Oil companies are accused of double-dipping taxpayers, profiting from pollution
BY RANDY ELLIS
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 5:39 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Two huge multinational oil companies profited off pollution and defrauded taxpayers out of millions of dollars in Oklahoma and other states, lawsuits allege.
ConocoPhillips and BP, along with their predecessor companies and subsidiaries, filed false statements to get insurance companies and taxpayers to double-pay them for the cleanup of fuel leaking from underground storage tanks located beneath filling stations, the civil lawsuits claim.
ConocoPhillips' attorneys also resorted to bribery, blackmail, threats, extortion, corruption and legislative pressure to get Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners to tap the Petroleum Storage Tank Release Indemnity Fund to pay the company millions of dollars for ineligible expenses, documents filed in one lawsuit claim.
"There is no doubt the payment of this money is morally wrong," then-Corporation Commission attorney Charles Wright said in an Aug. 12, 2003, memo to Ben Jackson, who was the commission's acting general administrator at the time. "Phillips is not owed the money. ... There is no doubt that the program is the victim of a conspiracy, conducted by Phillips and associated parties, that threatens the destruction of the program if the money is not paid. In short, we are paying protection."
Click here to read the complete article at NewsOK.com.
Original Print Headline: Oil companies accused of profiting from pollution
Attorney General Scott Pruitt: He has filed a lawsuit alleging that BP and related companies "knowingly double-dipped by collecting reimbursements for corrective action environmental remediation costs for sites they polluted from both the Indemnity Fund and their insurance carriers in violation of Oklahoma Law."