Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's May 3 BP oil spill press conference following his BP briefing resulted in his declaration that BP had, up to May 3, made "all the right actions and all the right comments." Abbott's bravado and praise of BP is matched only by BP following the April 20 spill. Examine the misconduct arising before Mr. Abbott's May 3 absolution of BP, absolution by the chief law enforcement officer of Texas who should be representing the interests of Texas, not foreign oil companies.
1. On April 25 and 26, BP assumed and boasted, with increasing confidence, it would handle the spill offshore. It did not. The false confidence pervaded and tainted BP's handling of the crisis, as follows.
2. BP chose and used inferior dispersants far more toxic than those of competitors, and far less effective than competitors, in handling Southern Louisiana crude. The dispersants dropped much oil out of site, but in to unseen-from-surface massive plumes.
3. BP exhibited "confusion" about how to deal off the exploratory well, according to the first round of Congressional investigation.
4. BP handed out contracts to damage claimants barring future claims, which it later conceded as a misstep.
5. BP took too long to get the claims process up and running, its CEO has now conceded.
6. BP misstated leak size as 1000 barrels/day, and objected to the government's revision to 5000 barrels/day, also deemed inaccurately low by scientists and others observing the amount of flow siphoned while the spill continued.
7. BP resisted measurement and efforts to obtain information to assist in measurement of the oil flow and spill until after containment, ignoring valid reasons for contemporaneous and accurate measurement efforts.
8. BP proceeded outside of its own contingency plan, which it failed to assess.
Attorney General Abbott has yet to renounce his incorrect May 3 statements which place the State of Texas in an uncomfortable position. Texas' chief lawyer appears to be the chief defender of British Petroleum. We've seen no more absolute quotes than Mr. Abbott's language defending BP with his May 3 praise of BP making "all the right actions and all the right comments." Mr. Abbott's receipt of two million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry may explain his behavior.
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