Washington (CNN) - Any plans to build a nuclear power plant in an area of the United States prone to earthquakes should be reconsidered in light of the damage to Japanese reactors by last week's earthquake and tsunami, Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts told CNN on Monday.
"We just have to call a time out and examine whether or not those safety features necessary in the future are built into new nuclear power plants in our country," said Markey, who sits on the House committee overseeing nuclear power.FULL STORY
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, sent the bipartisan request Wednesday with a deadline: Zuckerberg has 15 business days to cough up the answers.
Oil sheen is seen Saturday in the waters off Barataria Bay west of Port Sulpher, Louisiana. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - A BP estimate made after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon noted that as much as 100,000 barrels per day could leak into the ocean if the blowout preventer and wellhead were removed, a higher worst-case scenario than previously reported.
According to an internal BP document released Sunday by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, BP believed that the worst-case scenario could be as high as 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.
The figure is the highest yet to surface regarding the leaking oil well. At the disaster's outset, BP claimed the leak was about 1,000 barrels a day, a number it later revised to 5,000 and then much higher. BP told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the worst-case scenario was 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) a day, lower than what the document states.
The document, submitted in May, maintains the 60,000 barrel estimate, but stipulates that if the "blowout preventer and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions, the rate could be as high as 100,000 barrels a day."
Markey said the document "raises very troubling questions about what BP knew and when they knew it."
"It is clear that, from the beginning, BP has not been straightforward with the government or the American people about the true size of this spill," said Markey, the chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"Considering what is now known about BP's problems with this well prior to the Deepwater Horizon explosion, including cementing issues, leaks in the blowout preventer and gas kicks, BP should have been more honest about the dangerous condition of the well bore," Markey said in a statement.
BP spokesman Robert Wine said the May estimate cited in Markey's document is irrelevant to the current situation because the oil company has no intention of removing the well's blowout preventer.
"The allegation doesn't make sense," Wine told CNN. "Why on earth would we remove the blowout preventer when it's sitting on top of the sea well and providing some control (of the spill)?"
Toby Odone, another spokesman for BP, added that the blowout preventer will be removed only when the well is completely killed.
Updated 5:15 p.m.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - A hearing to discuss the future of national energy policy got pretty ugly, as lawmakers slammed executives from five of the world's largest oil companies Tuesday.
At one point Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., called on Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, to quit his job. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-Louisiana went so far as to suggest McKay try a type of ritual suicide.
"Mr. Stearns asked you to resign. In the Asian culture we do things differently. During the Samurai days we just give you a knife and ask you to commit hara-kiri," said Cao, who is of Vietnamese descent.
McKay did not respond to these comments. However, he did say that a relief well will allow his company to get the leak under control "by mid-August."
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. called on executives from BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell Oil 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.
Read the full story here.
Washington (CNN) – One of BP's most outspoken critics on Capitol Hill says he does not think BP is alone in lacking contingency plans to deal with a massive oil spill.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, will try to prove that theory Tuesday when the CEOs of five major oil companies come before his House Energy and Environment Subcommittee.
In an interview with CNN previewing his hearing, Markey said he thinks it’s "highly unlikely that any of these oil companies had a capacity to respond to a worst case scenario."
"Yes, they say in their representations to the Department of Interior that they have that capacity, but I don’t think there is any evidence that is in fact true," said Markey, standing in front of his chairman's desk in his committee hearing room.
The witness list for Tuesday's hearing includes chief executives of BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Conoco Phillips and Shell Oil.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Edward Markey on Monday challenged the assertion by oil giant BP's chief executive that no underwater oil plumes have formed because of the Gulf of Mexico spill.
In a letter to BP, Markey, D-Massachusetts, said scientific evidence showed such plumes have formed and he asked for BP CEO Tony Hayward to provide evidence to back up Hayward's claim Sunday that the spilled oil had gone to the surface.
On Sunday, Markey, who heads the House Energy and Environment subcommittee, had accused BP of issuing false statements about the oil spill.
"BP in this instance means 'Blind to Plumes,'" Markey said in a statement Monday.
There was no immediate response from BP.
Markey's letter to BP said "the confirmation of the presence of large quantities of oil sub-surface could help to inform clean-up and response efforts, and it is vital that there is unfettered access to all relevant data or analysis."
The letter noted that University of South Florida researchers recently reported finding a 22-mile-long plume of dispersed oil.
In a separate letter Monday to BP, Markey called for complete transparency regarding video feeds of the company's underwater operations. BP is launching a new effort to cut an opening to the leaking equipment so that a containment dome can be lowered on it.
"There cannot be any delay or gaps in our understanding of this situation, given that thousands of barrels of oil are spewing forth each day into the Gulf, with catastrophic long-term consequences," said Markey's letter to BP America head Lamar McKay, later adding: "BP should not be controlling the view the American public has of this disaster in our ocean."
(CNN) - A U.S. congressman said he will launch a formal inquiry Friday into how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico after learning of independent estimates that are significantly higher than the amount BP officials have provided.
A senior BP official, however, said the company stands by its estimate of 5,000 barrels leaking a day.
Rep. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said he will send a letter to BP and ask for more details from federal agencies about the methods they are using to analyze the oil leak.
Markey, who chairs a congressional subcommittee on energy and the environment, said miscalculating the spill's volume may be hampering efforts to stop it.
"I am concerned that an underestimation of the oil spill's flow may be impeding the ability to solve the leak and handle the management of the disaster," he said in a statement Thursday. "If you don't understand the scope of the problem, the capacity to find the answer is severely compromised."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Democratic leaders are furiously lobbying their members and moderate Republicans to support a landmark energy bill in the face of resistance from some conservative members of their own party, and staunch opposition from the GOP - roadblocks that are making it difficult to find the 218 votes necessary to pass the measure, according to Democratic leadership aides.
A vote on the Clean Energy and Security Act, which would restrict emissions of green house gases and require use of alternative energy in an effort to slow the effects of global warming, is scheduled for Friday.
The legislation's lead sponsors held a pep rally outside the Capitol on Wednesday to whip up support for the legislation's passage.
"We are going to pass the most important energy and environment bill in history," declared Rep Ed Markey, D-Masachusetts, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "We are going to reduce the carbon we send up into the atmosphere but at the same time we are going to begin to back out the oil that we import from countries that we should not be importing it from."
The legislation would require a 17 percent emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2020, mandate electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources by 2020, provide $90 billion for new investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with $60 billion for carbon capture and sequestration. Another key provision, termed "cap-and-trade," would require industries and manufacturers to cut carbon emissions by setting up a system where they could buy and sell pollution credits.