The first phase of BP CEO Tony Hayward's testimony before a House panel was marked by claims of being "deeply sorry" and "personally devastated" by the environmental calamity that has unleashed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
The catch phrase of phase two was decidedly different: "I was not part of the decision-making process," he stated as lawmakers peppered him over alleged safety shortcuts that contributed to the deadly explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig 59 days ago (watch the video at left).
The often terse exchanges with members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce subcommittee were notable more for what Hayward didn't say, frustrating lawmakers looking for specific answers about the company's decisions leading up to the disaster from the man in charge of the oil giant.
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Asked by subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bart Stupak whether the company had reached any conclusions about the causes of the accident, Hayward said the "investigation is ongoing."
"You have not reached a conclusion that BP cut corners?" asked Stupak.
"I think it's too early to reach conclusions, Mr. Chairman," Hayward replied.
Faced with more non-answers from Hayward on the company's safety performance, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said he was "amazed at this testimony."
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