Friday, June 18, 2010

Roasting BP

Watching yesterday's Congressional hearing on BP was kinda like watching a bull fight. You know how it's going to come out, you watch it to see the blood flow. The congress critters demanded confessions from BP CEO Hayward, and Hayward wasn't about to confess to anything. They repeatedly asked Hayward to admit that BP had taken short cuts to save money, and Hayward wasn't buying that one. Committee chair Henry Waxman, came across as clueless and vindictive.
Hayward missed several opportunities to defend BP's drilling practices and paint the blowout as an unavoidable accident. He finally resorted to stonewalling the committee's "have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife" questions. Hayward clearly is not at his best public speaking to a hostile audience.
Neither side had slides to illustrate what they were talking about.
In actual fact, the well had a leak that allowed natural gas under great pressure into the drillpipe. BP skipped three important leak checks, any of which would have detected the problem. Then they pumped the drilling mud out of the well, and the well blew. The committee interrogators failed make this clear to the TV audience. Hayward kept his cool, disclosed nothing, and came out of it looking better than he went in. Which isn't saying much, but it could have been worse for him.

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