US agencies treated spill as catastrophe from outset, panel told

10/04/2010
US departments and agencies responding to the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico treated it as a catastrophe from the beginning, officials told the independent commission established by US President Barack Obama to investigate the event and its implications on federal offshore oil and gas policies.Initial estimates of oil flowing from the Macondo well that were provided by well operator BP PLC have been criticized as being misleading, but did not affect federal strategies, they told the commission as it began its second hearing in Washington on Sept. 27.The hearing focused on government responses to the massive oil spill that started 2 days after the well blew out on Apr. 20, causing a...
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