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House Panel To Hear From Oil Executives

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House Panel To Hear From Oil Executives

Business

House Panel To Hear From Oil Executives

House Panel To Hear From Oil Executives

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Oil companies go to Capitol Hill to testify about the risks of offshore drilling Tuesday. The CEOs of Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips, as well as the president of BP America, will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

DEBORAH AMOS, host:

The heads of major oil companies testify today before a congressional committee looking in the Gulf oil spill. They include senior officials from BP who are in for tough questioning about the well where the oil is still leaking.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI: The House Energy and Commerce Committee says its uncovered evidence that BP cut corners when it designed and built the well. Today, Lamar McKay, chairman of BP America is expected to face tough questions about what happened.

Gianna Bern heads an investment advisory firm that focuses on energy companies.

Ms. GIANNA BERN (Brookshire Advisory and Research, Inc.): BP will also have the challenges of having to, you know, acknowledge past safety violations so, you know, invariably that will probably come up as part of the conversation or the inquiry.

ZARROLI: Also testifying will be the CEOs of Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. The CEO of Exxon Mobile, Rex Tillerson, will tell the committee that the incident represents a dramatic departure from the norm in the energy industry. With a moratorium on deepwater drilling in place, oil industry officials need to persuade Congress that the rig explosion was an anomaly, says Bern.

Ms. BERN: The question will be for the industry, is how can they address the concerns of safety and bring safety to a whole new level in the industry, and particularly as it relates to deepwater drilling.

ZARROLI: Later this week, BP chairman Tony Hayward will testify at another hearing about the companys efforts to cap the well.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News.

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