In a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward, Reps. Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak have laid out some startling examples of BP’s recklessness in the weeks before the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a sad illustration of why our elected officials and courts need to keep corporations like BP in check and hold them accountable for their bad decisions:
Waxman and Stupak also said BP apparently rejected advice of a subcontractor, Halliburton Inc., in preparing for a cementing job to close up the well. BP rejected Halliburton's recommendation to use 21 "centralizers" to make sure the casing ran down the center of the well bore, they said. Instead, BP used six centralizers.
In an e-mail on April 16, a BP official involved in the decision explained: "It will take 10 hours to install them. I do not like this." Later that day, another official recognized the risks of proceeding with insufficient centralizers but commented: "who cares, it's done, end of story, will probably be fine."
In spite of the well's difficulties, "BP appears to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure," Waxman and Stupak said.