Frontline, ProPublica Examine BP’s Dismal Safety Record and Gulf Oil Spill

BY Lauren Knapp  October 26, 2010 at 5:55 PM EST

The past decade was one of rapid growth for BP, a company that now dominates the oil industry. Mergers expanded the BP empire and cost-cutting helped keep shareholders happy. The newest collaboration between Frontline and ProPublica is an hour-long documentary called “The Spill”. It looks into whether that profits-first kind of corporate culture contributed to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon last spring.

Correspondent Martin Smith and investigator Abrahm Lustgarten have joined forces to report on BP’s poor safety record and the signals missed by the company and government along the way leading up to the Gulf oil disaster. From a Texas plant explosion in 2005 that killed 15 workers to the 2006 oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope, BP’s recent track record may have warned of a deeper problem.

Smith spoke with Hari Sreenivasan about the documentary airing tonight on most PBS stations.