BP’s CEO Apologizes, Gets Chided for Ignoring Dangers

WASHINGTON (CN) – BP CEO Tony Hayward said Thursday that he was “deeply sorry” for the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico, but told members of a House subcommittee that he was “simply not involved in the decision-making process” leading up to the April 20 rig explosion. “You’re a CEO,” said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. “You have a Ph.D. You’ve been director of explorations and operations. You know what’s going on.” Read more >

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BP Agrees to $20B Escrow Fund for Gulf Spill Claims

WASHINGTON (CN) – BP executives on Wednesday agreed to set aside $20 billion in an escrow account to pay claims for damages arising from the Gulf oil spill. “This is not a cap,” President Obama said after meeting with¬†the company’s¬†executives at the White House. Read more >

Oil Industry Is Unprepared for Spills, CEO Says

WASHINGTON (CN) – ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson told a House subcommittee Tuesday that the oil industry is “not well equipped” to handle major oil spills, but joined other oil executives in trying to distance himself from BP. He said his company would have drilled the Deepwater Horizon well differently and has a better response plan should anything go wrong. Lawmakers didn’t buy it. “Exxon and the other companies are just as unprepared to respond to a spill as BP,” said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Read more >

Louisiana Officials Decry Lack of Leadership In Spill Response

WASHINGTON (CN) – Frustrated Louisiana officials told federal lawmakers Thursday that lack of leadership is hurting oil spill relief efforts in the Gulf, allowing oil to wash ashore and devastate wetlands and local economies. “I’ve spent more time fighting the officials of BP and the Coast Guard than I have fighting the oil,” said Billy Nungesser, president of Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish. He said he has sat in meetings where BP, its contractors and the Coast Guard “sit at the table looking at each other while the oil continues to come in.” Read more >

Obama Nominates Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – Calling her “one of the nation’s foremost legal minds,” President Obama today announced his nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens. If confirmed, Kagan, 50, would be the youngest justice and the third woman on the current court. Republicans are expected to oppose her nomination by pointing out that she has never served as a judge. Read more >

U.S. Attorney General Defends Reading Miranda Rights to Times Square Bomber

WASHINGTON (CN) – Attorney General Eric Holder defended the decision of law enforcement officials to read the Miranda rights to would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad within hours of his arrest, saying it did not hinder the investigation. “The giving of Miranda warnings has not deterred people from talking to us, and Mr. Shahzad is, in fact, continuing to cooperate with us,” Holder said Thursday in a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing. Read more >

Mayor Bloomberg Asks Congress to Close ‘Terror Gap’ in Gun Laws

WASHINGTON (CN) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pleaded with Congress Wednesday to close the “terror gap” in gun laws that allows people on the no-fly and terrorist watch list to buy firearms and explosives. “This is not about the Second Amendment,” Bloomberg told Republican lawmakers who raised concerns about gun rights. “Our Founding Fathers did not write the Second Amendment to empower people who wanted to terrorize a free state; they wrote it to protect people who could defend ‘the security of a free state.'” Read more >