Obama slams BP, other oil executives for 'ridiculous spectacle'
Washington - US President Barack Obama harshly criticized executives from BP and other oil firms, accusing them Friday of creating a "ridiculous spectacle" by refusing to take responsibility for the ecological disaster unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico. The executives from BP, Halliburton and Transocean appeared before the Senate on Tuesday and were "falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else," Obama said after meeting with advisors about the spill. "The American people could not have been impressed with that display and I certainly wasn't," Obama added.
Obama emphasized his intention to hold BP accountable under US law for the costs of the massive and ongoing oil well rupture that followed the April 12 explosion on an oil drilling rig in the Gulf leased by the Britain-based petroleum firm but owned by Transocean. But he said the priority right now is to stop the rupture that is pouring at least 5,000 barrels of oil into the ocean daily. "What really matters is this: There is oil leaking and we need to stop it and we need to stop it as soon as possible," Obama said.
There must be an end to the three firms pointing fingers at each other as there is "enough blame to go around," including some for the federal government, Obama said. "It is pretty clear that the system failed, and it failed badly," he said. Obama said the federal government will review its policies in offshore oil drilling and put an end to the "cozy" relationship between oversight agencies and the oil firms. He cited the plan to separate the operations of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service that collect royalties for drilling on federal land and its safety inspections unit.
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