for children explaining the merits of natural gas extraction, featuring a dinosaur called “Talisman Terry, your friendly Fracosaurus”.

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said it “simply beggars belief that someone who’s presided over such a disastrous period at BP, should be allowed to join his former BP boss, Lord Browne, to oversee some of the UK’s largest and most controversial projects, as chief executive of the entire civil service.

“His appointment strongly suggests that the government’s cosy love-in with big business has blinded them to such a worrying track record.”.

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