Who’s sorry now?

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Firm has spill his­tory,” June 5

Last week, I and pre­sum­ably many oth­ers in Santa Bar­bara re­ceived a glossy post­card from Greg Arm­strong, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Plains All Amer­i­can Pipe­line, ex­press­ing his “deep­est apolo­gies” for his com­pany’s re­cent oil spill.

I would be will­ing to ac­cept the apol­ogy if this were a rare in­ci­dent by a com­pany with a good track record. How­ever, as The Times re­ported, this com­pany has accidentally spilled nearly 2 mil­lion gal­lons of this haz­ardous liq­uid over the last 11 years in the U.S. and Canada. Arm­strong’s let­ter of apol­ogy might have been paid for by his com­pany’s $75-mil­lion re­serve fund for “en­vi­ron­men­tal li­a­bil­i­ties,” a tiny part of the $43 bil­lion in rev­enue it gen­er­ated last year.

The pipe­line con­sul­tant quoted in your ar­ti­cle said: “In 40 years of in­ves­ti­gat­ing pipe­line in­ci­dents, I haven’t seen one that wasn’t pre­ventable. There are no such things as ac­ci­dents.” I do not ac­cept Arm­strong’s apol­ogy.

Den­nis Thomp­son Santa Bar­bara

Brian van der Brug Los An­ge­les Times

OIL SPILL cleanup and con­tain­ment ef­fort con­tin­ues near Refu­gio State Beach in Santa Bar­bara.

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