No Hayward whitewash at the White House
BP oil leak was not as bad as predicted - but Tony Hayward gets no apology
The once-leaking BP oil well is plugged with mud, President Barack Obama has announced that the nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico is "close to coming to an end" and many scientists are now agreed that the environmental damage is not as great as feared.
But there will be no apology to the outgoing BP chief executive Tony Hayward, who always said that the environmental consequences of the leak were being over-played and was castigated in the US media and on Capitol Hill as a result.
"Nobody owes Tony Hayward an apology," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told a press conference yesterday. He said the better-than-expected capture of the oil was in part due to the pressure the administration had put on BP to do more faster.
"We asked for and demanded in particular their containment strategy be accelerated," Gibbs said.
Hayward, who has now been replaced by a new CEO, Bob Dudley, said soon after the oil leak began on April 20 that the environmental impact would be "very, very modest". As The First Post reported last week, 100 days after the spill began, many scientists were beginning to agree.
Three-quarters of the leaked oil is now gone. It has either evaporated or been captured in the vast clean-up operation. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the only oil left in the Gulf of Mexico is heavily diluted, existing only in minute droplets.
"It was captured. It was skimmed. It was burned. It was contained. Mother Nature did her part," Carol Browner, the White House energy adviser, told NBC television. ·
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