In return for its generious donations to the Texas City College of the Mainland and the College of the Mainland Fondation, the Foundation has decided to select BP as its "Mainland Corporate Hero." BP is the first corporation to be recognized as an honoree at its gala.
But Larry Smith, who teaches at the college and is a founding member of its employee union doesnt' think that a company who has been admitted to the willful killing of 15 workers in an explosion last year is deserving of such an award. According to Smith
naming BP a “hero” so close to the 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery is “really bad judgment and insensitive.”...."We think it is not good to recognize them at this point and certainly not to call them a hero,” said Smith.The union doesn't think the fact that BP was found to be the nation's top polluter among refineries in 2004 helps matters.
Foundation president David Moss says the award has nothing to do with the company's environmental or safety record.
“BP has made some healthy donations to the foundation, and that is something the gala committee came up with to make its selection,” said Moss.OSHA fined BP $21.3 million for violations related to the explosion, including 170 "Egregious Willful Violations." and the Department of Justice is preparing a civil suit against the company. Last month, OSHA fined a BP refinery near Toledo, Ohio $2.4 million for unsafe operations.
He said the bottom line is what the company had done for the students and what it had done for the college and the foundation.
Moss contends the honor is a matter of routine for the foundation. Until two years ago, it had a Hats Off gala recognizing one individual. Last year, that process changed to include several people and one corporate donor that are recognized as heroes.
I guess they don't make heros like they used to.