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June 14th, 2010
08:51 PM ET

Evening Buzz: BP Vs. Congress

Visitors to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama examine segments of protective boom.

Visitors to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama examine segments of protective boom.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Get ready for BP vs. Congress. Internal documents from BP appear to show that the oil company put profits ahead of safety in the days and hours before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, a congressional investigation found.

BP chief Tony Hayward has received a letter from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-California, telling him to be prepared to answer tough questions about the investigation when he testifies on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

The internal documents eerily show that a BP engineer wrote "this has been (a) nightmare well" just six days before the explosion, which led to the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

This isn't the first time we've heard allegations of BP putting profits over safety. Tonight on 360, we're holding BP accountable. You'll hear who has made the claim before. It's not just one person. It's many people making the accusation.

This is day 56 of the disaster. Oil is still gushing into the Gulf, even with a cap over the well. You might be getting tired of hearing about the disaster. We wish it wasn't happening, but we will stay on this story until the oil is cleaned up.

Pres. Obama is back in the Gulf. Today he pledged again to help Gulf residents rebound from this disaster.

"We are going to do everything we can, 24/7, to make sure that communities get back on their feet. And in the end, I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf coast in better shape than it was before," Pres. Obama said at a Coast Guard staging facility in Theodore, Alabama. He visited Alabama and Mississippi today. He will tour Florida's panhandle tomorrow. Then the President will address the nation Tuesday night from the Oval Office on the situation. We’ll have the raw politics.

Do you think Pres. Obama is being tough enough on BP? Share your thoughts below and we'll have the results of a new poll on this topic for you tonight.

We're also starting a new series of reports tonight we've entitled "Culprits of the Catastrophe." The first person on the list is Lord John Browne, BP's former CEO. He ran the company for decades and transformed it into a global empire. But Randi Kaye talked with critics who say that success came in large part because he cut costs and encouraged a "fix-it-when-it-breaks" attitude that's still in place at BP today. Browne's reign at the company ended amidst a personal scandal that made headlines around the world. We'll have all the details and hear what Browne says about the allegations is our first installment of "Culprits of the Catastrophe."

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


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Bob Rudolph

    I certainly hope the other oil companies are taking what has happened seriously and are quickly and completely making their own disaster recovery plans. I also hope the president sends a letter to teh CEO of these other companies indicating that they will want evidence of these plans before approving any new drilling applications.

    There should have been a massive and complete response by BP to send every available resource to the Gulf as quickly as possible instead of waiting for each next effort to work or fail. I certainly hope that should there be the response next time. An effort that will be a massive and complete response to have all resources available to stop the leak AND contain the oil.

    Bob Rudolph
    Parma, Ohio

    June 15, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  2. Wade

    THIS IS HUGE:
    After doing a fair amount of research I have become a bit alarmed. Using the 50,000 barrels per day figure capture rate, which is far from the entire amount being sent out from under the ocean floor, this this is producing an outragous amount of oil. Far more the average. this means that the pressure it is being sent up with is even more outragous. No wonder this thing blew when you cut corners. I think that they hit the mother load. Much more oil and gas then they expected. I think that this deserves an inquiry if teh oportunity presents itself. Very interesting aye??? Penny wise and pound foolish for sure. Makes me sick!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 6:08 am |
  3. Julia

    IF OSHA has the power to shut down companies – please add this agency to your "Culprits of the Catastrophe." Considering BP had over 700 violations – they should not have been operating!

    June 15, 2010 at 3:25 am |
  4. Martin

    Anderson, THANK YOU! FOR COVERING THIS! I AM SO OUTRAGED AT THE WANTON NEGLECT TO THIS TRUELY ECO-TERRORIST EVENT. TONIGHTS INTERVIEW ABOUT THE LACK ODF WILDLIFE BIRD RESCUE IS JUST CRAZY AND CARELESS.
    Keep up the exposure. Regards, Martin.

    June 15, 2010 at 2:41 am |
  5. josh

    If there is a cap to BP's liability and they are now collecting a good amount of oil from the broken well; then, what is the incentive for them to cap this well? From a financial standpoint they are cutting their losses every day this is drawn out. Leaving them in control can't be seen as a good idea.

    June 15, 2010 at 2:41 am |
  6. Bonnie J teVelde

    Go Anderson! Keep up the awesome reporting... this is what journalism is all about. If you weren't here, I can't imagine what BP would be getting away with. As it is, I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Why are people surprised that this corporation doesn't have morals? By it's very definition, a corporation is psychopathic. It's only interest is profits, and promoting its own self-interests. It's just that simple. Our elected representatives need to do whatever it takes to make sure that BP puts money into a trust, so that this country has the funds available to make our gulf coast whole again. The shareholders don't deserve a payout... the fisherman do!!! The precious coastlines we are losing are irreplaceable!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 2:35 am |
  7. Terry

    Mr. President, for goodness sake, you have to know what is going on. You knew before the fellow american. Their is a time and place for everything!!!!!! Now is the time for you as our Leader, and the United States of America, to fire BP., and let our government take over. We, meaning our Country has Very Knowledgable Professor's. For Godness Sake, talk and be Firm. I know and would hope your wife has already said , honey put a stop to it, it is not just America, sooner or later it will hurt so many other Countries. Terry

    June 15, 2010 at 1:40 am |
  8. George Bent

    The justice Dep. Needs to freeze all asset's and all funds from the production of oil, and gas, natural gas from anywhere in the world,. This would insure the real payment value would and could be paid by the crime that, the irresponsability of BP, the real fear should be that they may claim bankruptcy if they do that then the cost of the cleanup will once more fall on the ALREADY TAX BURDEN, AND THE UNEMPLOYED WORKERS OF AMERICA, THAT MEANS, YOUR CHILDREN GRANDCHILDREN, GREAT GRAND CHILDREN, IT MAY NEVER STOP.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:40 am |
  9. Belle P

    The well certainly is a nightmare and it needs to be front and center in the media until BP has corrected the entire catastrophe.
    I don't question the culpability of BP or the lopsided practice of being concerned more about the money rather than the safety of their employees.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:33 am |
  10. CYNTHIA MANLEY

    I HEARD A MOST DISTURBING REPORT TODAY ON CNN ABOUT LIFE-LONG HEALTH AND RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS INCURRED BY THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE EXXON-VALDEZ RESCUE OPERATION.
    OIL IS TOXIC.
    BP NEEDS TO PROVIDE GAS MASKS FOR ALL WORKERS OUT THERE DOING THE CLEAN-UP.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:22 am |
  11. steve

    Where is the public outrage? Where is our President that I voted for?Doesn't anybody besides the Gulf Region care anymore?I'm wondering who runs this country anymore BP or Obama?Shamefull.Disgusting.Where is the British Government offering assistance.Where is the Queen? Where is the Prime Minister? I'm beginning to dislike the Brits for their shamefull comments about our "unreasonable concern" over our Gulf disaster.I suggest we use thousands of Union Jack(s) to sop up the oil and send them back to the Brits and drop them in their tea pots!!! hip hip and a stiff upper lip!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 1:21 am |
  12. peter saavedra

    hey anderson keep up the pressure on bp, they are evil,greedy monsters who dont live here. They are never gonna comply,only pay out the minimum, and wait for it , drag this out for years in court. they are to big for our own good. god bless the beautiful people of the gulf.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:18 am |
  13. Dave Jackson

    Quit trying to afix blame!

    WHY aren't we focusing on how to actually STOP the spill?

    BP & Washington's focus seems to be on collecting the spilled oil (presumably so BP can capitalize from the oil)

    The STOP the leak solution: Use the tool that was used to cut off the valve (ie., a big crimper / cutter). Go upstream of the valve (towards the earth's penetration) & use the crimper / cutter to crimp the pipe in several places (don't apply enuf pressure to cut!) Kinda like squeezing off the flow on your garden hose.

