WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) -- BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward apologized for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and, for penance, underwent hours of berating by a congressional committee.
Whether playing for the television cameras or dealing with real furor, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Thursday blasted BP and Hayward for the spill.
BP has promised to pay for cleanup and recovery of issues caused by the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig 50 miles south of Louisiana. Eleven workers died in the blast and millions of gallons of oil have leaked from the well.
The effect on the environment is severe and will be long-term and there is a fear many associated businesses -- such as fishing and tourism -- will also see problems for years.
BP engineers have been working to cap the well, without complete success yet, and the company has been called to the White House in addition to Congress this week. At the White House, BP agreed to set up a $20 billion compensation fund. But it is as unlikely that BP will have more success capping the compensation-demand gusher as its engineers have had with the well.
Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., set Thursday's tone, charging that Hayward failed to pay "even the slightest attention to the dangers of this well." Other committee members took turns venting at the BP executive.
Hayward again promised that "I give my pledge as the leader of BP that we will not rest until we make this right."