Monthly Archives: June 2010

BP’s `laser beam’ can’t fend off angry Congressmen

BP has an army of spin doctors working on muting the outrage about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but you wouldn’t know it listening to Tony Hayward’s congressional testimony today.

Hayward keeps reiterating his carefully crafted PR talking points, but he’s not answering lawmakers’ questions.

Hayward insisted that he’s had a “laser focus” on safety since he became CEO three years ago.

We’ve engaged in a systematic change at BP. I’m not saying there isn’t more to do. We’ve made safe, reliable operations the core of the company. We have focused like a laser on safe and reliable operations. Every day.

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-MI, then asked what changes had been made since April 20.

“As we learn more about what happened here we will continue to make changes,” Hayward said.

Hayward continued to review what BP had done and vowed to continue to make changes, but he refused to provide his own assessment of what went wrong aboard the Deepwater Horizon. He said he wasn’t involved in specific drilling decisions, even though he has since reviewed the documents. Asked to draw his conclusions based on the information already available, Hayward responded: “I haven’t drawn a conclusion.”

An exasperated Henry Waxman, D-Calif., shot back: “You’re not taking responsibility. You’re kicking this can down the road.”

We are almost two months into this crisis and the guy in charge hasn’t drawn a conclusion? As CEO, he should have made that conclusion within days.

In his opening remarks, Hayward said “none of us yet knows why it happened.” But we do. We don’t know all the details, like why the blowout preventers were compromised, but Hayward’s testimony shows that the same problems that have perpetuated disaster after disaster at BP continue. Much may have changed, but it hasn’t been enough.

Hayward’s laser beam needs stronger batteries.

 More »

Hayward deflects questions about well design, safety

Lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated in a congressional hearing over the oil spill today, as BP CEO Tony Hayward repeatedly deflected questions about potentially calamitous decisions that dictated the design and development of its now-leaking Macondo well. AP photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari BP CEO Tony Hayward testifies on Capitol Hill. Under intense questioning, Hayward has refused […]  More »

Update: Heavy crowds, protesters greet Tony Hayward on Capitol Hill

BP CEO Tony Hayward is making an appearance on Capitol Hill this morning to defend his company’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, amid tight security, protesters and throngs of reporters. Hundreds of people were waiting in a long line that snaked through the corridors of a House office building — […]  More »

Lawmakers berate Hayward for BP safety record

The Obama administration may be trying to ease tensions between the U.S. and England over the oil spill from a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, but apparently, lawmakers didn’t get the memo. In a House Energy and Commerce investigative subcommittee hearing today, several lawmakers have laced their opening remarks with anti-British sentiments, appearing […]  More »

Barton apologizes to BP

No really. At a hearing in Washington, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, said while he believes BP is liability for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, he thinks it’s wrong that the White House forced the company to set up a $20 billion fund to pay liability claims.

Barton called the fund a “$20 billion shakedown” and said the normal legal process should be allowed to work. Then, speaking only on behalf of himself, he apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Barton claimed the creation of the fund was unprecedented in American history. Perhaps, but then, so is this oil spill and the economic impact resulting from it. Given the plunge in BP’s market value since the disaster, it’s legitimate to question the company’s ability to pay claims over the long term or even, for that matter, to survive. In fact, if BP gets taken over, a pre-packaged bankruptcy would likely set up a similar fund.

Besides, President Obama probably didn’t have to do much arm-twisting to get BP to agree. After all, it sends a message to investors that the liabilities are, essentially, walled off to some degree. That may explain why it’s shares have been rising the past two days.

Either way, it’s an odd time to be apologizing to the company that’s unleashed one of the worst oil spills in our history.

 More »

Matt Simmons steps down after BP comments *update*

Matt Simmons, the outspoken founder of investment bank Simmons & Co., is stepping down from his Chairman Emeritus spot following several comments he made regarding what he saw as the impending bankruptcy of BP. According to a statement from the firm, Simmons’ complete separation from the firm is effective June 30th so he can “devote […]  More »

Relief well drilling ahead of schedule

Development Driller III is ahead of schedule and will be passing by the wellbore in about three weeks, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said in a operational update this morning. The relief well has been estimated to be completed by mid-August. Allen said the effort is currently ahead of schedule, but once the drill passes […]  More »

Cruise ship industry and big oil in same boat?

Mother Jones had an interesting article earlier this week about liability in deaths caused overseas and how the cruise ship industry is already fighting the battle for big oil. When BP’s Texas City refinery exploded in 2005, the company paid $1.6 billion in settlements to injured employees and families of killed workers. But the families […]  More »

Dead whale found in Gulf of Mexico

On Tuesday, a dead sperm whale was found floating in the Gulf of Mexico 77-miles south of the Deepwater Horizon spill site. The 25-foot whale carcass was not found in oiled waters and Unified Command officials are not sure yet if the whale died because of the oil spill. The news release said it is […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 06.17.10 | Oil burns, investigation is 'backwards,' relief wells risky.

• New system begins burning Gulf oil spill crude out at sea. • Gulf Coast lawmakers push for lifting of drilling ban. • BP to set aside $20 billion escrow account for spill claims. • MMS investigation of spill “backwards” says federal inspector. • In the air with the Gulf oil spill’s traffic cops. • […]  More »

Low carbon fuels will bite deep into economy, says industry study

Low carbon fuel standards like those being rolled out in California and planned in some Northeastern States could lead to steep spikes in fuel prices and the loss of millions of U.S. jobs by 2025, according to a report being released today with funding from the Consumer Energy Alliance — a collection of energy producers […]  More »

Map of spill, June17

Spill JUNE17 c  More »
Page 18 of 41« First...10...1617181920...3040...Last »