“We’re Not BP”: Oil Companies Plead Before House Panel To Continue Drilling

Robin Bacior :: Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 1:00 pm

The Chief Executives of Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips had to go before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on June 14th to defend the continuation of Off-Shore Drilling (Yes, we have bequeathed “Off-Shore Drilling proper noun status). Obama has instated a temporary halt to Off-Shore Drilling in response to the Deep Water Horizon disaster, still reeking havoc on the Gulf of Mexico water and wildlife.

The Congressional panel, led by Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey, listened to the CEOs as they explained how they’ll avoid the mistakes of their now-ostracized fellow Oil company, BP, like teenagers turning their back on their busted buddy. The presentation itself was much the same, like high schoolers cheating off each other, but it didn’t work to their advantage.

According to Markey, the response plans proposed were eerily similar, in some cases with identical sections, including promises to protect walruses (walrusi?) that don’t live in the Gulf, and a reference to a “long-dead expert.”

Even if they managed to pull off a legitimate-sounding argument, how can anyone possibly have faith with the current mess we’re in? Shouldn’t this have been avoided with the existence of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990? Somehow BP managed to jump that hoop, yet when the damage of April 20 arrived and it came time to mitigate the worst spill in U.S. History with a safety plan, well, the last couple months have clearly shown they were completely empty handed, and headed. The Government has estimated somewhere between 25,000 to 30,000 barrels have been spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, per day.
That’s a lot, just ask the pelicans.

A major argument being made in favor of the oil companies is fueled by worry about the economic consequences of stopping drilling. The lack of oil flow might coincide with a lack of cash flow. But will putting a halt to off-shore drilling be the kick we need to put the pedal-to-the-metal on alternative resources? The pelicans all say “Aye.”

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