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Five crucial moves by BP: Did they lead to Gulf oil spill disaster?

In a hearing Thursday, House Democrats investigating the disaster suggested that BP made five cost-saving decisions that might have contributed to the Gulf oil spill.

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BP CEO Tony Hayward (l.) talks with Rep. Henry Waxman (D) of California, on Capitol Hill Thursday prior to testifying before the House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearing on the role of BP in the Deepwater Horizon blowout and Gulf oil spill.

Alex Brandon/AP

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BP made five crucial decisions in the name of saving money that may have contributed to the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Prior to the April 20 disaster, the Deepwater Horizon rig was behind schedule in drilling BP’s Macondo well, according to internal e-mails and documents examined by committee staff. This may have increased pressure on executives to take shortcuts so the well would be producing as soon as possible.

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According to a June 14 letter to BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward from Committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D) of California and investigations subcommittee chairman Rep. Bart Stupak (D) of Michigan, the five important decisions made by BP that lawmakers are investigating are:

1. Well design

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