    WHY hasn't this been tried??? Probable because BP would then have to re-drill at a new site!

    June 15, 2010 at 12:56 am |
  14. Betty

    I read today, that Fran Ulmer from Alaska has been named to the Gulf Oil disaster commission. I believe President Obama choose the right person for the job.

    June 15, 2010 at 12:53 am |
  15. CHERYL BELL

    BP ARE NOT ONY LIARS, THEY ARE CRIMINALS.............
    ASSETS SHOULD BE FROZEN..AND A CRIMINAL CHARGES BROUGHT

    June 15, 2010 at 12:37 am |
  16. Travis Hulsey

    To put people out there to clean up this disaster is great but the coast guard should enforce some sort of safety measures

    June 14, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  17. Bryan

    To me it sounds like a lynch mob mentality going on here. I don't trust congress to presnet objective facts in any case. IF I were in charge of BP I would have packed up and left it in the US goverments hands. No matter how much effort BP t\puts into making this right the jury pool is tainted. You want BP off your shores? B P should show you what that is like.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  18. Chad

    While some polls show an overwhelming disappointment with the White House's handling of the oil spill disaster, I beg them all to consider: If Republicans were in the White House, we'd see John McCain shaking hands with the BP CEO Tony Hayward congratulating him for BP's tireless efforts to contain the disater and Sarah Palin would be working on legislation to allow them to drill in Alaska. Thank God that the American people finally woke up and got the Republicans out!!

    June 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  19. Andy

    Anderson,

    Who is responsible for this horific event? Unfortunately we don't know, hopefully we will find out and then we can determine if it was an accident or negligence. BP may be responsible and if they are then I agree that they should be held accountable. Right now they have a responsibility to pay for the clean-up that the US Government says that they are directing. All the coverage shows people throwing blame at BP for the clean-up, but I thought that the Government was in charge of that...BP is just writing the check, which they appear to be doing based on their current $1.6bn.
    I am not trying to defend BP, not at all, I would like to see the whole world move away from being dependent on BP, Shell, Exxon, Chevron, etc...but lets fix the problem, and then follow due process.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  20. noble lagarde

    Great, now Congress gets to "drill" the BP exec..with the way Americans feel about Congress..they are as untrustworthy as BP..if this was a terrorist chemical affair ..we'd all be dead.. with the painfully slow movement of the government in their response. Bring in the enviromental experts and let them run the show..and send Congress on a permanent vacation.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
  21. SN

    More people in the media should be paying attention like Anderson Cooper. The incompetence of BP is epic.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  22. Stanley

    BP chairman should represent the company to fix this matter and fire all the executive who involved this disaster asap. Federal gov. should prosecute them in the full extent of law and pay for the damage from each executive to the misfortune louisiana citizen. I weep and feel the hardship they are going through from the first day to the near future to come. Escrow them to compensate the people as they need. My heart hurt when I see the living creature suffer.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  23. Chris from Bukoogifts

    We all know that it is BP's fault....Washington is full of attorneys and they are all looking at each other trying to figure out how they can profit from this disaster. Let the military take this over and get Obama out of the way.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  24. shawn

    It is so sad,I live in Louisiana my children swim in the waters,We fish here..This is wrecking not only our birds,animals,fish and the economy,BUt it is wrecking our EARTH.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  25. Chris-blue bell,pa

    Anderson, as you and you guest said repeatedly and correctly...WHO is in Charge, Who is in Charge. Obviously not our goverment. It is days in and there is NO plan of action from Obama. On a related note, we are 17 months into his admisistration and we do not have a National Energy Policy or any NEW alternative energy plans. Until this horrible explosion and leak, Obama had recently started talking about more off shore drilling. I am sorry that the only thing the Government is going is talking to the camera's for face time and trying to sue a Company, BEFORE fixing the leak or cleaning up our coastline.
    It is a shame we have a bunch of Lawyers in Washington instead of Leaders

    June 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  26. corina

    The government really needs to step up and join this fight.Why not try something anything to get this over with.Or this will leave our home,our earth into global warming,wildlife devistation.Who cares how much oil bp is losing.They say it is the consumers if we didnt have oil we would find other natrual ways to travel.I pray Obama can find a way to step in and take care of this himself and SHUT BP DOWN!

