In Washington on Tuesday, executives from BP and its drilling partners were grilled by Senators about their companies' involvement in the Gulf Coast oil disaster. The Senate energy and environmental committees set out to figure out how it happened, and who is responsible.
BP, Transocean, and Halliburton executives were taken to account by lawmakers for the "cascade of failures" behind the disaster, and chastised for trying to shift the blame onto one another.
At the hearing, all three companies maintained that they followed all the requisite safeguards in the installation and operation of the drilling site responsible for the oil spill. The head of BP has said that they will pay for all "legitimate claims," making their position on the clean up costs rather vague. BP and the other two corporations appear set to fight a battle over how much fiscal responsibility they must take in the spill, even though BP alone earns enough profit in four days to cover the costs of the spill thus far in economic terms.
With the failure of the containment dome, and other options for containment not offering much more promise, one can only wonder when the oil will stop pouring into the Gulf. Legal proceedings will come, and corporations will surely try to obfuscate the process in order to maintain their obscene profits and power in the energy sector. When will the oil spill be contained? How much responsibility will the three major companies at fault take? What are the environmental ramifications? What are the political ramifications in moving forward? There are still so many unknowns, but in looking for a diamond in the rough, one must hope that this tragedy will signal a new age of renewable energy development.