May 11th, 2010
08:48 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Oil Spill Blame Game

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/05/10/gulf.oil/story.oil.shore.gi.jpg caption="A fish killed by unknown causes washed ashore in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, on Monday." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

There is still no accurate timetable for controlling the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Today lawmakers on Capitol Hill tried to find out who's responsible for the mess. They got few answers and lot of finger-pointing.

At the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, the owner and operator of the well, BP, said the fault lies with the company it hired to work the well: Transocean. BP officials specifically pointed to Transocean's valve, or blowout preventer, that was supposed to cut off the oil after the accident; but it failed. Meanwhile, Transocean is pushing blame in two directions. First, back at BP and second, it blames subcontractor Halliburton, which encased the well in cement. As you might predict, Halliburton is also denying responsibility and says the focus should be on Transocean and BP.

We're keeping them honest tonight on 360°. Tom Foreman will break down the blame game and show you how this is playing out.

Senators on both sides of the aisle are not happy with the denials from the three big companies.

"It doesn't benefit any one of them for BP to be pointing the finger at Transocean, to be pointing the finger at Halliburton, to be pointing the finger back, at BP, because if there is no offshore exploration activity then BP's not going to be working out there, Halliburton's not going to be working out there and Transocean's not going to be working out there. So they've got to resolve, all of them, that the effort now is to make sure that we never see a disaster of this magnitude again," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a supporter of offshore drilling, at a news conference this afternoon.

"I think it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is no such thing as 'too safe to spill,' " said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), a critic of offshore drilling, at today's hearing.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar spoke about the crisis on CNN's Situation Room today. He said everything is being done to try to stop the oil leak as "fast as possible."

"Best case: That it starts coming into some kind of containment over the weekend and into next week and the next couple of weeks. Worst case is looking at August with a relief drill," Salazar said.

We’ll also continue Nic Robertson's eye-opening report on the new jihad training ground here in the U.S. - maybe even in your town. Nic spent the last year retracing the steps of a young American, to determine how the former altar boy from Long Island, New York became determined to kill for al Qaeda.

Also tonight, in Washington state three men and a woman are accused of killing a man over a diamond ring. All four are charged with the murder of Jim Sanders on April 28 after he posted an ad for the ring on Craigslist. Sanders, his wife and their two sons, ages 14 and 10, were restrained with plastic handcuffs during the deadly home invasion, investigator said. Sander’s wife is speaking out. Hear what she said she and her family faced that day.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Francisco Lopez

    Anderson, I just wanted to let you know that you have a great show. The massive oil spill and the blame game is just affecting not only the people that make a living as fisherman but also the animals in the water that are now contaminated with the oil, the cleaning up process is going to be long.

    May 12, 2010 at 5:29 am |
  2. Sloane

    I think all parties involved are to blame, including the 236 congressmen that voted to allow offshore drilling. Why did our legislators not ask/demand to have at least 3 or 4 safety measures before allowing any of these companies to drill. I was appalled watching the senators ask questions today about the safety of the drilling operations. Why did they not ask these questions before they allowed these companies to drill? And why are they wasting time and resources conducting a hearing while the oil is still flowing! Lets have a hearing on how we can solve this problem. Bring in Nasa! Bring in the graduating class of 2009 from MIT! Bring in every engineer that works for every oil company to try and figure this one out! Lets do something besides sit around and blame the guy across the aisle! Yes, it is BP's oil rig, but if you drive a car, you are to blame as well.

    May 12, 2010 at 1:58 am |
  3. Steve Swiatek


    Anyone who has worked offshore knows that when you drill beyond the depth where divers can work, any equipment is exposed to extreme cold and a very delayed program to fix anything. 700 to 1000 feet off the coast of California is one thing, but at 5000 feet, the work will be painfully slow, if not creeping into months and years.

    I also find it quite interesting that during President Obama's first year, Vice President Dick Cheney was a non-stop, all encompassing critic of everything the President said or did. But now, the $34 million dollar receipient from Halliburton has absolutely nothing to say!!! Ironic that the Vice President also ensured that the people secured to assist in the government's oversight regulation preparation, also worked for Halliburton. So Remember...Iraq...Halliburton....Gulf of Mexico..Halliburton.....So who is to blame, sure BP , Halliburton & the Drilling Company......but also the ticket that let them..Bush – Cheney!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 1:43 am |
1 2