What About Bob?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Today marks six months since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, an event that caused oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months. Half a year later, we neither have a definitive answer about what caused the disaster, nor, as Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) points out, have we even heard from the company’s new CEO, Bob Dudley.

Dudley officially took over as CEO on October 1. Markey, chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has sent multiple requests for Dudley to appear before Congress over the past few months, to no avail so far. Tony Hayward, Dudley’s gaffe-prone predecessor, made a rather unproductive appearance before the committee in June. Dudley’s appointment is supposed to reassure the American public that things are changing at BP, but he’s so far found it impossible to make time to talk to Congress.

“Given the limited time available, I will need to focus my attention on ensuring a smooth and effective transition into the Chief Executive role and will therefore unfortunately be unavailable to attend the hearing,” Dudley wrote to Markey in response to his last request for an appearance.

Markey isn’t particularly pleased about the slight. “Six months ago, BP’s Macondo well began its months-long eruption into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Markey in a statement. “Now that Mr. Dudley has taken the reins of BP, he can at least dedicate a few hours to answering questions about his company’s efforts to clean up the Gulf region and prevent future incidents.”

It’s probably worth noting yet again that the National Oil Spill Commission—the bipartisan panel that the Obama administration created to investigate the spill and recommend how to move forward with offshore drilling—still lacks the ability to compel folks like Dudley to testify. The House passed legislation granting the power of subpoena to the commission nearly unanimously, but Senate Republicans have blocked the bill in the upper chamber. Thus, the panel (which has released some scathing draft reports to date) still remains largely toothless when it comes to forcing key players to testify and produce crucial documents.

So, six months after the disaster began, BP is still effectively avoiding scrutiny.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate