On 15th may 2010, Congress conveyed a meeting with executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton companies, and the executives were grilled on why better measures were not put in place to stop oil spewing along the Gulf of Mexico. Congress demanded an explanation for the “cascade of failures” behind the spillage, concentrating mostly on the vital events at the deep-sea wellhead just before a blast devoured the rig and set off an appalling rapture.
BP America chairman, MacKay Lamar said that their main obligations were to stop the spillage, clean up the mess and compensate the impacts of the spillage but not to play a blame game with the partners. Policymakers compared the tragedy to some historical catastrophes from sea to space. The hearing was also attended by environmentalists who were clad in black T-shirts saying “Energy shouldn’t cost lives” with some wearing black teardrops symbolizing agony caused by the spillage.
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Congress grills execs on ‘cascade of failures’ behind Gulf oil spill
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Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resource committee, Jeff Bingaman, said that they were likely to discover a cascade of failures and technological and human and regulatory errors if the calamity was anything like other catastrophic failures of technological systems in modern history. Senator Murkowski admonished that everyone one was intertwined in the process of trying to shut off the leakage and finding a safer way of exploiting energy.
She added that the incident has reminded everyone that production of energy is never without risks or environmental costs. Murkowski added that if operators are found to have violated the law they will not be excused. Failure to cap the spillage has caused anxieties everywhere from congress to the Louisiana beach which is anticipating the hurricane season. Congress required pledges that BP and its partners would pay what could amount to billions in economic and environmental reparation.
The spillage is thought to have been caused by a methane gas surge from deep within the well. The executives did not disclose why a heavy “mud” compound was replaced with much lighter sea water thereby reducing the wells’ downward pressure. MacKay told congress that a key piece of safety equipment suitably called blowout preventer which was owned by Tranoacen failed to work. Steven Newman the president of Transocean disclosed that Halliburton was in the process of tipping cement into the pipe to plug it but the final cap had not yet been put in place.
Tim Probert, the executive that was representing Halliburton indicated that his company followed BPS drilling plan, industrial practices and federal regulations. Work cited Harry, R. , Matthew Daly and Frederic J. Frommer. “Disasters”. 11th may 2010. Fox News. 24 May 2010 <http://www. foxnews. com/us/2010/05/11/companies-pointing-fingers-senate-begins-hearings-gulf-oil-spill/>
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