Justin Williams Quoted in Bakken Politico Article
CESW partner Justin Willams was quoted in a June Politico article about the dangers Bakken oil field workers face every day. The investigative article, titled ‘Workers Are Paying for Cheap Gas With Their Lives’ can be found here.
On average, someone dies about every six weeks from an accident in the Bakken—at least 74 since 2006, according to an exclusive analysis by Politico Magazine partner Reveal, part of The Center for Investigative Reporting. This is the first comprehensive accounting of such deaths using data obtained from Canadian and U.S. regulators. The number of deaths is likely even higher because federal regulators don’t have a systematic way to record oil- and gas-related deaths, and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t include certain fatalities, such as those of independent contractors.
Across the Bakken, deeply entrenched corporate practices and weak federal oversight inoculate energy producers against responsibility when workers are killed or injured, while shifting the risk to others. Oil companies also offer financial incentives to workers for speeding up production—potentially jeopardizing their safety—and avoid paying the full cost of settlements to workers and their families when something goes wrong by shielding themselves behind a web of companies.