Thursday, July 8, 2010

Alyeska CEO Steps Down Following Truthout Exposé


(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: bigweasel, Travis S.)

Kevin Hostler, the chief executive officer of Alyeska Pipeline, informed company employees Wednesday morning that he "plans to retire to Houston and to spend time with his family." 

The announcement comes one day after Truthout published an extensive investigative report that was highly critical of his leadership of the company and revealed details, based on hundreds of pages of internal documents and in interviews with more than a dozen senior employees, of severe cost-cutting measures Hostler implemented that threatened the safety and integrity of the pipeline.

According to one email, "the budget cuts over the last couple of years is creating a large 'bow wave' of deferred projects and program work ... The oversight of the integrity of the system is at risk."

"Reductions in the budgets for the Aboveground [pipeline] program; fuel gas line; and mainline pipe can place the integrity of the system at risk," the email says. "There is a risk ranking exercise that is used and the concern that the risk ranking is being used primarily for budget reductions and although work is shown as lower risk it still should be done to protect the environment."

The employee who wrote the email alleged that Alyeska's 2010 budget was cut from $680 million to $600 million on orders from BP.

Over the past several months, Alyeska Pipeline and Hostler have been under intense scrutiny by a Congressional oversight committee and an independent investigator, who has been probing explosive allegations leveled by managers that severe cost-cutting efforts could put the integrity of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) at risk.

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