Tuesday, September 4, 2007

BP's Expansion Comes With Relatively Small Treatment Cost

British Petroleum, backing away from adding more pollutants to Lake Michigan as part of an expansion plan at its Whiting, IN refinery, had said it might have to scrap the move altogether because upgrading its waste treatment capacity might be prohibitively expensive.

Consultants touted by the City of Chicago, however find the added treatment costs are relatively small for such a hugely profitable multi-national oil company, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The possible cost of the upgraded pollution abatement equipment totals around 1% of the expansion's $3.8 billion price tag - - and while $40 million is certainly real money, isn't the quality of Lake Michigan, its fisheries and drinking water supplies worth it?


Melissa Malott said...

That's an excellent point -
You know, greening a home while you are building it adds between 10-20% onto the price tag. So, by only having to increase by 1%, they are getting a good deal.

It would be interesting to see the entire cost-benefit analysis by BP, and see what kind of profits they are predicting, and how $40 million fits into it. What were the oil industry's profits last year? $30 Billion?

James Rowen said...

Excellent analogy.
I also think that every lesson learned in the BP struggle - - from successful use of the Internet for organizing all the way to the questions to ask about abatement costa - - should be added to the list of strategies applied when Murphy Oil when comes to state regulators for its six-fold refining expansion at Superior, WI. As in Lake Superior.