"Criticism Runs Deep for Spill Commission Findings"

"NEW ORLEANS -- Critics of a presidential commission's preliminary findings that largely supported BP's internal probe of the Gulf oil spill questioned Monday how anyone could suggest money wasn't put ahead of safety in the days before the disaster.

'Why cut corners if it is not for money?' said Billy Nungesser, the president of oil-soaked Plaquemines Parish, La.

Nungesser also challenged the statement from the commission's chief investigator, who said he agreed with about 90 percent of what BP said in its internal report released in early September.

'I really feel for the families of these 11 victims,' Nungesser said. 'Here they are hoping and praying that their loved ones lost would set some fundamental change and protection so things would be different. If we are gonna not be honest with everybody, including the American public, about what happened and why — then these people died in vain.'

Daniel Becnel, a Louisiana lawyer suing BP and others over the oil spill, said the commission's findings about money not being a factor are 'absolutely absurd.'

'The reason is it so absurd is because BP is known to paste over safety, especially if it involved money and downtime,' Becnel said. 'They couldn't afford any more downtime on that rig.'"

Harry R. Weber reports for the Associated Press November 8, 2010.

SEE ALSO:

"BP Oil Spill Commission Wants Subpoena Power" (Politico)

"Energy Roundup: Big Oil Faces Panel; Leaders Want Subpoena Power" (E2 Wire)

"Spill Panel Chief Counsel Bemoans Lack of Subpoena Power" (The Hill)

"Oil Spill Investigation A 'High Priority' For Justice" (NPR)

"Oil Spill Panel: BP Didn't Sacrifice Safety for Costs" (AP)

"Factbox: Oil Spill Commission Findings" (Reuters)

"Oil Spill Panel Tells A Complicated Tale" (NPR)

"Well Acts ‘Plain Wrong’ or ‘Difficult to Explain,’ Reilly Says" (Bloomberg)

"Chief of Oil Spill Inquiry Sees No Proof BP Skimped on Safety To Save Money" (Los Angeles Times)

""Nobody Thought They Were Taking a Chance"" (Mother Jones)

"BP, Firms Did Not Shirk Safety For Money: Oil Spill Panel" (Reuters)

"Investigator Finds No Evidence That BP Took Shortcuts to Save Money" (New York Times)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010