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BP's Tony Hayward Goes Before Congress...And Then On A Yacht Race?

Photo of Brant Stogner

On Thursday, June 17, 2010, BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, went before members of Congress to answer questions regarding the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It has now been two months since the massive blowout that left 11 people dead and the Gulf of Mexico in ruin. Despite the fact that it has now been two months since the incident, BP's Tony Hayward still hasn't "drawn a conclusion" when faced with substantial evidence that BP cut corners on the well plan that led to the April 20 rig explosion and ongoing leak that is still spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In his opening remarks, Hayward stated "none of us yet knows why it happened." Really?

Although Hayward has not done his job (a CEO's job is to draw conclusions and take action), or at least he is not going to admit to his conclusions, others in the oil industry ARE drawing conclusions based on the evidence gathered in the last two months. For example, earlier in that week, CEOs of four other oil companies (Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips) testified that they do not drill wells the way that BP did on this project and that their respective procedures would have avoided a similar incident. Indeed, in looking at BP's well design, it included cost and time-savings measures that even the rig operator warned would compromise safety. What is also clear at this point from internal BP memos is that BP ignored its own engineers' concerns regarding well safety. In other words, BP ignores even its own experts when it costs BP money. BP is the classic example of a corporation putting profits over people and not putting safety first. To make matters all the worse, Hayward did not really answer a single question...and one congressman, Rep. Joe Barton, even apologized to BP - unbelievable.

It gets worse. On the Saturday following the sham that Hayward committed on Capitol Hill, he was allegedly photographed competing in a prestigious yacht race around England's Isle of Wight. While the man in the photograph may or may not be Hayward, BP confirmed that Hayward was, in fact, at the race; although, BP will not state whether Hayward was actually on the yacht. Regardless, it appears that Hayward got his wish of getting "his life back." What about those who lost family members? What about those who cannot work or support their families now? Does anyone really want THIS company in charge, or even involved in, the efforts to stop the leak and cleanup the devastation?

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