More WTF? facts emerged from testimony by oil executives before Congress,
in large part thanks to the intrepid Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
To wit: all the companies have identical so-called plans for so-called
spills. They all include references to protecting walruses, which have
not been in the Gulf for three million years, and they all cite the same
expert, who died several years before the plans were issued. Markey
also cites some useful numbers: BP made $289
billion in profits over the past three years but spent $20 million a
year in safety research and accident prevention. One exchange captures the surreal whole. As
Markey says, it's past time for America to wake
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"We now know the oil industry, and the government agency tasked
regulating them, determined that there was a zero chance that this kind
of undersea disaster could ever happen. When you believe that there is
zero chance of a disaster happening,
you do zero disaster planning. And the oil industry has invested nearly
zero time and money into developing safety and response efforts."