BP Exploration and Production told federal regulators it had "proven equipment and technology" to deal with deepwater spills like the one billowing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It didn't. Still, the Minerals Management Service took the company's word for it. But BP isn't the only company to offer such blithe, and some say false, assurances. Most of the three dozen or so companies that kept drilling in deep water in the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon rig sank got their regulatory approvals based on documents stating they could easily mop up spills, even gushers many times the stated size of the BP spill. But there's no indication they have any better method than BP.