Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
Weeks of May 24-June 4
On Tuesday, May 25, the full committee will hold the third in its series of hearings regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In this hearing, the Committee will examine liability and financial responsibility issues related to offshore oil production, including the Deepwater Horizon accident and S. 3346, a bill to increase the limits on civil and criminal penalties under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Members will hear from two panels of witnesses: the first will include Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, third ranking official in the Justice Department and supervisor of the Civil, Civil Rights, Antitrust, Tax and Environment divisions. The second panel will consist of Congressional Research Service experts in environmental policy, liability law and financing risk. (Kennedy Caucus Room, 325 Russell, 10:00 a.m.)
On Friday, June 4, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests will hold a field hearing in Bend, OR, to receive testimony on S. 2895, a bill to restore forest landscapes, protect old growth forests and manage national forests in eastern Oregon. Witnesses will be announced on the Committee’s website. (Deschutes Public Services Center Building, 1300 NW Wall Street, Bend; 1:00 p.m. Note: due to logistics, field hearings are not webcast.)
As Chairman Bingaman continues work on the safety of offshore drilling, he was pleased this week to see Secretary Salazar’s proposal to reorganize the functions of the Minerals Management Service (MMS). Bingaman believes that these actions are a good first step in recognizing the inherent conflicts in the current mix of responsibilities, and appreciates the diligent work of the Secretary and his team in responding to this crisis.
MMS oversight and legislation is within the jurisdiction of the Senate Energy Committee, and our staff already has been working on regulatory and organizational issues in the context of legislation to ensure the safety of these operations going forward. Bingaman looks forward to continuing to work with the Secretary and with Members of the Committee on these problems.
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If you missed it, here’s Jeff’s recent appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.