House Action on the Disastrous Oil Spill This Week

Last week, House Committees held six hearings related to the disastrous oil spill, including testimony from the top executives from the big five oil companies that uncovered serious disaster response plan inadequacies. For example, BP (and three of the companies) include references to protecting walruses, mammals that do not live in the Gulf of Mexico, in their plans and ExxonMobil's response plan claims they could handle a “worst-case scenario” of over 160,000 barrels per day (four times bigger than the current spill) using the “same plan BP has with the same contractors BP is using”. Read more from that hearing»

This week, the House is continuing their full inquiry into the disaster with three hearings and one markup. On Wednesday:

The Education & Labor Committee is holding a hearing at 10 am “to examine how worker health and safety is regulated and enforced by various parties from oil rigs themselves to post-accident cleanup operations. Questions have been raised about who is ultimately responsible for worker health and safety in light of the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and exposed cleanup workers to toxic chemicals.” Witnesses:

Rear Admiral Kevin Cook Director of Prevention Policy for Marine Safety, Security, and Stewardship U.S. Coast Guard Washington, D.C.

Dr. John Howard Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Washington, D.C.

David Michaels Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health U.S. Department of Labor

Mr. Doug Slitor Acting Chief of the Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs, Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Minerals Management Service, U.S. Department of the Interior Herndon, Va.

Webcast link»

The Science & Technology Subcommittee on Energy & Environment is holding a hearing at 10 am on deepwater drilling technology, research, and development. Witnesses:

Mr. Christopher A. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas, Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Mr. Erik Milito, Group Director, Upstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute

Dr. Benton Baugh, President, Radoil, Inc.

Mr. James Pappas, Vice President, Technical Programs, Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America

Webcast link»

The Judiciary Committee is holding a markup on the Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations on Liability Act or SPILL Act (H.R. 5503)–a comprehensive bill addressing legal liability issues arising from the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Webcast link»

On Thursday:

The Natural Resources Subcommittee On Insular Affairs, Oceans & Wildlife Oversight is holding an oversight hearing at 10 am on state planning and standards for preparedness for offshore energy development. This hearing is the sixth of seven oversight hearings the Natural Resources Committee is holding on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill.

Webcast link»

Learn more about House action on the spill in the Gavel’s archive»