Talk:BP/Archive 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 10

Questioning the insistence on mentioning BP's green commitment in the Lede

Rangoon seems obsessed with mentioning BP's green promises in the Lede, going so far as to argue for over a month that it should be there and should be mentioned alongside BP's negative history, even though they are completely separate issues. I would appreciate an explanation given his prior attitude:

"BP has invested much more in renewable energy sources than most of its competitors over the past decade. It was also one of the first major oil companies to accept man-made global warming was real. These facts should also NOT go in the introduction, as to mention them there would, in the context of BP's overall sweep of activities and history, be distorting and misleading." Rangoon11 (talk) 09:44, 21 September 2010

I agree with you, Rangoon. To add this to the Lede is greenwashing. To add it right next to the mention of negative is whitewashing and POV editing.

From an earlier remark I made here regarding the story behind BP's green commitment (context):

BP, under Lord Browne, stopped supporting anti-climate groups and as part of his idea to completely change BP's image to "green", he announced that climate change is real, changed the name to "Beyond Petroleum / bp", bought a large solar company and spent millions on an ad campaign. The problem with this tidbit being added to the article at all, let alone the lede, is that there is no context for the statement. Browne's predecessor Tony Hayward announced he was turning the company away from alternative energy to focus on shareholder value, safety and meeting tough engineering needs (see 11:30) Therefore it continues to be greenwashing in my opinion, and perhaps outdated information.
See: BP brings 'green era' to a close.

Since this is an encyclopedia, we should be here not to make BP look good or bad, but rather to unemotionally add verifiable facts, with context. petrarchan47tc 01:35, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Can I ask you, what evidence do you have that BP, across the whole of its activities, and the whole of its history, has an environmental record which is worse than either its peers or the industry average? The title of this article is not "BP America 2000 to present", but "BP". Because your desire to puff up the lead with negative aspects of its environmental record can only be justified on such a basis. Otherwise the additions would be pure recentism, misleading, contextless, grossly simplistic, undue, essentially just crude attack content.
What I find puzzling is how a small number of American WP editors are persistently trying to add details to the lead of this article which would suggest that BP has an exceptionally poor safety/environmental record (even the current text does this to a considerable degree - but it isn't enough for them), whilst showing no interest at all in editing ExxonMobil, responsbile for among other things the Valdez accident which devastated the pristine coast of Alaska, which has continued to actively support climate change denial long after BP was the first major to acknowledge it, and which has invested virtually nothing in renewables.
Nor Chevron Corporation, which has a long list of environmental controversies. Rangoon11 (talk) 13:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me if many corporation's articles need some work--I'd guess that most editors are more drawn to more fun and exciting articles. I was only drawn to the Cracker Barrel restaurants article because it was mentioned on a page I was watching and I ended up getting involved. I only happened to look at this one because I was so involved with the BP spill article while it was going on. And then when there was not even a mention of the spill in the lead, I had to wonder what on earth was going on? And what I found, Rangoon, did not sit very well with me. I found that you were the one that removed mention of the spill from the lead with this edit summary on Sept 20, the day after the well was finally plugged: (Deepwater reference deleted from intro - now leak has stopped this is a breach of WP:RECENT). Still looking at the article history I found that you "compromised" by prefacing mention of BP's environmental history with, "Like all corporations, BP has...". Reading such obvious problematic editing in your past combined with the fact that this article has a paid editor suggested to me that there was every reason to have concerns regarding potential bias for this article. Since I've been here it has been little more than repeated series of hoops that editors that don't see BP's environmental history in the same manner that you do need to jump through--in other words, just wear opponents down till they just give up. You even argued that it's open to debate about whether the spill is actually the worst in history. Now it seems you want to argue about the "old BP" as opposed to the "new BP" in an attempt to water down their environmental record. PBS FRONTLINE had a good documentary--you should watch it or at least read this article. [1] Gandydancer (talk) 11:36, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Here is another article from the NYT's that compares BP to Exxon-Moblile. [2] Gandydancer (talk) 11:52, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
It's getting so I can scarcely be bothered to engage with either you or Petrarchan. You both have just one interest in this article - puffing up perceived negative aspects of the company's history. That's it.
You have wasted inordinate amounts of time on Talk page discussions, and on a very long DR discussion, but can't accept that there was no consensus for what you are seeking so just keep reopening the issue. A number of other editors who are highly experienced in editing company and energy related articles have disgreed with your proposals, but you misleadingly suggest that I am the sole participant.
You make endless personal attacks whilst failing to address the core issue.
You have been engaging in improper canvassing to try to recruit others to your cause e.g. User talk:NuclearWarfare#Advise please (I made some comments there but they were swiftly removed ([[3]]).
I will ask again, what evidence do you have that BP's environmental and safety record is, over the whole of its activities and history, any worse that either the industry average or peers. You linked sources do not provide it.
The title of this article is not "BP America safety and environmental record 2000 to present", nor "BP America 2000 to present", nor even "BP America", but "BP". Rangoon11 (talk) 12:48, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Rangoon, it is not canvassing to ask an admin for advice. Gandydancer (talk) 16:02, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Internet searches are easy to do. Google: "Compare Exxon Mobile with BP, safety":

  •  :"NYT ...something was systemically wrong with BP’s culture. Mr. Browne had built BP by taking over other oil companies, like Amoco in 1998, and then ruthlessly cutting costs, often firing the acquired company’s most experienced engineers. Taking shortcuts was ingrained in the company’s culture, and everyone in the oil business knew it. The accidents should have been the wake-up call BP needed to change that culture. But the mistakes and negligence that took place on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico — which are so profound that everyone I spoke to in the oil business found them truly inexplicable — suggest that the two men never did much more than mouth nice-sounding platitudes. Which also makes [the BP oil spill] even more unforgivable than it already is. BP executives had four years to fix the company’s problems before an accident took place that was truly catastrophic. And they blew it.
Before the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, the greatest oil disaster in American history was the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, which spewed 10.8 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound in Alaska. (By comparison, the gulf blowout is pouring out that much oil every four or five days.) That experience was searing for the country — but it was also pretty searing for Exxon (now known as Exxon Mobil). “A low point in the history of the company,” Exxon Mobil’s chief executive, Rex Tillerson, called it when he testified before Congress on Tuesday.
There is a reason Exxon Mobil has not had a serious accident in the subsequent 21 years. Unlike BP, it used the accident to transform itself."
  • Jean Pascal "On her watch she would see BP charged with four federal crimes—more than any other oil company in her experience [10 years] —and demonstrate what she described as a pattern of disregard for regulations and for the EPA."

For some perspective, here is the last of 4 paragraphs in the Exxon Mobile intro:

  • A 2012 article in The Daily Telegraph says that ExxonMobil has “grown into one of the planet’s most hated corporations, able to determine American foreign policy and the fate of entire nations”.[14] In terms of its environmental record, ExxonMobil increasingly drills in terrains leased to them by dictatorships, such as those in Nigeria, Chad and Equatorial Guinea. There are also growing public concerns about its pipeline and sea spillage disasters, the worst of which was the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker accident. Lee Raymond, the corporation’s chief executive until 2005, was “notoriously sceptical about climate change and disliked government interference at any level petrarchan47tc 20:08, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

I think history shows that BP is a more progressive company than ExxonMobil, with more involvement in alternative energy and a more progressive stance on climate change. There is plenty of scope to expand the last paragraph of the Lead to talk more about BPs environmental record and accidents. Johnfos (talk) 22:25, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, Rangoon won't allow any expansion of BP's environmental record in the Lead. Now what? petrarchan47tc 22:29, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Patience. I would actually like to hear more of what Beagel has to say. Johnfos (talk) 22:42, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
As per the DRN, Beagle did say s/he preferred this: "BP has been involved in a number of major environmental and safety incidents, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and received criticism for its political influence. In 1997 it became the first major oil company to publicly acknowledge the need to take steps against climate change, and in that year established a company-wide target to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases." From 1 July 2012. petrarchan47tc 22:54, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
To provide the background, the above-mentioned proposal was made by me as a compromise of suggestions/positions of original DRN parties. Unfortunately, this compromise was not accepted by one party. Beagel (talk) 07:17, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
So that mentions political influence which is not in the current lead. I think political influence should be mentioned and support the Lead Beagel has suggested, as it represents a step forward. Johnfos (talk) 23:08, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Another step that could be made, based on Rangoon's statement I quoted at the very beginning of this thread, is to remove the statement about BP being green. As he says, in the whole scope of things, it doesn't deserve mention in the lead. I thought that it was noteworthy that BP was the first company to acknowledge global warming as real - until I read up on the history of how that came about and what has transpired since then. I mentioned this also at the beginning of this thread. At the very least, it should be separated from the mention of accidents, etc. Again I quote from the DRN:
It looks to me as if Rangoon11 is the one introducing POV into the article, the one advocating greenwashing by butting together in one paragraph the mention of severe environmental criticism with the mention of slight environmental commendation. Though the one cannot possibly balance the other, it is made to seem so. Rangoon11's style of communication has been bullying and stultifying rather than collegial... [Binksternet 20:17, 21 June 2012] petrarchan47tc 23:19, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Binksternet would know all about bullying having received a three month ban for Wikihounding. Rangoon11 (talk) 23:39, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Discussion break

e/c What I would not be averse to is some content in the lead which gives proper overall context on BP's environmental (and safety) record across the whole business. In my firm opinion stating individual incidents, particularly from just one part of the company's activities and over just one of its ten decades of history does not do this. In fact it gives a wholly misleading impression.

