Spill commission chief counsel says press misinterpreted his comments
Fred Bartlit, chief counsel for the national oil spill commission, chided reporters today, arguing they misinterpreted one of his key preliminary findings about the Macondo well blowout.
Bartlit said he found no evidence that anybody working on the Macondo well consciously prioritized cost-cutting over safety, but he left open the possibility that more information could be uncovered. “This is a relatively modest observation,” he said, adding that staff will continue its investigation into the incident.
Rep. Edward Markey cast doubt on the finding yesterday, arguing that BP’s corporate culture privileged saving money over safety.
In closing remarks at today’s meeting, commission co-chairman William Reilly said the many decisions that were “so egregiously wrong” regarding the Macondo well “suggest to me that it is a much more systemic problem than I believed to be the case.” And he suggested creating an “industry entity that can raise the game particularly of companies that are not exemplars.” The entity, he said, could be modeled on the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, which was created in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island disaster to ensure nuclear safety.