Almost immediately after publishing my most recent catalogue of the company’s misdeeds the Los Angeles-area plant, in Wilmington, had a “process upset” that resulted in potentially dangerous unplanned flaring. Two days after that, on January 27, Tesoro’s Salt Lake City refinery released hazardous sulfur dioxide after an unexpected power outage. Then, on February 8, a Tesoro refinery on Oahu, in Kapolei, experienced 90 minutes of unplanned flaring with some attendant release of hazardous chemicals.
The hits just keep on coming. Earlier this month, a former executive filed a federal “whistleblower” suit against the company, alleging that he was fired for his objections to fraudulent accounting practices. The San Antonio paper has the story:
…plaintiff Kevin Wallace, the former vice president of pricing and commercial analysis, alleges Tesoro set certain prices in violation of federal antitrust law, and that the company booked certain taxes it collected as revenue, thus inflating its financial results reported to shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Tesoro has misrepresented financial performance internally and externally in reported financial results,” the lawsuit said.
And that’s not the only new lawsuit the company faces. As the Seattle Times reports, the families of six of the workers killed in the horrible 2010 blast in Anacortes, Washington have filed civil suit in Skagit County:
The lawsuit accuses Tesoro of failing to inspect decaying equipment and ignoring industry safety standards and federal laws governing refinery safety.
Investigators for [the state Department of Labor & Industries] determined the accident was entirely preventable.
The lawsuit echoes that finding, saying Tesoro had failed to inspect the 40-year-old heat exchanger that ruptured and spewed vapor and liquid, igniting a fire and explosion.
Full coverage of the suit’s allegations here, and there are some damning claims.
Yet bad corporate citizenship appears to have some compensating benefits. Despite the firm’s missteps and misdeeds, Tesoro’s stock price nailed a 52-week high on Friday.