USA: At Senate hearing, BP, Transocean, Halliburton executives blame each other for rig explosion & oil spill

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Article
11 May 2010

'Don't Blame Me' Is Refrain At Gulf Oil Spill Hearing

Author: National Public Radio (NPR) [USA]

Executives of the three companies involved in one of the worst spills in U.S. history acknowledged in testimony before a Senate panel that investigators have yet to pinpoint exactly what caused the disaster, but they spent little time before trying to shift responsibility for the crisis to each other. Transocean CEO Steven Newman...said BP, which leased the rig, bore responsibility...But BP America Chairman Lamar McKay pointed the finger at Transocean, which owned the failed 450-ton blowout preventer that was supposed to shut off oil flow on the ocean floor...Halliburton executive Tim Probert, in turn, said his company completed its operations 20 hours before the rig went up in flames...The massive Gulf Coast spill has prompted the Obama administration to rethink the agency charged with oversight of offshore drilling [the Minerals Management Service]...

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Article
11 May 2010

Editorial: Industry Doesn’t Step Up

Author: New York Times

The Obama administration and Congress are going to have to press a lot harder to figure out what went wrong and what must be changed — including how the industry needs to be regulated — to ensure this never happens again...Interior Secretary Ken Salazar...announced that the administration intended to split the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling into two parts...The tales of how the agency, the Minerals Management Service, was corrupted by industry in the Bush years...are legendary. [refers to BP, Transocean, Halliburton]

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Article
10 May 2010

Abruptly unemployed fishermen struggling to get by

Author: Vicki Smith and Holbrook Mohr, Associated Press

…For watermen across the Gulf Coast, waiting is now a way of life. Waiting to see where the slick that began after the deadly April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig will land. Waiting for crab and shrimp zones to reopen. Waiting to make some money…It's a scene reminiscent of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which tore through fishing villages and seafood harvesting waters in August 2005…Dock owners who buy the seafood are struggling, too. Darlene Kimball, who owns Kimball's Seafood in Pass Christian, Miss., got only half the shrimp she wanted because people were stocking up…

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Article
6 May 2010

BP's US Gulf project exempted from enviro analysis

Author: Jeffrey Jones and Jeff Mason, Reuters

U.S. regulators exempted BP from a detailed environmental review of the exploration project that ultimately resulted in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and subsequent oil spill, documents show. The Minerals Management Service granted BP's project a "categorical exclusion" from full environmental analysis normally required under the National Environmental Policy Act, according to documents made available by the Center for Biological Diversity…BP had argued in a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)…last month that the use of the exclusion for projects did not mean environmental impacts were being ignored, only that an agency agrees they are deemed to be minimal or nonexistent…The Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig contracted by BP exploded two weeks ago, killing 11 workers…

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