Saturday, May 15, 2010

Obama rips execs over oil spill blame game



May 14, 2010, 11:24PM

"WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday sharply scolded corporate executives for “finger-pointing” over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and promised to end the “cozy relationship” between oil companies and the federal regulators.

He also ordered a broad examination of the environmental laws and analyses that govern oil and gas exploration, in response to reports that government regulators ignored warnings from federal ocean analysts about offshore drilling plans.

“It is pretty clear the system failed, and it failed badly,” Obama said. “For that, there is enough responsibility to go around.”

Obama delivered his stinging rebuke of industry and regulators in remarks at the White House Rose Garden, flanked by Cabinet secretaries involved in the massive response and cleanup effort. They were his sharpest remarks since the April 20 oil well disaster that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killed 11 people and triggered the spill gushing from crumpled pipe at a BP well about 40 miles south of Louisiana.

Obama castigated company executives for “a ridiculous spectacle” during two days of congressional hearings on the oil spill this week, as the business leaders — all targets of negligence lawsuits — traded blame over what went wrong.

“You had executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton falling all over each other trying to point the finger of blame at someone else,” Obama said.

“This is a responsibility that all of us share,” he said.

Obama also zeroed in on the Minerals Management Service, the beleaguered Interior Department agency tasked with regulating drilling safety as well as issuing federal drilling leases and collecting revenues from oil and gas production on federal lands and waters.

“For too long ... there has been a cozy relationship between the industry and the (regulators) that permit them to drill,” Obama said." More>>>>

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