What I expect we would all agree on, and what the sources given above support, is that, over the last 10 or so years, in the United States, BP has had a worse safety record than ExxonMobil (not necessarily a worse environmental record though, as this is even more complex and subjective and one would have to consider things like BP's investments in renewables, its stance on climate change etc). However even this a hugely complex issue, as this article discusses: [4] The reasons for that worse safety record in the US over that period are also complex and capable of debate.

The issue for me has always been that this is an article about the whole of BP, and the whole of its history. BP's safety and environmental record worldwide and over its whole history is in fact good. Were it not BP would not have been welcome to drill and develop resources in all manner of sensitive locations including Alaska, the North Sea and indeed the Gulf of Mexico. It would not have been welcome to acquire so many oil and gas assets in the US. It would be fair to say that safety at BP facilties such as Saltend in the UK is not merely world class but world leading. There are issues in the US part of the business which in my view relate to issues to do with legacy assets from Arco and Amoco, and issues of under investment and culture in those businesses, which have not been helped by the challenge of integrating them with the rest of the company. Here is a quality third-party source which states: "Throughout its history, British Petroleum has made health, safety and environmental standards the pinnacle of its operations" [5].Rangoon11 (talk) 23:36, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

For me, the issue has always been bias. Rangoon11 literally put a false statement in the first paragraph of the intro, saying BP had "major" investments in green energy (it's about 2.5% right now). He defended that and every bit of the Intro as being perfect since it had been longstanding, and no one should question it. Also, the minimal mention of BP's accidents followed by 'but they are very green' is alarming to many. The claim BP has about reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very outdated. What is the recent status? Didn't Hayward drop the green campaign? If BP is interested in the environment, why then sell the Solar programme simply because it was not profitable enough? Why too are they aggressively pursuing tar sands extraction in Canada, when that practice is known to produce 3 times the greenhouse gas emissions that regular oil drilling does? In other words, let's be honest if we are to mention this at all. Context is best for an encyclopedia. BP is, as all profitable companies, in business for their shareholders, not the environment. It doesn't make them evil, it makes them successful. But it is being used in the intro as greenwashing. It is misleading at best.
When I first saw this article, I was astounded at the obvious bias in the Lede. I am still astounded by the lengths Rangoon will go to keep it there. He complains that editors are here to add negative things about BP, but please know that had Rangoon not overplayed his cards by adding untruths and extreme, obvious bias to the Intro, I for one would have stayed away. petrarchan47tc 00:02, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Per usual lots of personal attacks and whinging but no constructive suggestions and no engaging with the prior post. BTW it is your opinion that BP's investments in renewables are not major, $10 billion is in my view major, and the "major" claim is very easily cited in quality sources eg [6]. I agreed to deletion of the word purely in order to achieve a consensus on the lead. Rangoon11 (talk) 00:13, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I also seem to recall in the DR stating that I would be happy to lose the reference to BP's stance on climate change in order to achieve a consensus, but others in fact stated that they felt it should stay.Rangoon11 (talk) 00:20, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
This is why I believe context is important. "Major" only applies when compared with something. You were not in agreement that since the dollar amount for green energy investments was mentioned, so too should the non-green (for both context and encyclopedic information). It would have shown context, rather than a false impression by showing a giant number.
"The spill has wiped out years of and spending for the company -- but it has also highlighted how disingenuous much of that advertising was. Despite all BP has spent on rebranding, the company hasn't done nearly as much to move "beyond petroleum" as its campaign implies. In fact, BP has been turning away from investments in nonfossil energy, last year cutting investment in alternative sources from $1.4 billion to $1 billion. Weeks before the spill, BP announced that it was shuttering its solar manufacturing plant in Maryland. The company brought in $73 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2010, but only about $700 million of its business was alternative energy sources like wind and solar. [Source] How can this be called "major"?
And why did you, Rangoon, without prompting try to distance yourself from these edits, saying in the DRN that you did not write them. Then, when I showed you the edit history proving otherwise, you said Ocaassi helped you to write them. But this is not born out on the talk page. This is one reason I don't feel that you are being straightforward.
Rangoon:
  • Why not mention exactly how much BP invests in both green energy and other forms?
  • And why did you say that it should not be mentioned on the lead, but are now adamant that it should be? (I have asked you twice and you responded by changing the subject.)
Anyone who is here to provide unbiased information to the reader should have no problem with the highlighted text, and would agree that this information belongs in the article in some form - even in the intro, if green energy is to be mentioned there. Or is there something about encyclopedias that I don't understand? petrarchan47tc 00:47, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Why not mention exactly how much BP invests in both green energy and other forms?
- I'm not averse to this in principle, although I wouldn't want the information to be used purely in order to give the impression that BP's renewable investments are small when they are in fact the largest in the industry and dwarf those of all peers apart from compatriot Shell. Plenty of sources can be found which describe BP's investments in renewables to be major, large etc. Since these issues are subjective and complex and the lead does not afford room for analysis the two pieces of information should be presented neutrally and non-comparatively.
And why did you say that it should not be mentioned on the lead, but are now adamant that it should be? (I have asked you twice and you responded by changing the subject.)
- I may have changed my mind on some things in the two or so years I have been editing this article based on the comments of others, or my own reflections. However I said in the DR and still say that I am willing in theory to lose the reference to BP's leadership on climate change from the lead but only as part of an effort to build a wider consensus on the lead. Dormskirk, whose views I respect a lot and who has a great deal of experience editing company articles (and who has done a lot of work on this article in the past), did state that they felt this text should stay, and that does bear on my thinking though.Rangoon11 (talk) 01:07, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
It was only one person who said that the mention of climate change recognition could stay, and that was me. But as I said earlier, that was before I read the history: that it was a part of Browne's campaign to change BP's image, and is not supported by action, and was followed by Hayward ending the focus on green energy. If BP's green energy investments are larger than all other oil companies, it would be better to say that - "Major compared to..." because that would be a true statement.
So, since you have twice said it shouldn't be in the intro, will you remove it? I know you are uncomfortable with the mention of BP's environmental accidents being only one single sentence (which would be the result of this removal), and contrary to your claim that I never add substantive suggestions, I do have additions to make as suggested by Johnfos. You have repeatedly suggested you'd rather BP be treated (by Wikipedia editors) like Exxon Mobile. I copied the 4th paragraph of their intro above. It does not shy away from mentioning recent events.
The reason the list of BP's accidents is so recent, as I've mentioned before, has to do with BP being a sluggish company until Browne expanded it while tightening the budget by not fixing/updating equipment. This happened recently. Drilling more = more accidents for BP. And since BP America is the largest division, most of the accidents are going to occur in America. Additionally, I am not sure how well incidents were recorded prior to the internet. This makes it challenging to add early history.
This argument that recent events should not be mentioned doesn't seem to hold true when it comes to the green energy claims, why is that? petrarchan47tc 01:34, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
That paragraph in the ExxonMobil article is a very recent addition (added at the start of this month). It remains to be seen if it will be staying for long. I doubt it, at least in anything resembling its current form. Quotes are deprecated in leads, particularly when used in that way. It is highly POV, makes some sweeping generalisations - apparently not even cited in part - and has yet to be discussed on the Talk page.
By revenues BP America is actually around a third of BP, so two thirds of BP are not in the US.
Do you have any evidence that BP's safety record ex the US has been worse over the past 10 years than the 10 years prior?Rangoon11 (talk) 01:54, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Discussion break

No, but it might be because BP is less than open about their accidents. From the 2008 Caspian Sea Blowout, which we only know about thanks to Wikileaks: Striking resemblances between BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand have emerged from leaked US embassy cables.

