"Spill Commission Defends Its Top Lawyer"

"The panel named by President Obama to investigate the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout on Tuesday rejected a call by a consumer activist group for the resignation of its chief counsel, Fred H. Bartlit Jr. The group, Consumer Watchdog, said that the panel should dismiss Mr. Bartlit because his law firm, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, once represented Halliburton, one of the companies involved in drilling the BP well.

The presidential panel is charged with finding the cause of the well explosion in April, which killed 11 workers and unleashed nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The group noted that Mr. Bartlit had himself represented oil companies and chemical manufacturers and thus has a 'clear conflict of interest.'"

John M. Broder reports for the New York Times' Green blog November 26, 2010.

Source: Green (NYT), 11/17/2010