Biz Brief: Waxman's Letter Says BP May Have Taken 'Shortcuts'


The Wall Street Journal reports that a letter sent from Democratic committee leaders to BP (BP) Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward on Monday says that BP appears "to have made multiple decisions for economic reasons that increased the danger of a catastrophic well failure." The letter advises Hayward to bring other officials and experts to answer tough questions about what happened in the days and hours leading up to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

The letter, written by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and oversight subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, cites evidence uncovered by Congressional investigators that says "at the time of the blowout, the Macondo well was significantly behind schedule" and that those delays appear "to have created pressure to take shortcuts to speed finishing the well."

BP spokeswoman Anne Kolton, while not addressing any specific details from the letter, told the Journal, "Tony Hayward will be testifying on Thursday before the full committee, and we would expect that the committee will raise these issues in the hearing."

Originally published