Monday, 21 February 2011

BP Testifies Before Congress, Says Oil Spill Not Company’s Fault

Testifying before Congress about the massive oil spill that brings to mind the Exxon Valdez crisis of the 1980s, BP PLC noted that the spill itself was caused by the failure of a safety device that was manufactured by another company. Of course, no game of finger pointing and scapegoating would be complete without that company, in turn, claiming that BP was responsible for drilling operations and that yet another company that poured the concrete that was to plug the problematic well did not complete the job properly. Executives of all three companies testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and noted that there isn’t truly a definitive answer for what happened.

Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, opened up the hearing and said that the spill must be investigated so that new measures can be put into place to avoid such a catastrophe in the future. Noted Bingaman, "I don’t believe it is enough to label this catastrophic failure an unpredictable and unforeseeable occurrence." Other senators spoke to the blame game that was going around, and made it clear that they weren’t happy about it.

Said Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, "I would suggest to all three of you that we are all in this together, because this incident will have an impact on developing our energy policy for this country." Noted Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, "I hear one message – don’t blame me. Shifting the blame game doesn’t get us very far." Nonetheless, BP executives continued to focus on the failed safety device, a 450-ton blowout protector that was to shut off oil flow on the ocean floor if the well blew out.