Monday, November 26, 2007

Call Out the Cops-3

An employee of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Rueben Herrera (RH), worked on BP's "application for a new air quality permit", then went to work for BP. RH's "new job at BP was to advocate for the company with his former co-workers to obtain the new permit on terms most favorable to BP. ... Eleven days after starting work for BP, Herrera began negotiations for the company on the permit with his former co-worker, Johnny Vermillion", Houston Chronicle, 25 November.

This story is virtually unbelievable. The TCEQ is siding with BP in this matter. Where is Harris County's DA? Texas has a law against "commerical bribery". It seems to have been violated. What's going on here? Let's not forget, BP negotiated a $50 million fine arising from the operations of its Texas City refinery, which sought the air quality permit. Could a state prosecution upset what appears to be a federal sellout of the public interest? RH sought a job with BP in October 2002. He went to work there in March 2003. What was he really doing while employed by the TCEQ for those six months? Also see my 22 November post.

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