The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Oil Worker’s Life Worth $350

May 14, 2012

Oil Worker’s Life Worth $350

The State of California cited the Chevron Oil Company in the death of a 55-year-old veteran oil field worker killed on the job.

When he was doing routine work, the ground beneath him gave way, and he fell into a sinkhole filled with boiling liquids. It took seventeen hours for the fire department to retrieve his body.

The authorities found that the steam Chevron injected into the ground to extract oil created this sinkhole. The state fined Chevron $350—less than you can get for running a red light in California.

The director of the California Department of Conservation defended this minuscule fine, saying that the process to extract oil by using steam can be “very tricky” and “the industry itself is learning [this process] as it’s going along”.

So, Chevron is “learning,” and a worker was boiled alive because of Chevron’s rush to make a profit, with the consent of the state of California.