The congressional scrutiny came as BP, after three weeks, appeared to be gaining some control over the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf. The company said it was capturing 40 percent of the 5,000 barrels a day of oil believed by BP to be flowing from the well. Some scientists, however, believe the amount of gushing oil may well be much greater.
There were ominous signs of the potential environmental fallout along the Gulf and possibly as far as the Florida Keys and beyond.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 20 tar balls were found off Key West on Monday. It will require a lab analysis to determine their origin.