Enviro-lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told Larry King, May 3, that former Vice President Dick Cheney "excused" BP from having two crucial failsafes to the Deep Horizon oil rig operated by British Petroleum, during a 2003 meeting between the vice president and company executives.
Kennedy went on the further blast the company during his television spot with Larry King Live, as having exceeded their previously agreed drilling depth limit of 18,000 feet below sea level.
Halliburton, Chaney's former employer, and service provider to the failed oil rig, met with officials from the Vice President in 2003 according to WSJ and Halliburton Watch a meeting Chaney has previously denied.
The well-head where Deep Horizon was operating before the April 20 explosion and subsequent spill which is releasing an estimated 200,000 barrels of oil per day, is located 5,000 feet below sea level, nearly a mile down.
Kennedy said the remotely operated failsafe shutoff, sometimes called a blowout preventer is used on many similar offshore drilling rigs in the North Sea.
Kennedy also took on the company's reported use of mitigation waivers circulated in the Gulf Coast to fishermen, offering payments to those fishermen in lieu of further damage claims for loss of wages, from the disruption of the fishery.
James Carville, also on the show, commented that BP is taking a beating for such a public relations gaffe and "rightly so."
The waiver story was broken by Rick Outzen of The Daily Beast. Outzen said he was asked by BP to leave a subsequent meeting between Florida Governor Charlie Crist, BP, DEP and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as other Gulf Coast elected officials.
Crist was able to smuggle the reporter back into the meeting, Outzen said on MSNBC's Keith Olberman.