Protesters target BP Houston — updated

By ROBERT STANTON
HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Saying that BP has failed to settle with thousands of victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year, protesters targeted the oil giant’s Houston headquarters Thursday to make their concerns known.

Operation People for Peace, the organizer, made Houston its fourth stop on a protest mission that included BP facilities in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. But their effort to meet with Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, fell short.

BP security officials told the roughly 25 protesters to air their concerns to Ken Feinberg, the government-appointed administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund for Gulf Coast oil spill victims, or to attend BP’s stockholders meeting next spring.

Participants in the protest at BP America, 501 Westlake Park Blvd., included human rights activists Dick Gregory Art Rocker, chairman of Operation people for Peace, and E. Faye Williams, chairwoman of the National Congress of Black Women. They were joined by activists with Occupy Houston, the local arm of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“We are in it to win it,” Gregory said. “We will treat them, now that we know how dirty they play, like rats and roaches and mice in a dark room. You don’t shoot ‘em, you don’t cuss ‘em, you turn the light on.”

BP spokesman Tom Mueller said the company “appreciates their right to protest,” but added that BP does not manage the claims process. “So the appropriate place for these comments and these concerns to be aired is with Ken Feinberg.”

Many of the victims of the costly Deepwater Horizon disaster have yet to be compensated for their losses, Rocker said in a prepared statement.

“Many individuals were severely damaged and have not been compensated for their losses, despite our best efforts to date,” the statement read. “Most of these people are minority and poor people who BP has chosen to ignore while settling with other people who are well connected politically.”

The Deepwater Horizon disaster, the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, killed 11 men working on the BP-leased Transocean rig. The spill released an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. After spewing oil for three months, the wellhead was capped in July 2010.

robert.stanton@chron.com

18 Comments

  1. Dennis

    Why aren’t there protestors at the white house for putting thousands out of work with the drilling moretorium?How many of these protestors actually had a job that was harmed by this blowout?How many are from rent-a-mob?How did a blowout get to be a spill?Oh…..it sounds better to the semiliterate on the left.Are these the same dope smoking semilierate’s from occupy wallstret?

    #1
  2. TheWorldsFavoriteMexican

    Good!!!

    #2
  3. Bill in Houston

    This explains the cops on BP’s campus this morning. I drive through Westlake on my way to work.

    I wish these leftist protestors would get JOBS!

    #3
  4. Egon

    The matter is heading toward severeal courtrooms at this time. Lawyers must stretch that out, so they will be paid more money. Quit your protesting and do something constructive.

    #4
  5. Rowen

    I am with Dennis. They are in the wrong place. I also like the rent a mob thought. That’s probably where a lot of these people come from.

    #5
  6. Muttley

    Cutting through Westlake about 11 I saw maybe a dozen or so protestors. The media presence was nearly as large as the “protest” . . .

    My first question is if these protestors are so adamant about opposing corporate greed and “the rich”, then where are the protests out in front of celebrity’s homes, movie studios, and the corporate media headquarters? Where are the protests against the tech companies that hide their earnings overseas to avoid taxes? Where are the protests against illegal immigrants that have taken millions of American entry level jobs? Lastly where is the money coming from to finance the “Occupy” movement, could it be that the anti-corporate, anti-wealth movement is bankrolled by a wealthy corporate financier named George?

    #6
  7. ProfesorC

    They should be protesting in front of White House where the decision-maker on compensation was hired.

    I knew when the federal government took control of the compensation that many would get screwed.

    #7
  8. Diana

    I wonder if the victims of the oil spill know they even have ‘human rights
    representatives’ working on their behalf. I believe these ‘activist’
    are looking to cash in a piece of the pie. For people that disdain
    big money, they seem to be always in front of the line demanding their
    (not) fair share.

    #8
  9. Jeff

    I am glad there are people who stand up for people with no voice. When you are able and you see that people with connections are getting their share and the people with no voice are not, a good human stands up and fights for what’s right.

    And the comments about protesting being something that’s “leftist” is strange. Why would anyone say that standing up for another is leftist? And how does anyone protest for their own personal financial gain?

    Myself, I now operate outside of Democrat/Republican and Liberal/Conservative paradigms, but for those that do…it seems that to be Republican is to be Selfish and to be Democrat is to be Stalwart for the Disenfranchised.

