U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak issued the statement below following the announcement that BP CEO Tony Hayward will step down from his position effective October 1, 2010:
"As CEO of BP, Tony Hayward's approach to safety and risk management was to eliminate "excessive cautiousness" even as BP was dealing with the largest oil leak in Alaska's history on the North Slope as well as the aftermath of the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion. This cavalier attitude remained in place following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. His evasive and obstructive responses to our congressional inquiry further damaged both his and BP's reputation.
For too long now the corporate culture at BP has been defined by a willingness to cut costs and take greater risks at the expense of worker and environmental safety. This cannot be permitted to continue any longer. I am concerned that instead of bringing in a CEO who can reform the company, BP board members are playing a high stakes game of musical chairs and simply rotating top leadership into different high-level posts within the company. This is not the solution the American people are looking for, or deserve.
Mr. Dudley must quickly prove that BP is serious about running safe operations whether in the Gulf Coast, on the North Slope or anywhere else in the United States. No longer can record setting profits come at the expense of forgoing infrastructure maintenance, ignoring industry recommended best practices or the lives and wellbeing of its workers. I wish Mr. Dudley the best in his new role as CEO of BP, and expect that under his leadership BP will make a fundamental shift in corporate behavior that is long overdue. And if he cannot accomplish this, BP must find someone who can."
Congressman Stupak, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, has held four hearings examining what caused the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent oil spill, including the only hearing with testimony from Tony Hayward and a field hearing in Chalmette, Louisiana to examine the spill's effects on the families of those who their lives on the rig and the communities and environment of the Gulf Coast region.