The cables reveal that some of BP's partners in the gas field were upset that the company was so secretive about the incident that it even allegedly withheld information from them. They also say that BP was lucky that it was able to evacuate its 212 workers safely after the incident, which resulted in two fields being shut and output being cut by at least 500,000 barrels a day with production disrupted for months.

Other cables leaked ... claim that the president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing $10bn of oil from his country and using "mild blackmail" to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region.

In reference to an earlier point you made, yes, the US government does business with BP. They were found to be in collusion during the Gulf spill. BP is the #1 supplier of fuel for the Pentagon. The US government is not an unbiased entity. Not every government likes BP; as of this year, Russia will no longer work with them. petrarchan47tc 06:43, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Sources for Caspian Sea Blowout 2008: Guardian / TIME petrarchan47tc 06:46, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

TIME: Ambassador Derse described the Azerbaijan government's annoyance over what they said was BP's secretiveness about the incident — a charge which would be repeated by President Barack Obama less than two years later, when he lashed out at BP for obfuscating over the Gulf blowout. petrarchan47tc 06:49, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

I would like to correct one misinterpretation. As I already pointed out in the specific discussion about Caspian incident at Azeri field, the information about the accident was reported by the mainstream media (not talking about industry-specific media sources) at the same day. The relevant discussion providing more details is archived here. So, the claim that we know about this incident only because of Wikileaks is not true and one could say even ignorant. Beagel (talk) 07:12, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate being corrected, the main points I was trying to make are not affected by your revelations. I do not, however, appreciate personal attacks. Using the term ignorant is not cool and I would appreciate your keeping things impersonal here. You are in violation of WP:INDCRIT petrarchan47tc 07:25, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry if you take this as personal attack, it was not intended to be. However, from the archived discussion it is clear that you were aware of the fact that the information was reported at the same day. So the question is, why you repeated this inaccurate claim again one month later if you were aware that this is incorrect. If you say that this is not ignorance, I am more than glad to believe this; however, please stop repeating that kind of practise. Beagel (talk) 07:37, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
It isn't a practice, it is a mistake. I cannot promise to never make one again, and if you correct me just do it without name calling. petrarchan47tc 07:57, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

This might be something to consider: From NYT Seeing Corporate Fingerprints in Wikipedia Edits Most of the corporate revisions did not stay posted for long. Many Wikipedia entries are in a constant state of flux as they are edited and re-edited, and the site’s many regular volunteers and administrators tend to keep an eye out for bias. In 2004, someone using a computer at ExxonMobil made substantial changes to a description of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, playing down its impact on the area’s wildlife and casting a positive light on compensation payments the company had made to victims of the spill.

I am seeing bias that looks like what any 3rd grader could expect to see IF a corporation or special interest group was editing on their company's behalf. It's silly to think that the company responsible for £1 in every £6 paid out in dividends to British pension pots would not want to have someone fighting to keep bad news about their stock value, and about their accidents and record, out of the intro and as far down the page as possible. I see all of this happening here. I expect to be attacked for saying this. But that is wrong. This is Wikipedia, it's not for sale and if someone is being harassed for trying to call attention to it, Wikipedia should be doing something to stop that, in my opinion. I am not saying that some people are sitting at BP typing away. But let's be honest here. Obvious bias is extremely obvious. Why should Wikipedia editors have to strike a bargain for content if a corporate PR rep is part of the negotiations? (They do exist) I am not saying that anyone here IS doing this, only that it is what I would expect to see if corporate interests were being represented on this page. I could be totally wrong.

COI editing: "COI editing involves contributing to Wikipedia in order to promote your own interests or those of other individuals, companies, or groups. Where advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest"Source

CNN mentions "there are a few firms out there who can take care of Wikipedia problems discretely. I won't recommend any, but they are out there" in How to solve your Wikipedia problem. petrarchan47tc 00:47, 20 August 2012 (UTC) petrarchan47tc 07:47, 20 August 2012 (UTC) petrarchan47tc 08:09, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

This is going quite far from the original discussion about the lead. However, if you think that there is any COI editor involved in editing this article, please go forward and report this on the relevant notice board. Otherwise, please do not make allegations. Beagel (talk) 08:57, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
This has been Petrarchan's modus operandi from the start, unable to gain a consensus for their desired changes, they have resorted to continuous personal attacks, allegations of paid editing, and allegations of harassment.
Petrarchan - what harassment has been taking place exactly, apart from your own allegations of harassment (in WP unjustifed accusations of harassment are themselves regarded as harassment), and repeated unevidenced claims of paid/COI editing?Rangoon11 (talk) 14:25, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Rangoon, you seem to be addressing your post to Petrarchan however you then state "...their desired changes, they have resorted...". Are you referring to me? As for Petrarchan's post, I don't see it as an accusation of secret paid editing but rather as a statement of what every WP editor should keep in mind when they see what they consider to be obvious biased editing for any corporation. I think that we'd all agree that editors are sometimes quite passionate and dedicated to their POV about plenty of WP articles--one that comes to my mind is the extremely long and dramatic argument over the picture for the Pregnancy article--hundreds of posts went on for months till one day (pretty much out of the blue) Jimbo changed the photo and that ended the discussion. On the other hand, when one sees a steadfast determination to hold to a certain positive POV in an article about a corporation, it should not be considered odd to wonder about motivations such as being a stockholder in that company. Some people never like it when someone in a group mentions the elephant in the room, while others may feel that it's good to clear the air. The same mention (of stockholders) came up early in the BP Gulf spill article when some editors seemed to be using a lot of bias in their editing and nobody suggested that the idea was outlandish at all. Gandydancer (talk) 15:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Petrarchan's comments are quite unambiguous so please don't bother to try and dig them out of the hole they have made for themselves. They are repeatedly making wholly unfounded, unjustified, unevidenced and unacceptable accusations. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:16, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind that you have repeatedly called my talk page edits a waste of time, asked if I was just here to edit war, and now accuse me of canvassing, and I can't remember what else--so you hardly have room to complain about other editors. Gandydancer (talk) 17:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I said that you engaged in canvassing - you did. Petrarchan has made wholly unfounded, unjustified, unevidenced and unacceptable accusations. Period. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:49, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hi, I have been following part of this discussion and I'd just like to say that I am the only authorized person from BP involved here. I have not made any edits to the article, nor do I intend to in the future. I see my role here as to provide constructive suggestions for improvements to this article within Wikipedia's guidelines. If you have any questions about my role, I would be happy to discuss further on my Talk page and leave this page for discussions regarding article content. Arturo at BP (talk) 17:39, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Arturo, your activity has been stellar, but thanks for making another note here as your first one is hidden in the archives.
Rangoon, did you ever explain this? Would you please show me where you received help in writing this section (here and here) you claimed not to have written (later stating you meant to say you hadn't written it alone)? My apologies if you did respond and I simply missed it.
The mention of BP's monetary investments in green energy were added to the Lede with the citation "detail added" by Rangoon. Yet when I sought to add balance by adding details about petrol investments, that was labeled POV by Rangoon, and unfortunately Arturo never has responded to my request for accurate, up-to-date petrol figures. petrarchan47tc 22:13, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
This is a talk page for discussing the BP article. And yet you keep repeatedly using it as a forum to simply make personal attacks, unfounded accusations and to analyse other editors' behaviour.
Just a few lines above you made serious allegations. Upon returning to the page, not only do you not apologise or retract those comments, you simply move on to make even more irrelevant comments and to infer again that a mistake on my part is evidence of dishonesty (per your comment above that this same mistake was "one reason I don't feel that you are being straightforward"). So someone else makes a mistake, you suggest that they are a liar, however when Beagle pointed out a mistake you had made you were immediately jumping up and down saying "It isn't a practice, it is a mistake. I cannot promise to never make one again, and if you correct me just do it without name calling".
Furthermpre one minute you are stating "I do not, however, appreciate personal attacks. Using the term ignorant is not cool and I would appreciate your keeping things impersonal here. " the next minute you are making serious accusations of harassment and paid editing, whilst providing no evidence of either. Rangoon11 (talk) 23:28, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I still don't hear any explanation for your talking in circles regarding the addition of greenwashing to the Lede. Why did you try to distance yourself from those edits when no one even brought up the subject of who did them? Clearly you are uncomfortable with the edits yet you continue to revert editors who try to separate the mention of BP's accidents from the green claim. Furthermore, as this was one of your earliest comments to me: I suggest that you go off and write a blog, realize that you set a precedent. I mentioned the obvious: the edits to this article LOOK exactly like COI editing (which doesn't mean that it was compensated necessarily). That is NOT an attack. "Go off and get a blog" - is. Your history at the Administrator's Noticeboard shows you've been accused of, and blocked for, the very points I have been making for two months now. My mentioning in the discussion that BP's earlier blowout is known only because of Wikileaks, even though I had been told that some small publications had mentioned it right away was a mistake. Your trying to equate this incident with multiple false claims you made in the DRN makes you look desparate. petrarchan47tc 08:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Your presence on this talk page has become - in fact it has been for a while - highly negative, disruptive and non-constructive. You have accused others of harrasment. Where is your evidence.
You have also accused others of paid editing, despite your attempt to backpedal in your latest post. Where is your evidence? Rangoon11 (talk) 11:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Do not put words into my mouth. Show me where I accused someone of paid editing with a diff, please. petrarchan47tc 17:27, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
In the DR you said things like "As for saying you worked for BP, I am questioning it." and "it looks to me like he is working on behalf of BP"
On this page your post above is very clear in what it is suggesting: [7].
Wording like "This is Wikipedia, it's not for sale and if someone is being harassed for trying to call attention to it, Wikipedia should be doing something to stop that, in my opinion. I am not saying that some people are sitting at BP typing away. But let's be honest here. Obvious bias is extremely obvious. Why should Wikipedia editors have to strike a bargain for content if a corporate PR rep is part of the negotiations?" and "CNN mentions "there are a few firms out there who can take care of Wikipedia problems discretely. I won't recommend any, but they are out there"" are very clear in their implication, particularly when taken with your earlier comments as well as your hawking round to others about my having a COI and your seeking a topic ban to stop me editing the article [8].
You have ZERO EVIDENCE of any paid editing, or of harrassment and yet are making disruptive and wholly inappropriate and unacceptable allegations.Rangoon11 (talk) 18:05, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Your edits indeed look EXACTLY like what I would expect to see if someone had a COI - either by being compensated, or for whatever reason. I stand by that. It looks bad. You are well aware that you can use the Admin noticeboard if I am doing something wrong. You STILL haven't explained your addition of greenwashing and later claim that you didn't write it. Of course you find this all quite negative and tedious, even offensive - you are being called out for inappropriate, promotional and biased editing of the highest order. Not only did you add the greenwashing, but you did not bring it to the talk page first and you have stood by those edits for well over a year like an armed guard. I am not the first person to try and fix the Lede by undoing some of your spin. You simply revert everyone immediately. petrarchan47tc 18:17, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I have said from the very beginning, in the intro to the DRN, that I am questioning whether there is some editing being done on behalf of BP, because no other explanation for your edit history here makes sense to me. But: I have never said that you are being paid. I didn't ever claim to know what was going on behind the scenes and I don't find it relevant since COI is proven by actions alone. In your partial quote above, I mentioned various examples of how COI editing on behalf of a company could come about. I am pointing out the fact that professional spin doctors exist on Wikipedia because it is something all editors should keep in mind. What you left out was that I also quoted from the description of COI, and showed it isn't dependent on someone being paid. If your edits are spinning the page to benefit BP's reputation, it looks like what one would expect from a PR rep and is wholly inappropriate for Wikipedia. I don't believe negotiations for content should include arguments from someone with an edit history like yours, which looks like a PR rep for BP (for whatever reason), hence my mention of a ban. Also, "This is Wikipedia - it's not for sale..." was most assuredly NOT directed at you. I was speaking to us all, giving my position. You have yet to explain the edit history I've asked you about. petrarchan47tc 04:57, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

