June 17th, 2010
05:39 PM ET
12 years ago

BP's chief accused of 'stonewalling'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/17/art.hayward.061710.jpg caption ="Lawmakers accused BP chief Tony Hayward of not cooperating with an investigation into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill."]
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers ripped into BP chief Tony Hayward on Thursday, accusing him of being ill-prepared for congressional testimony and not cooperating with an investigation into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

In Hayward's first congressional appearance since the April 20 disaster, lawmakers wanted to know if BP had cut corners in an effort to save money in the run up to the explosion.

Questions during the 7-1/2 hour hearing, which included two recesses, focused on the well's design and the measures taken while BP was attempting to seal it before it exploded.

"Did BP make a fundamental misjudgment" in using one long piece of well casing instead of many shorter pieces, as other oil companies said they would have done, asked Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

"I wasn't involved in that decision," replied Hayward, saying that the single piece was better for the well's long-term stability.

Waxman produced transcripts from BP's engineers saying that the single casing was "unlikely to be successful." Waxman said BP went ahead with it anyway to save $7 to $10 million.

Hayward said he was "not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident until the investigation is complete."

"This is an investigation," said Waxman. "Are you cooperating with other investigations? Because they're going to have a hard time reaching a conclusion if you stonewall them, which it appears you are doing today."

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Filed under: Congress • Oil spill • Tony Hayward
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. dcmisty

    Does anyone need a better definition of arrogance!

    June 17, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Riley

    I have to laugh at the congressional hearings. The politicians, escpecially the democrats, are all grandstanding trying to better their own images rather than trying to help the situation. SHAME ON THEM FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR.

    June 17, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. ruralamericans

    Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. is beneath contempt - we have no love for BP, but even less for the snake called Waxman.

    June 17, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Slider

    Hayward is a businessman who is awaiting the investigation results before moving forward.

    Waxman is a known political enemy of free enterprise and business in general, who wants to make political advancement of an agenda damaging to this country.

    Who do you want to believe?

    June 17, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. Victim of GOP Taliban

    He is just taking order from his legal counsel that was sitting behind. Besides he only had a briefing in advance on what questions he'd be asked.

    Now please fix the leak to help us "little" people and the animals that are drowning and dying in your oil.

    June 17, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Debbie

    Stonewalling pure and simple. The guy sat there with zero feeling or emotion. He is as cold as ice. He could care less about the people that died, the people of the gulf or the ocean. No the guy is all about calculation and money. As is Benedict Arnold Joe Barton.

    June 17, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Jim El Paso Tx

    This whole hearing thing was a JOKE! It was more for the whiny congressmen to "appear" concerned at BP's actions. How about their own actions or rather INACTIONS over the years that set up this catastrophy in the first place???? Deregulation of the industry an no oversight (remember MMS) in which many if not all of these blowhards had a hand in contributed greatly to this disaster. Belittleing Hayward like this was no more than taunting to make them feel important!

    June 17, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. HD

    Well, I think BP tries its best to be known like any other big Campanies (Enron), but as we all know in every achievement there is rise and fall. That's what we seen in our time. Eventhough, Mr.Hayward escaped not to response some of taugh questions.

    Let's hope the best, for future.

    June 17, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Avenger D12

    If was him and i was testifying before a body that had already said they were going to slice and dice an Attorney Gerneral wanting to prosecute me and knowing that it was a kangaroo court so to speak I would have said so to the inquistorsand then plead the fifth to every single questioned and walked out. why give anythiing to those that want to destroy you in the name of covering their butts these politicians were happy with BP as long as it was giving them campaign contributions but now they want crucify and distance themselves from the company.

