BP Internal Report Withers Under First Public Questioning


Back when BP issued its own internal “report” on what caused the worst environmental disaster in American history, the company laid much of the blame on its contractors and workers while greatly diminishing the cheaper well design that was suspect from the beginning. That internal report is now undergoing its first public questioning – and a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) panel is asking some very tough questions.

Like, why did BP limit its “probe” to only its own employees (avoiding contractors who might feel a little less uneasy about telling the truth)? And why did the oil giant ignore certain fluid losses that should have raised red flags? And what’s really up with the cheaper well design?

Remarks by NAE experts, says the Wall Street Journal, “…undercut BP’s effort to assign blame for the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion to its contractors instead of its own well design.”

During questioning, Halliburton actually came under fire for going along with BP on the project. What’s also clear is that none of BP’s “investigative” research – not the early oil-flow estimates, not the causes of the spill, not the safe use of unprecedented amounts of dispersants – holds up when probed by outside experts. It doesn’t hold up, and for all intents and purposes, it’s not supposed to. These “reports” are meant to generate quick PR headlines now and to help BP confuse issues in court later.

Siobhan Hughes reports for the WSJ here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704082104575516563480483110.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_news

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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