"Where advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest" petrarchan47tc 05:27, 23 August 2012 (UTC) ""COI editing involves contributing to Wikipedia in order to promote your own interests or those of other individuals, companies, or groups" (It matters not which category one falls into, to me anyway.) petrarchan47tc 05:29, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

"and received criticism for its political influence"

So, what is

and received criticism for its political influence

in there for? In the case of the Gulf, or Russia, what I see is a *lack* of political influence. But if you can find good cites to the contrary, please provide them William M. Connolley (talk) 06:43, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

See the above discussion, especially this. The article itself provides this section, which is enough to warrant a mention in the Lede. So far, you are the only editor who has opposed it and who removed it. Are you trying to make the argument that since BP cannot get along with Russia any longer that it proves BP has no political influence? And what exactly are you referring to in regards to Gulf of Mexico? Or do you mean a different Gulf? petrarchan47tc 06:57, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
This isn't good enough. Its just one bloke's opinion, and provides no justification for the text. The [record] section isn't good enough either - half of that isn't even politics. "2008: Oil price manipulation" is nothing to do with politics at all. Neither is "Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline". I see you've added some refs, but really, they aren't good enough either: any large corporation is going to get this kind of stuff thrown at it (and especially after the gulf, lots of people said lots of things in heat). These are essentially primary refs. What you need is something more synthetic.
Are you trying to make the argument that since BP cannot get along with Russia any longer that it proves BP has no political influence? - I'm pointing out that BP's record in Russia provides no support for the idea that it has strong political influence, quite the reverse. And the same applies to the Gulf oil spill. The US govt completely ignored the law in that case in threatening BP William M. Connolley (talk) 09:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
This isn't a place to make arguments that aren't represented in mainstream literature. Anyway, in the Gulf of Mexico, as you can see from my link, BP is still a major player. Ever since the UK PM visted Obama in June 2010, Obama has never said one word against BP. We have to look at the whole of the story, not moments in time. Read: How British oil giant BP used all the political muscle money can buy to fend off regulators and influence investigations into corporate neglect - From the last 2 paras (Italics mine):
But Pascal quickly ran into the oil-company equivalent of “too big to fail”—and knew that her threat was essentially empty. Although this is not widely known, BP has been one of the biggest suppliers of fuel to the Pentagon
If she pushed debarment too hard, Pascal was sure the Pentagon would simply invoke a national-security exception that would allow BP to continue to sell it oil. “When a major economic and political giant" tells you it has direct access to the White House, it’s very intimidating,” says Pascal. After nearly two years of trying, Pascal retired from the EPA in February with the settlement agreement unsigned. “I can’t tell you that if my compliance agreement had been signed it would have prevented what happened in the gulf,” she says. “We just don’t know.” Whether that unfortunate history will repeat itself, with the company facing its worst crisis ever, is also unknown. But for BP, finding its way around Washington is terrain far more familiar than the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. petrarchan47tc 17:24, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
You are right that there should be a section covering BP's political influence and the criticism they have received for it. I would suggest it's better to create the section yourself, than to remove the claim in the Lede against other editor's wishes and demand someone else do the work. You have stated that you are a BP stockholder, and that really shouldn't matter - I trust you can still edit with NPOV in mind. From what I have seen your only additions to this article are to remove negative claims instead of actually building the article and doing research. It's easy to nitpick but if you want to appear unbiased, it would be better for you to work with other editors here to build this article based on reliable sources. To argue BP has no political influence skirts the issue at hand and has no backing in RS. The claim you removed says "BP has received criticism for..." and indeed they have. Those sources showing criticism BP has received for political influence should be made into a well written section and the statement should be re-added. The onus may be on you since you removed it, though I doubt that's a steadfast Wikipedia guideline. The only other person to mention having any issue with the statement in question was me. In the DRN I asked what that statement meant, because I couldn't find a clear support for it in the article. Very shortly after asking that question, you simply removed it instead of helping to answer the question, and began removing other things from the article, saying this article needs a lot of work. Yet we haven't heard from you until today when you come to again remove the statement. In general, for this encyclopedia it is best to add and fix rather than to simply remove factual material. petrarchan47tc 21:02, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Lobbying

Did anyone check up:

BP has lobbied to gain exemptions from US corporate law reforms.<ref>{{Cite web| title = BP |publisher=The Center For Responsive Politics | url = http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.asp?ID=D000000091&Name=BP}}</ref> Additionally, BP paid the [[Podesta Group]], a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm, $160,000 in the first half of 2007 to manage its congressional and government relations.<ref>{{Cite web| title = BP |publisher=The Center for Responsive Politics | url = http://opensecrets.org/lobbyists/clientsum.asp?year=2007&txtname=BP}}</ref>

