From Joel Connelly at seattlepi:
As slick attacks on President Obama’s oil spill leadership spread across conservative media — and mainstream Washington, D.C. pundits display their disconnect with America — a defining question gets overlooked.
Do our elected officials’ sympathies lie with what BP’s chairman called the “small people,” those with livelihoods put at jeopardy, or with Big Oil?
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From Bloomberg Businessweek:
June 19 (Bloomberg) — Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the Texas oil company that owns 25 percent of the damaged well pouring crude into the Gulf of Mexico, said BP Plc, the project’s operator, should pay the costs from the spill because it acted recklessly and unsafely at the drilling site.
BP didn’t monitor or react to warning signs as the Macondo well was drilled, Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said yesterday in a statement. BP is responsible for damages under such conditions, Anadarko said.
“BP’s behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement,” Hackett said in the statement.
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From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
BP CEO Tony Hayward [was] in the midst of a harsh grilling today on Capitol Hill, where he [was] testifying House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on “The Role of BP in the Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill.”
But not long after the hearing began, Hayward got something not many expected from lawmakers: An apology.
Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the committee, apologized to Hayward for what he described as a “shakedown” at the White House yesterday. He was referring to the deal worked out between the Obama administration and BP to set up a $20 billion fund administered by a third party to pay for damages from the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
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From the Los Angeles Times:
His voice breaking as he spoke of a brother lost in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, Christopher K. Jones pleaded with lawmakers Tuesday to change a 90-year-old law that limits corporate liability for the 11 lives claimed in the April oil rig disaster.
Jones, a Baton Rouge attorney, displayed photos of his 28-year-old brother, Gordon, including one of an unfinished backyard fort his sibling had been building with his 2-year-old son. Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jones referred to BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward’s remark that he “would like [his] life back” and said, “Well, Mr. Hayward, I want my brother’s life back.”
But Tony (seen here in his office) couldn’t hear Mr. Jones.
(Tony’s Photo Gallery, l to r: Deadeye Dick Cheney, Diaper David Vitter, Haley Barbour of Incivility)
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From The Washington Post:
Three major oil industry executives agreed on one thing in a pair of Senate hearings Tuesday: Someone else was to blame for the drilling rig accident that triggered the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The senior executives from the oil behemoth BP, the offshore oil drilling company Transocean and the oilfield services contractor Halliburton pointed fingers at each other in seeking to explain what caused the accident that set afire and sank the Deepwater Horizon rig, killing 11 people.
BP blamed the failure of Transocean’s blowout preventer and raised a new question about whether Transocean disregarded “anomalous pressure test readings” just hours before the explosion. Transocean blamed decisions made by BP and cited possible flaws in the cementing job done by Halliburton. And Halliburton said that it had faithfully followed BP’s instructions and that Transocean had started replacing a heavy drilling mud with seawater before the well was sealed with a cement plug.
To the tune of If I Only Had a Brain, written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, as performed by the fabulous Ray Bolger:
I sit here, oh so coyly, don’t know why the gulf’s so oily,
But I’m here to proclaim,
That I couldn’t say for certain,
But I think that Halliburton,
Is the company to blame.
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