Mr. Hayward in his opening statement clearly accepted fault for the tragedy, expressed his sympathy to those who lost their lives and made a sincere commitment that BP is doing and will do all within its power to resolve all problems. The man said what should have been said. While I am totally aware the tragedy is BP's fault, the meeting went on with most of the committee members continuing to question why it happened. Not one of them asked the most important question: "How can the federal government work with BP to help?"
There were no representatives from the federal Mineral Management Services or the federal Environmental Protection Agency, both of which have direct oversight and approval power over BP and any firm drilling in American waters. There are many questions for both agencies regarding approvals and on-site inspections that go unanswered, which require clarification. Offers by foreign countries of ships and oil collection equipment from day one have been ignored by the feds due to a 1929 law, which could have been canceled by congressional vote. Various firms with oil collection devices have offered services and they have been ignored. All the governors of the Gulf Coast states have requested dredges and oil containment booms with a proven lack of response. President Obama has tried to place a six-month suspension on drilling in the Gulf contrary to the advice of his advisers and the appeal of the states that have at stake tens of thousands of jobs and millions in needed income. BP is again clearly the cause, but the feds have done little to support any of BP's efforts.
Mr. Obama and now the Senate investigating committee have set up an adversarial position with BP, which can only slow future progress. The argument of who is at fault and the cost can be settled after the problem is solved, and the full resources of the federal government should be supporting BP's efforts. Regardless of BP's size and financial position, loss of its stock value and paying rightful cost obligations, if our government succeeds in breaking it, who will take over its efforts? I submit it is currently the only game in town, and regardless of opinion, we need it.