When I look at http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.asp?ID=D000000091&Name=BP I get a nearly blank page. Also, it isn't really clear to me why "BP paid the Podesta Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm, $160,000 in the first half of 2007..." is notable. All large firms pay for lobbying somewhat, no? This stuff is all anecdote and laundry-list; there is no attempt at any kind of systematic analysis of BP's lobbying William M. Connolley (talk) 16:31, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Is "Open Secrets" an acceptable source to use on Wikipedia? It wouldn't seem so, though it makes a good place to begin research sometimes. petrarchan47tc 17:29, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I suggest removing HR 910 from the lobbying section. A little research suggests (to me anyway) that it is not worth a mention. Gandydancer (talk) 23:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually the more I look at the new additions re lobbying efforts, I'm sure tempted to just remove them all. IMO one can get into pretty nasty shark-infected waters when it comes to mentioning specific bills voted for or against by members of congress (or in this case lobbied for or against): How many times have you seen the political ads with "and [my opponent] voted to not honor mothers and apple pie!!!" when that is actually a twisted reading of the bill or something that a particular congressperson buried deep in the bill somewhere. Thoughts Petrarchan? Gandydancer (talk) 01:02, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with removal of the specific bills. Go ahead. petrarchan47tc 01:56, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
You have removed even the mention of bills, I was saying OK to removal of specific ones. I'll re add the general statement. petrarchan47tc 04:03, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I tried to re-add the line, but it looks pretty awkward so I'm leaving it out. As is, the section is 2 lines, so it looks a bit awkward anyway. petrarchan47tc 05:04, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I removed some text re previous record amounts with an edit comment that didn't make my issue clear. P then readded it [9]. My issue is twofold: firstly, the text there is essentially a copyvio from the Grauniad article. Secondly, that text made some kind of sense in 2010 when the article was written, but it doesn't really make sense now. We don't write "in 2001 it broke its 2000 record; in 2002 it broke its 2001 record..." etc etc. Because there is no reason to do so. Incidentally, using as ref just an article written by someone clearly heavily critical of BP isn't great, either William M. Connolley (talk) 06:28, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

By your edit summary, it looked like the removal was based solely on awkward wording, as that is what you said. It makes sense to mention BP's biggest and second biggest lobbying years. But I'm fine with the removal of it. I don't believe my editing is fueled by criticism of BP, but wanting to get the article up to speed factually and to remove bias. When you remove parts and ask for proof in order to re-add it, as has happened a few times, I will inevitably end up looking critical of BP when I present it. petrarchan47tc 07:46, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh dear, awkward phrasing again. By "written by someone clearly heavily critical of BP" I meant the author of the Grauniad ref, not anyone here William M. Connolley (talk) 08:17, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
That is really nice to hear. petrarchan47tc 08:29, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Tag: This intro does not adequately cover this article's contents

Do not remove this tag until the bottom 2/3 of the article has an adequate representation in the Lede. If you remove this tag, please present your argument as to how the Intro covers the contents of the article in a fair manner. I'm not seeing it. petrarchan47tc 17:35, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Edit warring to impose tag

Not satisified with using this talk page as a forum to make all manner of personal attacks and accusations, Petrarchan has now decided to add edit warring to their list of disruptive behaviour by attempting to impose a tag at the top of this article.

The tag having been removed not once but twice, Petrarchan has simply re added it. The tag should be removed and a consensus established for its inclusion, it does not form part of the stable version of this article. It is an opinion that the lead does not adequately summarise the article, and an opinion that has thus far failed to achieve a consensus. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:38, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

What do others think of the Intro - does it cover the article's contents in a fair and balanced way? petrarchan47tc 17:41, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
We have been having extensive discussions on the lead both in a DR and on this talk page, you have been involved in both and are therefore fully aware that your views on the lead have not achieved a consensus. Please remove the tag. Rangoon11 (talk) 17:49, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Your view that the Lede is perfectly representative of the contents of this article has not established consensus. You know that my views are not held by me alone, and that a number of editors including an admin have found your 4th para: 'BP had some accidents. They are green though' to be inappropriate. In fact, it is one of the best examples of greenwashing I can imagine. Your sticking by these edits does not make you look like an editor interested in NPOV. petrarchan47tc 18:10, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Consensus is not unanimity. You have patently failed to achieve any consensus for your proposed changes to the lead despite very lengthy dicussion. The addition of the tag was reverted for good reasons. Twice. Until its addition - since it does not form part of the stable version of the article - has achieved a consensus it should be removed. Rangoon11 (talk) 18:13, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Your "stable version of the article" was won by your reverting anyone who tried to fix the Lede. Also, based on your statement you should be adding what William Connolley continues to remove - namely the statement about BP's political influence, as it was part of your "longstanding" Lede. Why aren't you insisting it be re-added? petrarchan47tc 18:23, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

How about we drop all the personal stuff and just talk about the article? As for the tag, you can't establish a good it should be in / it should be out. Does anyone really think this article is so good that the tag disfigures it? The tag is the least of the problems here; just... don't care about it.

If you mean that the env / accidents / pol isn't in the lede, this is likely because those are very poor sections and very hard to summarise. Its all laundry-list stuff, very badly done William M. Connolley (talk) 20:24, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes those section are poor quality laundry-list type content, in fact that's being kind, it's recentist, US-centric attack content in the main which gives no real encyclopedic information about the company's record in those areas worldwide, over the span of its history, and in comparison to peers and industry averages.
In my view the tag does disfigure the lead. More importantly it gives a misleading impression that there is a consensus that the lead is grossly deficient. We know well that no such consensus exists as the lead has been the subject of very extensive discussion. The tag should be removed unless and until a clear consensus can be established for its addition. Rangoon11 (talk) 20:40, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Rangoon you keep saying that the lead has been the subject of very extensive discussion as though Wikipedia has been discussed and decided and we're all done now. Furthermore, actually, when all mention of the Gulf spill was removed from the lead, you removed it and you did not bother to discuss it at all but rather just said the day after they plugged the leak there was no longer any need to keep that info in the lead. I've been saying for about two months now that I believe that the lead is grossly deficient. Gandydancer (talk) 02:39, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The reason the accidents and controversies aren't in the Lede is not because the article is messy. It's because it's been blocked from being added. petrarchan47tc 05:32, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
They are in the lead, just not in as undue, US-centric, recentist and misleading manner as you would like.
The lead has been discussed at length and you have failed to achieve a consensus for your proposed changes. Numerous editors who are far more experienced than either of you in editing company articles have stated that the lead is broadly fine as is. Rangoon11 (talk) 12:11, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
If indeed you are correct in that editors with a great deal of experience in working on company articles are responsible for the existing lead which contains next to nothing about BP's extremely poor environmental history, perhaps it is good that I have chosen to edit the article since I have experience working on environmental subjects. On the other hand, what I am arguing is related to WP policy, not expertise in one field or another. I have been arguing that the lead does not adequately reflect WP policy which states that the lead should be able to stand alone as a general overview of what one will find in the article. One need not be a company expert to know that, one need to look at what WP policy says and that should settle any problems. That's why I went to an admin who is assumed to have more knowledge/experience in WP policy than I (referring to the incident that you choose to call canvassing). Gandydancer (talk) 13:47, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I will quote some of the response which the said admin gave you "Hey Gandy, sorry for taking so long to respond. I'm not sure you'll like what I have to say. I think the article is actually fine as is or at most could use one more sentence on BP's safety record." and "discussing proper weight of points in the lead is a matter where reasonable people can disagree quite extensively"
The lead needs to achieve a number of objectives, to offer a standalone introduction to the topic, as well as a summary of the article. Clearly space in a lead is limited, and there are a number of pieces of information which the lead must contain, such as details of name, HQ, stock market listing, operations, history, products and relative position in its market. To fail to give these would be to wholly fail to provide an overview of the topic.
In terms of "contoversies" - if these are to be dealt with in the lead then it must be in a way which is not merely crude attack content, and which provides some sense of context. For example, all major oil companies will be involved in many safety issues, all have had large spills, all have lost numerous staff in accidents. To therefore just list a small number of incidents tells the reader nothing encyclopedic but gives the misleading impression that the company's record in this area must be especially bad.
This is also not an article on "BP America safety and environmental record 2000 to present" but on BP, its whole history and its worldwide operations. No sources have been provided which state that BP has a worse record than peers or industry averages worldwide. No sources have been provided which state that BP has a worse record than peers or industry averages over the span of its history.Rangoon11 (talk) 14:14, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I added a neutrality tag since a tag seems justified to me. Rangoon's requests for extraordinary documentation to show BP's environmental record for the span of its history, industry averages worldwide, etc., are not reasonable--if one reads the article and the sources the information is sufficient. Gandydancer (talk) 19:53, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Sources are required in WP for factual claims, particularly of this nature, and no such sources have been provided as yet, and no such sources exist in the article. The only wide ranging source provided to date has been the one which I provided, which states "Throughout its history, British Petroleum has made health, safety and environmental standards the pinnacle of its operations" [10].
So essentially you want the right to have this article reflect your own personal view, which you have stated explicitly, that BP has "the worst environmental record in the industry", but don't even feel that you need to provide sources to justify it. Rangoon11 (talk) 20:16, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
In fact this is the exact wording which you used in your canvassing : "Considering that they have the worst environmental history in the oil industry and one of the worst in general, I believed that the lead should reflect that". [11] That personal POV is what you are seemingly on a mission to make this article reflect. Sources please. Rangoon11 (talk) 20:25, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

