Hayward Faces Down Lawmakers, Protesters
Will say he grasps 'the terrible reality'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2010 9:43 AM CDT
Updated Jun 17, 2010 10:46 AM CDT
Capitol Hill police officers escorts a demonstrator on Capitol Hill, June 17, 2010, as BP CEO Tony Hayward testified before the Energy and Environment subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Tony Hayward went to Capitol Hill to take his lumps today, and Democrats, at least, delivered them. Henry Waxman praised the BP boss for setting up a $20 billion clean-up fund, but then slammed him for his safety record. When Hayward took his job he said he’d focus “like a laser” on safety, but “There's not a single email or document that shows you paid the slightest attention to the dangers at this well.” Bart Stupak and others read a string of documents, on the other hand, that indicated that Hayward chose profits over safety.

When Hayward finally got the chance to speak, he struck a conciliatory tone. “Let me be very clear: I fully grasp the terrible reality of the situation,” he said, in prepared remarks reported in the Wall Street Journal, touting the millions BP has spent so far on cleanup. His remarks were interrupted by a protester, who stood up, hands and face smeared with a black substance, and screamed, "You need to be charged with a crime. You need to go to jail." She was wrestled to the ground by police, and according to the Guardian, appeared to be hurt in the process. Other protesters confronted Hayward with signs reading "BP Kills."