Earlier today, the chairmen of the world's five biggest oil companies went before the House energy committee to testify about the Gulf spill. Naturally, the CEOs from ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell all wanted to put as much distance as possible between themselves and BP, protesting that they would've never handled this mess so poorly. But Henry Waxman and Ed Markey weren't buying it:
Mr. Markey added: “In preparation for this hearing, the committee reviewed the oil spill safety response plans for all of the companies here today. What we found was that these five companies have response plans that are virtually identical. The plans cite identical response capabilities and tout identical ineffective equipment. In some cases, they use the exact same words. We found that all of these companies, not just BP, made the exact same assurances.”
And here's an indication of how much thought the oil companies actually put into dealing with a major spill:
Like BP, Mr. Markey said, three other companies include references to protecting walruses, which have not called the Gulf of Mexico home for three million years.
"Two other plans are such dead ringers for BP’s that they list a phone number for the same long-dead expert," he said.
Yeah, there might be a problem here.