Originally posted by Heather Nolan - Beaumont Enterprise - February 2, 2011
BP announced Tuesday it plans to sell its Texas City and Carson, Calif. refineries, cutting its U.S. refining capacity in half.
Beaumont attorney Brent Coon, who represented plaintiffs in a lawsuit against BP after the company's 2005 Texas City refinery explosion, said it's not clear how the facility's ongoing probation status under a federal criminal settlement will impact the sale.
BP agreed in 2007 to three years probation, which required the company to continue its cooperation with the government's ongoing investigation of the circumstances leading to the Texas City refinery explosion.
Coon said the company and the U.S. Department of Justice struck a deal in October 2007, but the deal was not accepted until March 2009. It expires in 2012.
Gary Beevers, international vice president for the United Steelworkers, which represents the roughly 1,200 union workers at the Texas City plant, said a sale likely won't impact employment at the refinery because a "successor clause" in the union contract says any future buyer has to honor the collective bargaining agreement in place.
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