Enforce Accountability for Oilfield Contractor that Lost Radioactive Device

A radioactive rod

Target: Administrator of the United States EPA Lisa P. Jackson

Goal: To fine oil company Halliburton for the negligent loss of a radioactive rod in Texas.

A growing problem of corporate disregard for public safety has been on the rise. As punishments are rarely severe enough to justify the time and expense of actually working to improve public safety, many companies find it much simpler to operate in the most efficient manner possible without regard for safety regulations. With this process in mind, they merely pay the token fines and penalties as they come along rather than make any genuine attempt to abide by regulations.

Halliburton is such a company. Despite reaping tremendous profits, the company has shown a blatant disregard for public safety far too often. This is highlighted by the recent incident involving the loss of a radioactive rod intended for use in a hydraulic fracturing well in Texas. This was apparently due to the rod having simply fallen from the delivery truck upon which it was being shipped. It was finally found nearly a month later along a stretch of highway seven miles from the site where it was intended for use.

This is a frightening example of negligent disregard for safety from a company that should be overly sensitive to safety policies and procedures following the massive Gulf Coast oil spill which was caused in part by Halliburton knowingly using faulty cement when sealing the Macando Well. Once again, reckless profiteering was conducted at the expense of public safety from a company already working to modify existing law by seeking to gain exemptions for hydraulic fracturing regulation under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act.

Halliburton, and other similar companies, will only begin to change their business models to reflect safety standards if it becomes financially non-viable to ignore the protection of people and the environment. The only way this can be done is to levy fines of a sufficient enough magnitude that it is no longer profitable to pay the fee and continue on. This incident should be used as an example in holding large corporations environmentally accountable. Protect the safety of the public and the environment today by demanding that a substantial fine be levied upon Halliburton for its blatant disregard for public safety in losing a radioactive rod that could have potentially caused irreparable harm.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Administrator Jackson,

Halliburton has gained notoriety as a major contributor to the largest oil spill in American history by virtue of its knowing use of faulty cement when attempting to seal the Macondo Well in the Gulf of Mexico. One would think that such a massive blemish upon a company’s reputation would lead to an increase in safety standards. Sadly, instead it has become just one example of the kind of corporate disregard for public safety that is reaching epidemic proportions.

Instead of working to make corporate practices safer, Halliburton has worked tirelessly to exempt hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. The company has also flaunted a blatant disregard for public safety in the way it has conducted business both prior to and following the Gulf Coast oil spill. This is highlighted by a recent incident which involved Halliburton losing a radioactive rod intended for use in a hydraulic fracturing well in Texas. The cause of this was apparently a matter of the rod having simply fallen from the delivery truck upon which it was being shipped. While it was eventually found, the rod had been lost for nearly a month when it was discovered along a stretch of highway seven miles from the site where it was intended for use.

This is entirely unacceptable. Corporations must be held accountable for safety rules and regulations. The penalties companies presently face are insufficient and ineffective as it is still far more profitable to skirt the rules and merely pay the fines as they come. In order to stem the tide of corporate safety negligence, a financial impact must truly be felt. Halliburton must be substantially fined for its negligent care of such a dangerous item for a full month. With this penalty, corporate accountability can finally begin to be forcibly enacted. When it is no longer profitable to ignore safety regulations, only then will such companies finally begin to act in accordance with the public’s best interest.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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