    June 17, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. stewart gilligan griffin

    "Tony, i just want to say that i love you and BP. obama has been extra mean to you and think that is wrong. i can't wait until this is over and we can get back to walking in the moonlight holding hands counting the money you will give to me and the other republicans"

    Love always,

    Joe Barton (R) and John Boehner

    June 17, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. cubictruth

    BP has alot to atone for that is true. However the real culprits here are the can't get anything done Congress and the bonehead in the oval office. For 40 yrs Congress has had the opportunity to develop energy independence away from oil. They have done nothing. Other countries build nuke plants, why can't we?Natural gas, coal, solar technology, geothermal... its all here, what are we doing? Congress continues to do nothing and the guy who has had the best chance of making change ...... well not much to say about him, I guess we will have to wait until the ones pulling his puppet strings get around to it.
    Wake up America! Vote out the morons in Congress and vote no to Obama.

    June 17, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Airdoc

    This wasn't an investigation, this was for show! Every one of them asked the same questions and same accusations. They don't have the power to enforce anything against BP.Maybe if some of them actually worked for a living they would know that a CEO isn't informed of every little aspect of the goings on. There is an internal investigation and a criminal investigation by the DOJ, are they that naive to expect Hayward to give them information before those are done for their 5 second tv clips?

    June 17, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. Jayson

    Why ask the Mineral Management why they approved a plan when you can just turn a blind eye to the government incompetence that played a part in this disaster and the snails pace government response in make decisions and taking action.

    June 17, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. joe m

    members of congress should be experts in recognizing one who is stonewalling, as enough of them have found creative and unbelievable ways of practicing this art.

    June 17, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Anita

    These congress men/women were a bunch of morons and did not achieve much with their line of questioning.
    They looked inept reading their questions and one could tell that they didn't know much about the subject at hand.
    It was more about posturing and grandstanding , hence achieving nothing.
    Where is the MMS in all that , surely they have the ultimate responsibility for allowing oil rigs to be operated without the proper safety standards in place.
    Let us wait until an investigation done by experts will show us what really happened and in the meantime concentrate on getting the oil spill stopped.

    June 17, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Charlie, NJ

    Wow, Waxman is milking this for all it's worth. His committee grilling is nothing more than grandstanding. The investigations will happen. Let the answers come from the real investigations. For now, dedicate ALL resources to stopping this leak!!!!!!

    June 17, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Sarah, the baby seal basher

    I never did like inbred English scumbags like him,they still think they rule the world.

    June 17, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. Ex-republican

    Seize all BP assets NOW! Before they have a chance to file bankruptcy. We need to stop BP from ever operating in this country again. BRING BACK AMOCO!

    June 17, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Bob of Lompoc

    Does anyone realize, Al Queda is watching. Geez, we have airplanes that travel a thousand miles an hour, at 65,000 feet, without afterburners. If we could only find terrorists at 65,000 feet we would have them licked. Trillions for exotic weapons, which are uselss in the current circumstance. This whole oil leak thing – sure shows our weakness. They are watching. You know they are. Let us be very, very careful.

    June 17, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Squigman

    If you accept the responsibility, by taking the money and the perks, you need to embrace the responsibility, since you have been lavishly compensated for the job at hand. I see little accountability by any C.E.O, of any company, compared to their compensation package. Regardless of the political party you believe in and trust, we as a people, need to focus on the oil spill, and do all possible to make sure it gets stopped and cleaned up completely.

    June 17, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. Mohan

    I wish we can question the BP head for stonewalling by waterboarding him

    June 17, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. Jeff

    It's a world wide problem among politicians (in every party) and business executives, no one EVER answers a question. They refuse, dance around an answer or simply lie in their responses. After all, you wouldn't ever want to be pinned for the rest of your career by actually answering a question.

    June 17, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. bj

    Someone please help me understand how a bystander standing in the vacinity of the White House or Capital building (or probably anywhere in DC) would be arrested for indicating anything negative toward our president, but some members of congress can blatantly indicate their loathing for the president and no one does a thing about it.

    June 17, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  24. J.c.cosgrove

    Why should he testify against himself when confronted by legislators acting as prosecutors,jury and judges. This has been standard procedure;remember the standard reply;I take the fifth etc.

    June 17, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. Vic of New York

    Tony Hayard wasn't aware of the shortcuts BP was taking any more than the executives of ENRON were aware of their accountants cooking the books!

    Maybe we need to extend Sorbanes-Oxley to cover Oil Companies too!

    June 17, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |