[Updated at 5:52 p.m.] Rep. Bart Stupak closed the hearing by telling BP CEO Tony Hayward: "I think the evasiveness of your answers only served to increase the frustration, not decrease the frustration, not just of members of Congress, but that of the American people."
[Updated at 2:42 p.m.] BP CEO Tony Hayward told Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, he talks at least once a day with Adm. Thad Allen, the head of the federal government's Gulf oil spill response.
[Updated at 2:37 p.m.] BP CEO Tony Hayward told Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, "We would like to resolve this issue as well as everyone else."
[Updated at 2:32 p.m.] "There are no suggestions I have seen so far that anyone put cost ahead of safety," said BP CEO Tony Hayward, in response to grilling from Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who responded, "With all due respect, Mr. Hayward, I think you're copping out."
[Updated at 2:26 p.m.] After BP CEO Tony Hayward testified that some oil samples in the Gulf were related to the Deepwater Horizon leak while others were not, and he avoided directly answering a question about whether there were plumes in the water, Democratic Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts charged, "Your testimony continues to be at odds to all independent scientists."
[Updated at 1:06 p.m.] Lawmakers questioned BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward on whether the company saved time and money in seven areas of well design and operation that may have led to failure. In each case, Hayward answered that he did not recall or did not know.
[Updated at 12:51 p.m.] BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward defended himself Thursday against a charge he was refusing to answer congressional questions raised by documents that BP dismissed safety concerns over the ruptured Gulf of Mexico well.
"I am not stonewalling. I was simply not involved in the decision-making process," he said. "I won't draw conclusions until an investigation is concluded."
To which Rep. Henry Waxman responded: "I am amazed at this testimony. You're kicking the can down the road. I find that irresponsible."
[Updated at 12:34 p.m.] Pressed for a direct answer on whether BP has made good on a commitment to safety that was pledged when Tony Hayward became the chief executive officer three years ago, Hayward would not give an yes or no answer to lawmakers questioning him Thursday.
He said: "We have focused like a laser on safe and reliable operations. We have made major changes."
"It's clear to me you don't want to answer any of our questions," said Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.[Updated at 12:34 p.m.] BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said it was "too early" to reach conclusions about whether the oil company dismissed safety concerns over its ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico. Read full CNN.com story
"I'm not prepared to speculate on what may or may not have made a difference" until investigations are completed, he said.
[Updated at 11:38 a.m.] BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said Thursday that he hoped the company's establishment of a $20 billion compensation fund will help restore trust in the troubled oil company.
"We said all along we would pay all these costs and now the American people can be confident that our word is good," Hayward told a congressional hearing.
[Updated 11:28 a.m.] A protester has disrupted BP CEO Tony Hayward's testimony before a congressional panel Thursday moments after he was sworn in. The testimony was suspended as the protester was taken out of the room.
[Updated at 11:21 a.m.] Rep. Bruce Braley, R-Iowa, told beleaguered BP official Tony Hayward that he should have been present to listen to the testimony of the widows of workers killed aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. Hayward was made to listen at a Thursday congressional hearing.
"This tragedy will not be in vain," Natalie Roshto said in a video of a prior hearing held in Louisiana. "Because as of right now, my husband's death is in vain, but it will not be in vain if it serves to make the lives of every man and woman working in the oil field the top priority and causes powerful oil companies to know that they will be held accountable."
[Updated at 11:05 a.m.] Only half the story can be ascertained at Thursday's congressional hearing on the oil disaster, said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Georgia, because no one from the administration was testifying on whether there was lax government oversight.
[Updated at 10:53 a.m.] Lawmakers told BP Chief Operating Officer Tony Hayward Thursday that they intend to grill him on what they believe to be cost-cutting measures adopted by the oil giant that compromised the safety of the Gulf of Mexico well.
"After learning of risks, BP made a decision to ignore them," said Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, citing documents and confidential e-mails obtained by investigators.
[Updated at 10:48 a.m.] Republican Rep. Joe Barton had some harsh words for the White House at a key hearing Thursday on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster: "I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday.Â I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation would be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown - in this case a $20 billion dollar shakedown."
Barton was referring to BP's establishment - at the behest of the administration - of an escrow account to pay for claims.
[Updated at 10:45 a.m.] Democrat Jim Costa, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, says in light of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the administration's plans to split up the Minerals and Management Service, the government agency that oversees offshore drilling, "when it comes to regulations, we must, I think, ask the hard questions on how we strike a proper balance between the role of government and the role of the private sector."
[Posted at 10:19 a.m.] BP's top leadership was "apparently oblivious" to the design and safety of the oil well that ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico, said Rep. Henry Waxman in opening a key congressional hearing Thursday with BP's Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward.
"BP's corporate complacency is astonishing," said Waxman, the chair of the the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman