Tag, You’re it! CEOs Involved in Gulf Oil Disaster Refuse to Testify at Spill Hearing

Oil company bigwigs are on the run again as the companies responsible for last year’s Gulf oil disaster evade testifying before Congress. Facing more than a dozen major federal violations and numerous lawsuits, the CEOs of BP, Transocean Ltd., Halliburton Co. and Cameron International Corp. have refused to testify before a panel of House lawmakers investigating the debacle.  

It looked like an ironic scene from Gary Larson’s The Far Side comic strip: House Natural Resources Committee members faced  empty chairs  during this week’s hearing on the causes of the Gulf oil disaster.  But it probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise – Big Oil’s avoidance of oversight was a huge factor in the tragedy, and refusing to appear before the committee just follows the same pattern. 

While the Gulf oil disaster was the latest assault on the region’s ecosystems, it came after years of degradations from human impacts.  Now, continued deterioration of the Gulf Coast poses a tremendous threat to ecosystems that support not only the Gulf’s communities, but also our nation’s most important seafood industry and other valuable sectors like energy, shipping and tourism. 

The facts are in, and we know that last spring’s catastrophe was caused by the oil industry’s negligence and single-minded pursuit of profits. For the families of the men who lost their lives that day, for the thousands of Gulf residents who lost their jobs during the fallout, and for the millions affected by the damage done to the Gulf’s wildlife and ecosystems, this comes as just another slap in the face. The rest of America doesn’t have the luxury of pretending that the explosion didn’t occur…but then again, there seem to be a lot of things BP and its partners would ignore if we let them.

Learn more about the Gulf oil disaster and how you can help wildlife.

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