There is NO consensus that the dispute over neutrality of Intro has been resolved. Quit removing the tag - doing so means you can prove there is no longer a dispute. If someone cannot admit that there is a dispute going on - for over two months now - well, I'm at a loss for words. Again, it is exactly the behaviour one could expect from an editor with COI. petrarchan47tc 23:56, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

What is the big problem Rangoon? What is so hard to swallow about the fact that the Intro is in dispute? Did ANYONE agree with your removal of the tag? I know I didn't, William C. also did not, and I assume Gandydancer did not either, as he posted a tag today. You are not the sole decision maker. And to make comments about someone's inability to spell consensus is just catty. petrarchan47tc 00:06, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The only proposals for changing the lead which have been made have been wholly unreasonable and have been rejected by multiple editors. No constructive proposals are now being made for how to change the lead, all that is happening is that two editors are repeatedly, repetitively and unconstructively stating that they do not like the current text. In the circumstances it is not reasonable for a tag to be placed on the lead. BTW I shan't be replying to any more of your comments on COI, harassment etc but am keeping a detailed record of them. Rangoon11 (talk) 00:16, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I am fully aware that everything I type at Wikipedia IS a record. Your mention of it? An attempt to scare me and to intimidate me, and to get me to shut up. It's a waste of your time, but have at it. petrarchan47tc 00:25, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
No please keep on making the comments. Rangoon11 (talk) 00:28, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
This isn't a game. You made wildly slanted changes to the Lede and protected them for many months on end. Now you are trying to intimidate the person who speaks out about it. You told what looks to me like a bold faced lie regarding your edits, and have yet to explain why it was not a lie, as you have suggested with "Again you accuse me of lying". petrarchan47tc 00:36, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry but you are one of those people who it is rather amusing to watch dig themselves into a deeper and deeper hole. Rangoon11 (talk) 00:39, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

(More) canvassing

There has been more canvassing which should be recorded on this page: [12]. Rangoon11 (talk) 20:31, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Rangoon, quit trying to turn this discussion into a battleground. There is nothing wrong with inviting a fellow editor who has been editing the article to join in on the discussion! I noted that the editor does not use English as his/her first language and thought perhaps they may be "shy" for that reason. I would consider it helpful to hear from a Russian, etc., editor for a more global view for this article about a global corporation. Gandydancer (talk) 00:19, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
[Some canvassing by Rangoon], since we're keeping track. petrarchan47tc 00:22, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
It was inappropriate, as the editor in question had shortly before been adding "controversy" type content to the article and it could therefore be assumed that they would be far more likely to be supportive of your approach to the article than an editor chosen at random.
I had no reason to know what approach Beagle would take on any of these issues, and Petrachan also placed an invitation on their talk page: [13].Rangoon11 (talk) 00:27, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
In other words, we're all doing it. So pipe down. petrarchan47tc 00:32, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Sorry but this is really just getting silly. I am very well aware that my every edit is being watched by Rangoon--does anyone really believe that I would be so stupid as to try and sneakily notify the Armenian editor to come and make some edits so that I could...what?...since I already said that I concede re the addition that was in dispute. Gandydancer (talk) 01:05, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't think inviting someone to join in discussion on the talk page, when that person has already been editing the article, is canvassing, or indeed worth raising here. Please can we go back to actually discussing the substantive issues? William M. Connolley (talk) 06:17, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Concur, none of the examples shown above fulfill the policy complaint of canvassing. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 11:29, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
It is a subjective point in this case, the individual contacted was in my view not nonpartisan. However this cannot be seen in strict isolation, the same editor has also been posting campaigining posts away from this talk page, with wording such as "Considering that they have the worst environmental history in the oil industry and one of the worst in general" [14].Rangoon11 (talk) 15:49, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, that would obviously be POV, but we have to treat each article and the edits as they come. Looking back through the recent history, I'm not quite clear what the big issue is for you Rangoon, are you against BP's environmental/political record featuring? I would suggest that all of the big oil corporations have a good deal of sourceable and notable stories in these arenas and it isn't POV to give them high billing - any responses from the corporations or efforts they made to clean up or ammend their ways can also be posted. Is this the problem for you? Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 16:00, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
It is an opinion which I have no problem with GD expressing here and am happy to debate with them (although they have thus far failed to provide any sources which support the claim), but doing so when seeking the assistance of a non-involved editor was not strictly speaking appropriate.
There are a few issues regarding the points which you touch on in the second part of your post and they are complex.
All major oil companies are involved in safety, environmental and political issues. All will have been involved in multiple oil leaks, will have lost staff in accidents, will have attracted "controversy" for being active in certain countries. One could produce a long laundry list of accidents which have involved, say, Exxon, Total, Shell, Chevron or Conoco. That list on its own would however mean little without context about the relative safety performance relative to peers and industry averages. All of these companies are very large, active in inherently hugely complex operations which are potentially highly dangerous and have a significant environmental impact.
A couple of editors here are of the opinion that BP has "the worst environmental history in the oil industry" and want the article to reflect that viewpoint. It is an opinion which is uncited, highly subjective and not supported by the laundry list content in the last three sections of the article.
The Deepwater accident is hihgly unusual in its size, profile and impact, including financially on BP, and I recognise that a good case can be made for specifically mentioning it in the lead (a good case can in my view also be made against, although I have personally long accepted such a reference being included and am not seeking to remove it, indeed I am happy with the lead as is).
However what I would like is for content on these issues to have context and to reflect the complexity of these issues. That is very hard to do in a lead and it is very easy for this type of content in a lead to be recentist/attack-style content/undue/unbalanced/misleading etc. Rangoon11 (talk) 16:27, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Rangoon, your claim that a couple editors are of the opinion, and are trying to push the idea that BP has the worst environmental record needs to be proven with diffs. I feel that you might be referring to me, though I have never said that. I do not want you assigning words or motives to me, whether directly or indirectly, so please from now on bring diffs when making accusations.
BP is however, an outlier in the field. And that is well-sourced. Since we're building this encyclopedia based on reliable sources rather than personal views, I offer the following:

Comparing BP record with competitors

  • This ProPublica article has 2 charts (1/5 down the page) that make comparison with fellow oil companies easy to see.
  • From ABC news: BP's safety violations far outstrip its fellow oil companies. According to the Center for Public Integrity, in the last three years, BP refineries in Ohio and Texas have accounted for 97 percent of the "egregious, willful" violations handed out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The violations are determined when an employer demonstrated either an "intentional disregard for the requirements of the [law], or showed plain indifference to employee safety and health."
OSHA statistics show BP ran up 760 "egregious, willful" safety violations, while Sunoco and Conoco-Phillips each had eight, Citgo had two and Exxon had one comparable citation.
  • From NYT: There is a reason Exxon Mobil has not had a serious accident in the subsequent 21 years. Unlike BP, it used the accident to transform itself.
  • NYT: BP compared with Exxon But BP, the nation’s biggest oil and gas producer, has a worse health, environment and safety record than many other major oil companies, according to Yulia Reuter, the head of the energy research team at RiskMetrics, a consulting group that assigns scores to companies based on their performance in various categories, including safety.
The industry standard for safety, analysts say, is set by Exxon Mobil, which displays an obsessive attention to detail, monitors the smallest spill and imposes scripted procedures on managers.
  • From the Houston Chronicle: BP leads the nation in refinery deaths, Chronicle analysis shows "Records show big gap between company and top U.S.-based peer" petrarchan47tc 03:48, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Any CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions for the lead?

