Did BP Fail Standard of Care Tests? Dr. Barry Wellar, Professor Emeritus, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada, questions whether a possible failure to properly apply standard of care tests contributed to BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Wellar, a distinguished research scientist and President of the Information Research Board, will discuss the BP case at two featured conference sessions during URISA’s 2010 GIS-Pro Conference in Orlando, Florida.
“Every individual and corporation has duty of care and standard of care responsibilities, and those responsibilities can be moral, ethical, and legal in nature.” says Wellar. “In the BP-Gulf of Mexico incident the actionable responsibilities of consequence are those involving legal liability, and the liability can be civil as well as criminal.”
“To get a handle on the degree of liability, we will outline how proper regard for standard of care principles could have precluded or significantly mitigated the BP oil incident. And, we will explore how geographic information systems (GIS) can assist in establishing the damage zone, and the geographic extent of BP’s legal liability.”
However, says Dr. Wellar, this is not just a discussion for experts.
“I believe that these sessions on standard of care will assist the media, and ordinary citizens, to more critically assess what BP, the fossil fuel industry, and governments are actually doing to fix this oil spill mess, and to prevent future messes.”
Dr. Wellar is also concerned that too many people may erroneously regard the Gulf of Mexico disaster as someone else’s problem.
“There are current and proposed drilling sites around the world that are in or near bodies of water, and we are long overdue for comprehensive and critical analyses of standard of care practices by the oil and gas industry. The BP-Gulf disaster is a brutal wake-up call that should have been anticipated and heeded decades ago.”
URISA President Kathrine Cargo, from the Orleans Parish Communication District, New Orleans, LA, welcomes this discussion about the BP-Gulf of Mexico situation.
“Dr. Wellar’s presentations provide a totally different look at the oil spill situation by someone who for decades has done outstanding work on public policy matters, and he has expert witness experience involving standard of care issues. We think that this discussion at the URISA’s 2010 GIS-Pro Conference will be very valuable locally, nationally, and internationally.”
Information about Dr. Barry Wellar is posted at http://www.wellarconsulting.com.
For details about the GIS-Pro 2010 Conference contact Wendy Nelson or visit the URISA website at http://www.urisa.org/gispro2010program.
GIS-Pro 2010: URISA’s 48th Annual Conference for GIS Professionals
September 28 – October 1, 2010
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
[Source: URISA press release]