Today Congress grilled BP executive Tony Hayward on his company’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and specifically whether he believed that the company did anything wrong. Mr. Hayward repeatedly replied that he was just an executive who didn’t know much about drilling for oil, and that he didn’t even understand why people changed the oil in their cars, and deferred the more technical questions to engineers. This apparent stonewalling discouraged some on the oil spill committee, and they instead asked vague and opened ended questions to try to understand the BP executive a little more. Below are some excerpts from the grilling which didn’t make it to the official record, but were removed by the White House. Some of the testimony is surprising:
Al Gore: Is it true that you don’t believe the existence of an all powerful Mother Earth, who probably wishes that I had become president instead of George Bush?
Tony Hayward: Well, we at BP believe that one of the sea gods, either King Neptune or King Triton thousands of years ago put oil in difficult to reach locations so that our company specifically could find them and become prosperous. It is sort of like the world’s biggest easter egg hunt. Otherwise why would the oil be there? Just to hold up the ocean’s floor?
Al Gore: Oh really? What does “King Neptune” have to say about global warming?
Tony Hayward: Well, we’ve really studied the issue you know . . . I’m not a scientist but I’ve seen that animated movie “Ice Age” and all the disturbing sequels as well, and it looks like to me that there might be another ice age headed for earth and anything we can do to build up what we like to call it a “heat surplus” or “heat stimulus” will help keep our ocean stay warm enough not to freeze
Al Gore: What?
Vice President Joe Biden: But was there any criminal negligence which occurred during the operation of this oil rig? It certainly looks like somebody was putting profits over safety . . .
Tony Hayward: I can’t comment about specifics being investigated, however, we do have a working theory about why the oil spill happened. We believe that malicious smurf-like, or even gremlin-like, creatures attacked the oil rig from beneath the ocean to cause the spill. I’m not an engineer, or a biologist, but I want to refrain from making any conclusions until the smurf hypothesis is ruled out completely.
Vice President Joe Biden: You don’t really expect us to believe that do you?
Ton Hayward: By Neptune’s sacred seahorse I hope you do, but did you realize Mr. Vice President that gremlins are the reason why the Amtrak train system is so expensive to run?
Vice President Joe Biden: Really? I’ll have to look into that, and thank you for bringing it to my attention!
Rep. Henry Waxman: What do you have to say about rumors that BP is using a toxic dispersant in an attempt to make the oil spill harder to find by submerging it hundreds of feet under the water?
Tony Hayward: I was out inspecting the spill in my yacht when suddenly King Neptune appeared and told me that dispersants are the way to go and that they really aren’t that toxic, so that is what we did as we’re running the show you know. And you know what they say, out of sight out of mind.
Rep. Henry Waxman: And how is it exactly that BP is in charge of both the efforts to stop the oil spill, and the cleanup efforts?
Tony Hayward: Do you really want me to answer that? Well, OK, I won a game of rock-paper-scissors with the vice president and so we get to run the whole thing no questions asked.
Secretary of Energy Chairman Dr. Chu: And how exactly do you plan to stop the spill?
Tony Hayward: I got the idea for a using a golf ball junk shot when miniature golfing with my family. That didn’t work out so well. But I’ve got a better idea now: gum. We’re going to get everybody to donate used gum and we’re going to make a really big gum ball and shove it down the riser pipe and hopefully it will plug things up, or at least blow a really cool bubble!
Vice President Joe Biden: Until we investigate the gremlin issue, I recommend that we let our friend Tony work on his gum wad solution. I order that this session be put in recess.