Speaking purely for myself I am now finding this Talk page both boring and timewasting. Do either of Petrachan or Gandydancer have any CONSTRUCTIVE proposals for how to take the lead forward? Rangoon11 (talk) 00:38, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Speaking for myself, I am not going to fall into the trap again where you ask for a proposal with no intention of negotiating any change. In the DRN, you asked me this same question, and I spent literally ten days researching and writing up a proper paragraph. In one second it was declined full stop. I have said before that I am not willing to negotiate with someone who has an edit history such as yours because I don't feel I can trust your words or motives, until you explain why they weren't lies, as you have suggested. This is the 5th time I have asked you. Credibility can be ruined in an instant. I continue to look forward to your explanation. petrarchan47tc 01:13, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I have no interest in your opinion of me. And my opinion of you is exceptionally low.
Do you have any CONSTRUCTIVE sugguestions to make regarding the lead? Your previous suggestion was ludicrous and was rejected by multiple editors. And it doesn't surprise me that it took you ten days to produce a low quality piece of writing a few lines long which someone of basic competence could have put together in 30 mins, but that is your problem, indeed your tragedy. Rangoon11 (talk) 01:30, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
And the put downs do not help the process. You ignore my request to explain yourself again and instead attack below the belt. Let me be clear: until you make me understand how that was NOT a lie regarding your additions to the Lede, I will not negotiate with you over content or anything else. petrarchan47tc 01:42, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The proposal was declined by you and Beagle, who as yet has never disagreed with you on anything that I have seen. So from now on, if Gandydancer agrees with me on anything, we are going to take that as carved in stone Truth, based on your argument. petrarchan47tc

For the record, here is my CONSTRUCTIVE suggestion for the lead. It can be followed by the green claim, or the green initiatives could be made into its own paragraph, cutting some of the fluff from the first 3 to make room, per WP:LEDE.

To judge whether this paragraph is NPOV, etc, to first do a cursory search to get acquainted with what's out there is only fair. I used sources like the NYT and used references from the first few pages of Google searches. I searched "BP, safety" and "BP, accidents". I looked at all the literature I could find, then boiled it down according to its prominence in reliable, oft-sourced media and its weight globally. I wrote every word myself and received no help from anyone, but I did seek a second opinion from journalist Jason Leopold, who did excellent work during the Gulf spill and was quoted on CNN and elsewhere. His response was one Tweet: 'It is excellent. But you left out [BP is still receiving government contracts]'. I didn't take his advice to add that as it didn't really turn up in mainstream media, and would have been an outlier and not NPOV. His article would, however, help support the "criticized for political influence" claim that was removed for lack of evidence.

One note: on second look, it should be added that the Gulf spill was the largest accidental marine oil spill in the world - it could replace the "largest in US history" to make the paragraph more global in scope. The argument that it's too recent or covers too little a time frame is bunk. T he green initiatives started recently too, but they are notable enough to merit inclusion in the Lede. As I've argued before, the recent, US centered history of accidents is directly related to BP's growth under Lorde Brown's expansion and cost-cutting. This is all well documented and was argued here.

It should be noted, this was written when the article still had a section on "price fixing". It has been since been removed, even though supportive refs were brought to the discussion about the removal. There is enough to the story to warrant re-inclusion, in my opinion. petrarchan47tc 03:09, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

For scale, this is Rangoon's version (not including italicized text). The mention of accidents and green energy remains to this day together in one paragraph due only to Rangoon, though other editors have disagreed with it and tried unsuccessfully to separate them:

  • "BP's track record of corporate social responsibility has been mixed. The company has been involved in a number of major environmental and safety incidents and received criticism for its political influence. However, in 1997, it became the first major oil company to publicly acknowledge the need to take steps against climate change, and in that year established a company-wide target to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases. BP currently invests over $1 billion per year in the development of renewable energy sources, and has committed to spend $8 billion on renewables in the 2005 to 2015 period."

Which explains why we don't see eye to eye. petrarchan47tc 04:48, 24 August 2012 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As I understand it, the introduction should provide a summary of what the article says but what is included and how much is written depends on how important it is, as established in reliable sources. I refer to this line from WP:LEAD:

The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources

On that basis, it is fair that there be a summary of the most widely reported criticisms and major accidents. However, I do not believe that details such as the OSHA fines, or specific investigations should be placed in the lead. Based on the current content of the article, I would like to suggest that the following sentences be used in the lead as a compromise:

BP has received criticism for its environmental and safety record and its perceived political influence. In the 2000s the company was involved in a number of serious accidents in the United States including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, considered the largest accidental marine oil spill.

In this version, the issues described further into the article are summarized so they are not ignored, while the most significant among them, the Deepwater Horizon spill, is given a specific mention. My goal is a proportionate representation of these topics.

Please note that, per WP:CITELEAD, I have not included sources here for details that are included with reliable citations in later sections of the article. Per the current supported version in the article, I have also used "largest accidental marine oil spill" rather than "largest environmental disaster". If this seems like an appropriate compromise, please feel free to use this as replacement text. Thanks. Arturo at BP (talk) 19:24, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for this constructive proposal, which I would personally be willing to support. For the avoidance of doubt are you proposing that the text which currently follows this wording ("In 1997 it became the first major oil company to publicly acknowledge the need to take steps against climate change") be retained or removed? Rangoon11 (talk) 19:45, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Rangoon, I do mean for the wording about climate change to be retained in addition to the wording I suggested. Arturo at BP (talk) 20:01, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I can therefore support this proposal as a whole. Rangoon11 (talk) 20:08, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

A proportionate representation of the topics would not merit only 2 sentences followed by a third mentioning the green initiatives. One look at the article - just a quick eyeball - will tell you that you are way off. Greenwashing was removed from your version, yet it has a section and prominence in media with more weight than green initiatives. I am not sure that a BP employee can truly be objective, so perhaps would not be the best candidate for proposing a criticism section that has been the subject of heated arguments for 2 months. petrarchan47tc 03:12, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Comment: I think the issue is that the current proportions are focused too heavily on the controversy/accidents/etc. (This does not mean that those sections should be reduced but that the other sections should be expanded.)
I will also note that there is an overuse of words like "over," "almost," "nearly," etc in the article. This is POV language used to imply that a number is large (just like "less than" and "below" implies that a number is small). Either the exact number from the source should be given, or if there is no significant difference the number should be rounded. (To be clear - this POV is going in both directions in the article.) Arc de Ciel (talk) 04:24, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Outside independent help is needed, it seems. We should all be in agreement that as independent editors just wanting to provide balanced, unbiased info, any outside help with removing POV is very much welcome. This has been an overwhelming experience that I thought would only take a few days. I am really burning out. It's difficult when removal of bias in the Intro takes 2 months, my actual work gets ignored. petrarchan47tc 05:40, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

