Oil and Gas

Let BP, Not Feds, Handle Spill: Expert


BP should be allowed to contain the massive oil spill and head the cleanup operation in the Gulf of Mexico, a leading energy expert told CNBC Monday.

Oil Spill Impact

The federal government does not have the expertise of an oil company, John Hofmeister, the CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy and the former CEO of U.S. operations of Shell Oil, said.

The government “did not deliver” after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "It's my experience that when the government gets involved, I would expect only delays and bureaucracy," said Hofmeister, who defended BP's actions thus far.

"No stone is being left unturned," said Hofmeister, who guided Shell from 1997 to 2008. “They’ve got 1,000 people working around the clock. They’re going all out,” he added.

The goal in devising safety systems, Hofmeister, said, is to “try to build integrity and redundancy.”

The rig, which exploded almost two weeks ago, “had all the redundancy, as far as I can tell, but it didn’t work so finding out why it didn’t work is critically important for the future,” said Hofmeister, who founded the Citizens for Affordable Energy "to educate citizens and government officials about pragmatic, non-partisan, affordable energy solutions."

Hofmeister said the incident was not only “an embarrassment to BP

,” but an “embarrassment to the industry as a whole.”

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