June 15th, 2010
12:29 PM ET

Lawmakers slam Big Oil over walruses, dead expert

Annalyn Censky
Staff Reporter, CNNMoney

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/13/gulf.oil.disaster/smlvid.gulf.ship.afp.gi.jpg caption="Executives from five of the world's largest oil companies are under fire on Capitol Hill Tuesday for having cookie-cutter contingency plans" width=300 height=169]

Executives from five of the world's largest oil companies are under fire on Capitol Hill Tuesday for having cookie-cutter contingency plans for dealing with disasters like the Gulf Coast oil spill.

And not only that, those plans included "embarrassing" errors like a reference to protecting walruses, which haven't lived in the Gulf Coast for at least 3 million years, and the phone number of a marine biologist who died five years ago, said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

Markey called on executives from BP (BP), ExxonMobil (XOM, Fortune 500), ConocoPhillips (COP, Fortune 500), Chevron (CVX, Fortune 500) and Shell Oil (RDSA) to answer before his House Energy and Environment subcommittee Tuesday. Specifically, he wanted to focus on: the ongoing spill, renewable energy development and the effect of President Obama's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. BT in FL

    these hearings are too little too late. where was all of this scrutiny when those plans were first presented? I do agree with one congressman's comment. "we handle things differently in my country; we would hand you a sword and have you commit hari kari" I'd like to see that, but not limit it to just the oil CEO's; there's a long dirty laundry list there on the hill.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    I used to help with disaster plans when I worked and we all laughed that no matter how much work we put into them that once they went to management level they probably never got reviewed or even read. I think BP's recovery plan proves our point. Each drilling site should have their own tailor made disaster plan and once a year they should have to execute that plan (without the disaster) to show that it is workable and that the workers know where to get the information to run the plan and what to do. Practice makes perfect and hopefully practice will raise sensibilities to things that could trigger a disaster and the plan will never be needed.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  3. Heather (Qc)

    My father played a critical role in the development of oil spill emergency response procedures up in the Great Lakes and still does. Up here, companies operating in the Great Lakes are required to have emergency response manuals. These companies are audited regularly and it is expected they are expected to prove that their manuals have been reviewed and revised and are up-to-date. As part of the region's plan, all sensitive eco-systems have been clearly identified, with procedures in place to protect them the minute an emergency happens. These contingency plans exist in a country that has had me recycling paper, plastic, metal and glass religiously for over 15 years. When it comes to the protection of the environment, where are the United States' standards?

    June 15, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  4. jerry quintana

    Everyone who has had a modl made of their mouth at the dentist can relate to the dental putty used to make the mold. This putty is water soluable. It can be mixed under water and set up under. Why not inject a tone of the mixture into the spewing pipe, let it set up and stop the leak? The delivery method would be the same concept used to mix the putty. Two huge syringes with a screw type mixer when both compounds meet. Sounds to easy to be true,, but it should work. Better than cement and used tires.

    June 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm |