By Matt Viser, Globe Staff
WASHINGTON – Senator Scott Brown this morning criticized BP for its preparation for the oil spill as he testified on legislation that would require oil companies in the future to a have peer-reviewed plans to respond to a significant leak.
“BP was astonishingly unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with their leak,” Brown said. “While everyone understands that accidents can happen, Americans are rightly furious that there was neither a viable nor urgent response plan in place to stop the leak or to begin mitigating the damage. There should have been one on day one.”
Brown last week introduced legislation, written with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. In addition to requiring peer-reviewed plans for potential leaks, the bill would also use existing Department of Energy funds to assemble a team of specialists from the private sector and National Academy of Sciences to stop the current oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
Brown, who has been criticized in the past by environmentalists, has been trying to use his legislation to address what has been called the largest man-made environmental disaster in the country’s history.
The Massachusetts Republican wrote an editorial on the issue today in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, and he is planning to appear on several Boston TV and radio stations today.
Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Malden, has been outspoken on the issue since the sill happened, pushing the company to release live video feeds of the spill and questioning its use of chemicals in the Gulf.
Following his testimony this morning, Brown seemed to distance himself from the controversial comments made by Representative Joe Barton, Republican of Texas, when he apologized to BP for the way they were treated by the Obama administration. Barton later apologized for apologizing.
“Well, BP should be apologizing to the families in the states that affected the oil spill,” Brown said this morning, when asked what he thought of Barton’s comments. “I ultimately have not heard, but I read what he said. He apologized, I take him at his word. I’m busy focusing on what we’re doing over here, not really worrying about what the House is doing.”
Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.