BP’s Doug Suttles admitted Monday that the industry’s tools for cleaning up oil spills – such as booms and skimmers – aren’t ready for the 21st century.
“Part of the reason is there have been so few big spills,” the BP chief operating officer told NBC’s Tom Costello on the TODAY show. “The events haven’t driven the technology change that’s out there,” Suttles said. “I think this event probably will.”
The oil company has been widely criticized for its inadequate response to the largest oil spill in U.S. history, and BP execs are expected to be grilled by lawmakers in hearings on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
A recent Associated Press report highlighted embarrassing deficiencies in the company’s emergency planning, including discussion about what to do about sea otters and walruses – creatures that don’t live in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico – and having as a point of contact a man who died five years ago.
Suttles said that the plan was referring to creatures that could be impacted by spills, “not ones unique to the Gulf.”
Watch the full interview below: