Adjust Text Size
Media Center

Media Center

Rep. Edward J. Markey, Chairman - Stay Connected with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and RSS Feeds
The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Markey Statement on New Oil Spill Commission Reports

Chairman Stressed Flow Rate Issues, Industry Preparedness During Disaster

November 22, 2010 - A new draft report by the independent commission studying the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has found that the true flow rate of the blown-out well was not fully understood before attempts were made to stop the flow of oil, and that the companies involved and the industry were not prepared for this kind of an event. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) raised both of these issues as central to the problems with the response to the spill during the disaster, and commended the commission on its continued work.

"Anyone watching this spill unfold day after day could see that the oil industry was woefully unprepared for the disaster, and inattentive to the true size and scope of the spill as it happened," said Rep. Markey, who chairs the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the Energy and Commerce Committee. "Had BP not shown such aggressive indifference to the size of the disaster, and the oil industry to preparing for such an event, then perhaps early actions could have made a difference in stopping this spill."

Chairman Markey pushed at several points in the disaster for a better estimate of the flow rate of the well. When BP, Halliburton and Transocean first appeared before Congress at a closed-door meeting with Chairman Markey and his subcommittee on May 4, 2010, Chairman Markey interrogated the companies about the flow of oil from the well, discovering that the flow of oil could reach up to 60,000 barrels per day. Following that revelation, Rep. Markey pushing for better estimates of the flow of oil, including the release of video from the underwater robots monitoring the well. Rep. Markey also revealed that BP knew the flow rate could be much higher than their initial estimates of 1,000-5,000 barrels per day.

Rep. Markey also revealed the fact that BP and the other major oil companies were all unprepared for this kind of environmental disaster. At a hearing in the Energy and Commerce Committee in June, Rep. Markey uncovered that the oil spill response plans for the oil companies were virtually identical, with emergency contact information for long-dead scientists and walruses listed as threatened animals in the Gulf of Mexico. Rep. Markey's opening statement from that hearing can be found here:

Below are selected releases on Rep. Markey's work on the flow rate issue:
Markey challenges BP on flow rate:

Markey holds hearing on flow rate:

Markey asks BP's then-CEO Tony Hayward for flow rate estimates:

Markey links flow rate issue with BP's liability:

Other releases on the disaster are available at:

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

Return to Press Releases »

Add to your   Digg this story Digg this   Reddit Reddit   Stumble it Stumbleupon  

 Print This Page