Senate Energy Committee’s First Hearing
To Delve Into National Oil Spill Commission Report
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s first hearing of the new Congress will examine the report and recommendations (including any recommendations for legislative action) issued by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. That this is the Committee’s first hearing is a clear indication of the importance that Chairman Bingaman places on the need for reforms to ensure that our nation’s Outer Continental Shelf is managed in a safe, balanced and prudent manner.
Senate Energy unanimously reported a bill in the last Congress (S. 3516) that would raise the bar on well safety, blowout prevention, oil spill response and worker training. Such legislation continues to be a top priority. It is necessary to ensure that offshore oil and gas drilling is conducted in a safe manner that protects workers, local residents, natural resources and the economies that depend on those resources.
The chapter of the National Commission’s report that is currently available underscores this point, noting that “… the root causes [of the blowout] are systemic and, absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur.”
The commission’s two co-chairs are expected to testify. The hearing will be Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 9:30 a.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Room 325 in the Russell Office Building.)
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