    June 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  27. James

    Lindsey, well said. I personally think BP is ignorant. cruelty, neglecting, disrespecting, and greedy as well. It needed to be shut down for good.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  28. Sonia Howell

    Anderson, I am not tired of your coverage. I have been following the whole 56 days. This is important to the whole world. I was working for a Private owned BP for 5 yrs. Then the store was sold to BP corporate 2 yrs. ago. I was at the rate of pay of 10 pr. hr. 1 week later I was laid off for lack of hours, Now there has been several hired and fired, But has not called me back. BP cuts cost at every corner, They will short change the American people at every chance they can. After BP lied the first time shame on them, Second time was shame on the government, and now we Americans are going to pay on long run because kids were pointing the finger like first graders. So we wait for our leaders to grow up and start making real decisions swiftly. We are out of days for mind changing. our pivital point is swaying to a dark side if we can't get this oil sucked up.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  29. Cathy Minzer

    This is so bad and frustrating. Do something. BP cannot.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  30. Kathy

    It will be a dog and pony show. Big oil buys big political favors.

    The fact that BP is still in charge of and is actually preventing cleanup efforts shows how little our government cares.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  31. Shawn Mac

    The government needs to gather a committee of scientist and engineers to try to plug this dang well now. We can't wait 2 months for BP to do anything...

    June 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  32. Kelly in Minnesota

    Congratulations AC 360 for your interview with Lt. General Honore (ret.)! Finally someone who insists on action, action, action. Every minute counts in this situation. This is not the time to be in paralyzed analysis. We need all hands on deck, military and civilian volunteers.

    June 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  33. steve dockeray

    It is a PRIVILEGE & not a RIGHT for Business to make Cash from OIL in the Gulf . ie: B.P. has no RIGHT to THREATEN & take advantage of the People in need around the Gulf of Mexico ( or any other State for that matter ) !

    steve dockeray
    milner bc
    canada

    June 14, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  34. Lindsey

    How can BP release commercials saying they are doing all they can to stop the oil? When did cutting cost become more important the human lives and our enviorment? As far as I am concerned the head officials at BP should be charged with murder, animal cruilty, and pay for ALL costs. They are disgusting. It is sad to know that the value of a dollar means more to them then life.

    June 14, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  35. Charles: Mesa, Az

    This whole oil gushing 24/7 is shocking, and beginning to affect my peace of mind and sleep. I'm not the only one this is happening too.

    June 14, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  36. Judy

    Don't apoligize Anderson, if it were't for you they still would be doing nothing!!!

    June 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  37. Debbie

    No one should let up on this story. It needs to be covered until the last drop of oil has been stopped. There should be some prison time for this catastrophe.

    June 14, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  38. Annie Kate

    I would have been shocked if Congress had found any other result – it's been evident from the first that BP cut corners and ignored safety; and what kind of company are they when they don't even contact personally the widows and families of the 11 men who were killed. They've lied about the volume of the flow; they've taken their time and red-taped any and all compensation to the people affected by the accident; they won't let the people working the spill clean-up talk to the press (isn't that an infringement of the freedom of speech?). I'm looking forward to seeing what 360 has on them tonight and I hope Congress will bar BP from any more drilling off the US shores and cleans house on our regulatory efforts so safety violations will not go unnoticed and not fixed.

    June 14, 2010 at 9:11 pm |