05/11/2010 03:19 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Legitimate Claims: Cantwell Grills BP On How Much They Will Actually Pay (VIDEO)

Representatives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton all testified before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee about what happened to cause the unfolding oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. After prepared testimony which centered around the executives pointing fingers at each other and deflecting blame, the best moment of the session came when Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) attempted to hone in on exactly what BP was going to pay for. Using the terrible long-term impacts of the Exxon-Valdez spill as a model, Cantwell grilled Lamar McKay, president and chairman of BP America.

McKay's rapid-fire response that they will pay "all legitimate claims" to most of Cantwell's questions, had the eerie ring of corporate doublespeak.

Cantwell ends her questioning period by saying, "I hope we never get into a situation in a court where we are now debating what is a legitimate claim."