As Oil Spill Spreads in Gulf of Mexico, Blame Game Begins

White House puts pressure on BP, as BP denies responsibility for spill accident.

ByABC News
April 28, 2010, 11:37 AM

May 3, 2010 — -- With the White House putting pressure on BP today, company executives promised to clean up the oil spill polluting the Gulf of Mexico but tried to shift responsibility for the accident to another company.

The Obama administration has "our boot on the throat of BP to ensure that they're doing all that is necessary while we do all that is humanly possible to deal with this incident," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today.

Gibbs was echoing statements made by President Obama yesterday on a visit to the Gulf region.

"Let me be clear, BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying for the bill," Obama said.

Watch "World News" for the latest on the oil spill, tonight on ABC.

Today, Gibbs was clear about the president's expectations.

"I think the president will be pleased when there's no more oil leaking on the floor of the ocean," he said.

Earlier in the day, BP CEO Tony Hayward reiterated his company's dedication to clean up the spill, but he said that the explosion on April 20 that caused the spill and led to 11 deaths was not the fault of BP but the fault of the owners of the deep sea rig itself.

"The drilling rig was Transocean's drilling rig, it was their equipment that failed, it's their systems, their processors that were running it," Hayward said.

"We are responsible not for the accident, but we are responsible for the oil and for dealing with it and cleaning the situation up," Hayward said on "Good Morning America" today.

For its part, Transocean declined to take or assign blame for the accident at its Deepwater Horizon rig.

"We will await all the facts before drawing conclusions and we will not speculate," Transocean spokesman Guy Cantwell said in a statement read to The Associated Press.

BP was criticized today for asking fishermen it hired to help with the cleanup to sign waivers that would limit the company's liability.

"I'm looking into that right now," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told "Good Morning America." "I was just alerted to that and if that in fact is the case, that is a practice we want stopped immediately."

Shortly after, Hayward said the company has already put a stop to the practice.

"That was an early misstep," Hayward said. "We were using a standard contract. We've eliminated that."