Washington, D.C. – As the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico continues to threaten much of the Gulf Coast, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse last week introduced a bill to establish a commission to investigate the oil spill. It was announced today that President Obama will create this commission through executive order.
“The examination of this catastrophe by an independent commission needs to happen and quickly, and I applaud the president’s move to create such a commission by executive order. We have no time to waste in determining the cause and the impacts of this disaster in the hopes that we can prevent another from happening in the future,” said Whitehouse.
Whitehouse’s bill, the BP Deepwater Horizon Inquiry Commission Act of 2010, cosponsored by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) would establish an independent, non-partisan commission to investigate the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and provide recommendations to avoid such disasters in the future. The Commission would also investigate BP and other private companies involved with the spill, as well as the performance of federal and state agencies responsible for oversight of offshore drilling. Current or former Members of the Minerals Management Service would be prohibited from serving on the Commission. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.