Congress can only hope to have as much luck drilling into oil industry executives this week as those executives did in drilling the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. Starting tomorrow, three congressional hearings will start looking into the oil rig explosion that caused a massive, continuing oil spill.
A gusher of information about the oil spill might explain a lot about how the accident occurred and how the federal government was convinced by British Petroleum that the risk was "insignificant." The hearings may also help determine whether the Obama administration’s oil/gas leasing program—including exploratory drilling this summer in the Arctic—now on hold can go forward.
Earthjustice will be blogging live tomorrow when the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds its hearing.
Lamar McKay, president and chairman of BP America; Steven Newman, president and chief executive of Transocean; and Tim Probert, chief health, safety and environmental officer at Halliburton, are expected to testify. BP leased the drilling rig from Transocean. Halliburton supplied workers on the rig. The same three executives are also scheduled to appear before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee later that day.
The House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations subcommittee will review the spill on Wednesday.