Lawmakers say no oil companies prepared for major spill

By: AP
By: AP
Two congressmen reviewing oil spill response plans of the nation

The Associated Press
Oil cleanup workers hired by BP make an effort to clean the shore in Orange Beach, Ala., on Saturday. Large amounts of the oil battered the Alabama coast, leaving deposits of the slick mess some 4-inches thick on the beach in some parts.

WASHINGTON -- Two congressmen reviewing oil spill response plans of the nation's five largest oil companies say they are nearly identical -- and are all unprepared for an oil spill.

Rep. Ed Markey, chairman of a House Energy panel, said the plans "cite identical response capabilities and tout identical ineffective equipment." The committee looked at plans of BP along with those of ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell Oil.

Markey said at a hearing that two plans list the phone number for the same dead expert, and three include references to protecting walruses -- which don't live in the Gulf.

Committee Chairman Henry Waxman called them "cookie cutter plans," and said they are as unprepared as BP was to respond to a spill.

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