As it is now, the climate change statement reads like an argument (POV) and is confusing, as it changes the subject of the paragraph drastically. One consideration could be to make a 5 paragraph Intro, and the 5th paragraph could begin "In 1997 became the first..." and include the statement about its green energy investments being larger than any other company (or whatever the stats are). "BP also has major investments in ... compared with ....". The other paragraphs should be looked at for what can be trimmed. The article begins with history, so it might not be necessary to go into their history quite so much in the Intro. If a 5th paragraph about green energy is made, the mention of green energy in the 1st paragraph could be merged with the previous sentence since it's about to be mentioned again. petrarchan47tc 06:32, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Saying that "it might not be necessary to go into their history quite so much in the Intro" while insisting detailed information about environmental issues seems not the most balanced approach. The first para lists all fields of operations. Moving mentioning some operations to the separate location is not the best idea. Beagel (talk) 08:15, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I see no reason to pare back any information in the lead in order to add a reasonable amount of information regarding their environmental record--the length of the lead would not be excessive with a few sentences added.
I do not believe that the very short mention of criticisms as suggested by Arturo is adequate. I spent a lot of time reading the sources in the article and again and again found the complaint (as stated by Petrarchan) " BP took too many risks, cut corners in pursuit of growth and profits, and neglected preventative maintenance" come up. If we feel that BP deserves mention because they were the first oil company to admit that global warming is "real", we need to mention that they also stand out as having a the worst, or one of the worst, environmental histories.Gandydancer (talk) 12:45, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
they also stand out as having a the worst, or one of the worst, environmental histories -but do you have an RS for that? Synthesising this conclusion from various stories of accidents is WP:SYN. There is also the presentism problem William M. Connolley (talk) 15:58, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Must we forever go around in circles? Over a month ago I complained that you and Rangoon refused such information as being too recent, not recent enough and/or lacking context. Then Petrarchan listed this information and you offered no comment what so ever, and that was the end of the discussion. Actually, I am not suggesting that the article lead must state BP IS THE WORST OIL COMPANY EVER!!! But I do believe that if their history shows egregious disregard for safety and the environment, the lead needs to reflect that reality. Frankly, the conversation between the six of us with Petrarchan and I on one side of the fence and you, Rangoon, Beagle and Artero on the other seems to be going nowhere. We really do need other editors to help us sort through our disagreements. Gandydancer (talk) 18:26, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
The way to answer the question do you have an RS for that? isn't a paragraph of words - its a couple of well-chosen RS's. If you've got those, the answer is "yes". If you haven't, the answer is "no" William M. Connolley (talk) 19:54, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
they also stand out as having a the worst, or one of the worst, environmental histories I am missing the context for this. Is someone wanting to add this into the article? Why is this being argued in the Intro section? Mr. Connolley, did you look at the links I provided in the section above? petrarchan47tc 22:03, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
@P: errm, the context is, I'm replying to G, who made the assertion. As to "Is someone wanting to add this into the article?": I took the prefix "we need to mention that" to mean eactly that. How do you interpret it? Oh, and please read User:William M. Connolley/For me/The naming of cats William M. Connolley (talk) 16:51, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I see that now. It makes sense. So, to be clear, you need to be called Dr. Connolley, WMC, or referred to by using your whole name, correct? And, on that note, calling me "P" isn't the clearest, it took me a good while to realize you meant me. Try something more precise.petrarchan47tc 18:01, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
From the NYT: But BP, the nation’s biggest oil and gas producer, has a worse health, environment and safety record than many other major oil companies, according to Yulia Reuter, the head of the energy research team at RiskMetrics, a consulting group that assigns scores to companies based on their performance in various categories, including safety. petrarchan47tc 22:07, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
A single highly subjective and vague quote. Here is a reliable source which states "Throughout its history, British Petroleum has made health, safety and environmental standards the pinnacle of its operations" [27].
Here is a source which states "An inquiry ordered by US President Barack Obama into the BP oil spill has given support to many of the company's own findings, challenging claims BP sacrificed safety to save money." and "Among the commission's preliminary findings, released on Monday, was that there was "no evidence at this time to suggest that there was a conscious decision to sacrifice safety concerns to save money". [28].
Here is a source which states "While there's little doubt the energy and chemical industries are hazardous, two sets of data show that making absolute judgments on one company's safety versus another is not simple." and "according to data reported by companies to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, BP's rate for injuries, illnesses and fatalities is less than one-quarter that of the chemical industry's average and is falling." [29]
Here is a source in which BP is described as the most environmental friendly oil company [30], "which received top marks for its investments in renewable energy, environmental reporting, climate change stance, and greenhouse gas emissions."
Here is a quality source which states "As Energy Roundup has written, though BP has been chastised for its safety record in the past two years, it has not lost as many employees and contractors to death as rival Royal Dutch Shell, which employs roughly the same number of people.
The Financial Times expanded that comparison to include several other oil majors and a greater number of years. The paper’s conclusion? “BP is far from uniquely bad among the oil and gas ‘super-majors’ for its record of workforce deaths.”" [31].Rangoon11 (talk) 22:53, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Here is a source which states "No other integrated oil company — certainly none with $285 billion in sales — has made a bigger commitment to alternative energy, cutting greenhouse gases and educating the public about conservation." [32]Rangoon11 (talk) 23:06, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Here is a source which describes BP's LNG safety record as "exemplary" [33].Rangoon11 (talk) 23:19, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
This is an interesting source: [34]
A few quotes "There are a handful of corporations which dominate the OHSA safety violations record over the decade 2000-2009. Note that none of the large firms of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, ConocoPhilips or Texaco are included in the list of drilling companies with 20 or more safety violations over the decade" "drilling-related accidents and oil discharge statistics suggest that large companies are under-represented in the statistics and run safer and cleaner operations than the industry average" , "we see that while the largest three companies, BP Exploration, Shell Offshore and Chevron represent 60.8% of crude oil extracted in the Gulf of Mexico in 2009, they represented just 22 of 130 injury reports in 2009" "The safety record among the largest deepwater drilling companies is also reflected in the annual Minerals Management Service fatalities reports, published online since 2006. Over a four-year period from 2006 to 2009, there were a total of 30 fatalities. With the exception of Chevron, which was the listed responsible party for three fatalties in three separate incidents, and Exxon, with one fatality, all U.S. fatalities occured at platforms owned by companies other than the major oil companies". Rangoon11 (talk) 23:47, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, three of your sources about how safe BP is were written well before 2 of their largest disasters, including the Gulf spill. You quoted a preliminary report from the Oil Spill Commission. Here is one write up on the final report. "The commission's findings contradict its initial report released in November, which found no evidence that workers cut corners on the Macondo project to save money"
An EPA lawyer charged with overseeing BP for 12 years regarding their possible debarment, reported similar findings: "At first, Pascal thought BP would be another routine assignment. Over the years she’d persuaded hundreds of troubled energy, mining and waste-disposal companies to quickly change their behavior. But BP was in its own league. On her watch she would see BP charged with four federal crimes—more than any other oil company in her experience—and demonstrate what she described as a pattern of disregard for regulations and for the EPA. By late 2009 she was warning the government and BP executives themselves that the company’s approach to safety and environmental issues made another disaster likely".
As for their green initiatives, I have said I do see that being its own paragraph in the Lede. It could go either way. But no one can argue that BP was the first to acknowledge climate change. Their efforts in Canada with Tar Sands kind of makes one scratch their head, though, as that form of energy extraction is 3 times more damaging to climate than normal oil drilling. petrarchan47tc 00:17, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
BP's safety and environmental record needs to be analysed in the round. Of course Deepwater massively skewed the safety/spill record for the year in which it happened, just as Valdez would have for Exxon. It is necessary to look at a multi-year period which my sources do. It is also necessary to look outside the US, which a couple of my sources do.
These are highly complex and subjective issues. My sources show that these are issues capable of extensive debate. Rangoon11 (talk) 00:27, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
No, actually, it's simple. BP is the most unsafe and unhealthy petroleum company, bar none. Your sources depend largely upon corporate PR, not third party assessments. They cannot overrule the very negative reports. Binksternet (talk) 01:03, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
"unhealthy"?! And you have clearly not looked at the sources, not one of which has any connection to BP. Rangoon11 (talk) 01:11, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Your first example is the book The Business Communication Casebook: A Notre Dame Collection, which takes some of BP's PR fluff and analyzes it. The text you quoted as from "a reliable source" is within the portion which is being examined. It is there only to show an example of corporate PR, not as an assertion of truth. So who is not reading the sources? Binksternet (talk) 14:32, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
No the work is analysing BP's public reputation. It is patently clear that that sentence is the view of the authors of the book. "Throughout its history, British Petroleum has made health, safety and environmental standards the pinnacle of its operations" is a statement by the authors of the book, and that is 100% clear from even a cursory read. Rangoon11 (talk) 15:10, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed the list of references on page 14, the one showing an over-reliance on bp.com PR fluff. Binksternet (talk) 15:52, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
In a work about BP it is unsurprising that BP's own reports have provided some factual information, just as they do in this article. A company is for much information about itself the best available source.
"Throughout its history, British Petroleum has made health, safety and environmental standards the pinnacle of its operations" is a statement by the authors of the book, not by BP. Period. Rangoon11 (talk) 16:21, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

You are being very selective in your choice of sources to say the least Rangoon. (1) that pre-dates the Gulf spill and (2) it's a business PR book, not an academic survey of oil company behaviour in the environmental field. Contrast with a list of sources from leading sources in the arena citing a catalogue of BP misbehaviours quoted higher up this section. I'm not in favour of an unbalanced series of attacks, but I am starting to feel that you aren't seeking a neutral assessment here. Jamesinderbyshire (talk) 16:30, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

It is just one of multiple high quality third party sources which I have provided above. And a perfectly resonable one in providing an overarching opinion on BP's historical safety and environmental record (BP is over 100 years old).
I have never suggested that the sources I have provided above represent a complete and full picture of BP's record, and haven't even proposed adding them into the article, although a number would be useful in helping to describe BP's safety record in particular.
This is a debate on BP's record and the point that I am seeking to make is that these are highly complex issues. The other side in the debate are putting forward wholly negative sources about BP. Rangoon11 (talk) 16:41, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I would worry less if I were you about reliable sources portraying BP as wholly negative than about reliable sources that do not take the whole picture into account. The Notre Dame business PR book is exactly that sort of source; they did nothing to discover the truth of BP's self-serving website statements, as demonstrated by their demonstrably wrong assertion: "Throughout its history, British Petroleum has made health, safety and environmental standards the pinnacle of its operations." Anybody making this kind of statement in the face of extremely strong evidence to the contrary has just made themselves a laughingstock. Binksternet (talk) 18:27, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
No reliable source can take the whole picture into account as the whole picture is highly complex, multifaceted and subjective. BTW anyone here who thinks that personal attacks are going to push me away from this article is wasting their time. Rangoon11 (talk) 18:59, 26 August 2012 (UTC)