“I Cannot Recall”

Photo by Kate Sheppard.

Joe Barton (R-Tex.) clearly stole the show at today’s House hearing by apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward. But Hayward made a stunning appearance himself. And by stunning, I mean he was unable or unwilling to answer basically every question House members posed to him. Some favorite responses:

“I don’t know.”

“I cannot recall.”

“I am not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident.”

When Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) asked Hayward why he couldn’t weigh in on the questions Waxman and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) sent the CEO earlier this week about evidence that BP’s corner-cutting may have caused the disaster, Hayward finally admitted that they had raised “legitimate areas of concern.” But he would not respond to the questions. “I am not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident until such time that the investigation is concluded,” said Hayward.

He did state, however, that he believes the company’s attention to safety is improving under his watch. “We have focused like a laser on safety,” he said.

The grilling is on hold for now while House members vote, but look forward to more non-responses when the grilling continues this afternoon.


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.