    My hope for mankind is that there be priority for payments to those disrupted by disasters be made to those who have the least. That would be respectful, as those with the most have the wherewithal to regain their position.

    #9
  10. olddispatcher

    I would recommend to them that they buy some BP stock and then show up at the next stockholders meeting.

    What they are doing here is really accomplishing nothing. Even if BP wanted to shower them with money they could not since it is not BP’s money to shower with. It is the stockholders and BP management cannot just give it away.

    So I would tell them: Buy some stock in BP. Buy as much as you can and find a Lawyer to rep you at the stockholders meetings. The more stock you hold the bigger your voice will be.

    I think anyone could understand why you are upset, but being upset and getting results are two different things. Concentrate on getting results in a way that works because the way you are going about it will get you nowhere.

    #10
  11. ThePrize

    I agree with Dennis (minus the typos).

    #11
  12. BigALtx

    What they need to do is go Occupy A Job!!

    Loo, the biggest whore in this whole thing was Obama.
    He saw a payday! $20 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!!! That’s 20,000 x $1,000,000
    That’s an extreme amount of money

    Go march on the White House and the buddy buddy Feinberg associations. Guaranteed there’s corruption in the process and they are making it last so they’re dragging their feet on all the unsettled claims and moving the money around various law offices.

    I agree, buy a share of stock and be a part of the process. Some people are trying to keep the lights on here. Stand in line, state your case, move on… Please.

    #12
  13. Mike H.

    Oh, leave poor BP alone. They are so innocent. So what if the cutting of corners on equipment & staffing led to the explosion at the Texas City Refinery? Hey, it’s cheaper to have that control room involved in that blast on his 31st straight 12 hour day, work so much overtime. That has to be cheaper than hiring another person. What’s 15 deaths & dozens of injuries? That’s the price of profits.

    Why get upset at BP for skipping kindergarten level maintenance on their North Slope crude oil pipeline, that leaked in 2006, by not running a cleaning pig once & awhile? The resulting world wide crude oil price spike was good for other crude producers.

    So, why worry about messing up the Gulf in light of these other activities? We shouldn’t shakedown BP just because of a few people who live along the Gulf, right?

    If you believe all that, I’ve got some prime swamp land on Mars to sell you.

    #13
  14. truth_seeker

    …and that’s why you’re the world’s favorite Mexican, well said! My thoughts exactly. Now to you that said buy a share of stock and be part of the process, LMAO!! I needed a good laugh thanks.

    #14
  15. Tex

    Mike H.
    You ought to go back and finish grade school so you could understand more of the complexity getting oil out of the ground and into your gas tank. I would love to hear you discussing the root cause of some of the incidents you are mentioning.

    #15
  16. Mike H.

    See the CSB video here about the BP Texas City Refinery:

    http://www.csb.gov/investigations/detail.aspx?SID=20&Type=2&pg=1&F_All=y

    Yes, I’ve seen the video. The BP Management made bad decision there, no way to say otherwise. Please tell me how I’ve erred in the post above from what the CSB found. BP Workers had fears about having a bad accident there before the explosion, surveys of workers there showed. Previous Isom unit start ups there had issues, as well, like flammable vapor releases.

    Then, the BP North Slope fiasco:

    http://juneauempire.com/state/2011-05-03/bp-exploration-alaska-agrees-25-million-penalty-2006-spills-north-slope

    “U.S. Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler said the penalty underlines the seriousness of BP’s conduct. She said BP Alaska admitted that it cut corners and failed to do what was required to adequately maintain its pipelines. ”

    Cut corners? Elsewhere, it’s stated they skipped cleaning pig runs, very unwise for crude oil.

    Yes, there’s risks in the O&G business. But, BP has been it’s own worst enemy, in both of those 2 fiascoes. If you can cite a reliable source that shows BP wasn’t sloppy about equipment maintenance in those 2 incidents, please share the info with us.

    #16
  17. Greg in TX City

    When are these dumber than dumber people going to understand that BP does not control the claims process. They simply put up the money to compensate people. The dumb ass people’s representatives Mr. Obama and his buddy Feinberg have control of the money. So go protest at his house in Washington. Enough is Enough!!! Qiut whining and go get a JOB!!

    #17
  18. ReneM

    Protesting and complaining is easier that actually working for a living..

    #18