The Corner

Spill Commission Report Meets with More Skepticism

Fred Upton (R., Mich.), the new House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, nails it. According to The Hill:

Upton was critical of the report in a statement Tuesday, although he offered that the findings will be considered as lawmakers seek to prevent another offshore disaster.

Upton said he was disappointed that the commission “left unanswered the fundamental question of what went wrong.”

“Rather than clearly identifying the root cause of this unprecedented disaster, the commission’s report is limited to general assertions about the enforcement agencies and industry as a whole,” Upton said. He warned: “Neither this nor any investigation should be used as political justification for a pre-determined agenda to limit affordable energy options for America.”

“Without clear and specific evidence of what went wrong with this isolated well, unlike the tens of thousands that have never experienced similar failures, we will not learn the lessons needed to ensure a disaster like this will never happen again,” Upton said.

Upton sounds like he’s ready to govern with respect to deepwater drilling, rather than stage circuses for the media like the Waxman/Markey leadership team did. There are many qualified petroleum engineers and scientists able to dissect BP’s well plan and compare it, straightforwardly and point by point, with the hundreds that didn’t fail, as well as to industry best practices. In fact, I would be surprised if most oil companies haven’t already prepared such reports for internal use. That this approach eluded House Democrats and the commission speaks volumes about their intent.

 — Lou Dolinar is a retired columnist and reporter for Newsday. He is currently working on a book about what really happened in the Deepwater Horizon spill.

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