Hearing with oil executives underscores need for energy overhaul (Rep. G.K. Butterfield)

It is clear that more should have been done to prevent this unthinkable disaster. Over the past 30 years, the oil industry has developed some of the world’s most advanced technologies to drill in deeper waters. Unfortunately, the ingenuity that allowed the oil companies to drill miles below the ocean floor has outpaced the commitment to safety.

What concerns me is that though the other oil companies argue that BP’s actions were unique, they all appear to be using the same flawed disaster response plans. I fear that none of these companies have adequately prepared to deal with the consequences of a major spill, and that is troubling.

While the hearing left many unanswered questions, it fully illustrated the need for action on a fundamental overhaul of our nation’s energy policy — a shift that stresses a broad portfolio of energy sources and energy efficiency.

As we move forward, BP must provide clear and transparent information so that we can fully prepare to address this disaster in the days, weeks and years ahead. And, I come away hopeful that BP will quickly establish an adequate escrow fund to pay for the damage done by this tragic event.