WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the chairman of twin climate and energy panels in the House, today issued the following prepared remarks at an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on the BP oil spill:
“Today, it is hard to have confidence in BP.
“When BP applied for the rights to drill in this lease, they called the chance of a major spill ‘unlikely.’
“When the accident initially happened, they said it was manageable.
“And last week, when we first had BP and the other companies before this committee, they said they never thought the rig could sink. They said that in the worst case scenario, the spill could increase to as much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day.
“Right now, by their own admission, BP is largely making it up as they go. They are engaging in a series of elaborate and risky science experiments.
“After the failure of the containment dome, we are now hearing of plans to stuff the blowout preventer full of a mixture of golf balls, old tires and other junk. When we heard the best minds were on the case, we expected MIT, not the PGA. We already have one hole in the ground, and now their solution is to shoot a hole in one?
“We expected a great deal more sophistication to solve this crisis.
“I think a root cause for this accident is the ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ boosterism. There was oil industry boosterism that minimized potential hazards. There was a boosterism on the part of the previous Administration that got rid of protections that they viewed as obstacles to increased drilling.
“Now we see the results: boosterism led to complacency. And complacency led to disaster. And this is a disaster.
“But it was not inevitable. It was preventable. And now we must enact protections that prevent similar catastrophes in the future. If America is going to continue drilling offshore, we have a moral obligation to ensure that it is done safely.
“As a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, lives have been lost, livelihoods have been threatened, and a huge ocean and coastal ecosystem has been endangered. We have a duty and obligation to find out what happened here, why it happened, who was responsible, and how we can ensure that it never happens again.”
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