BP and the other two companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have been called to testify before the Senate next week, Sen. Barbara Boxer's Environment and Public Works committee said yesterday. The committee has scheduled a hearing for the afternoon of Tuesday, May 11 and is expecting testimony from BP, Transocean, and Halliburton officials, as well as from fishery and wildlife experts. (Transocean was the owner of the rig that exploded last week in the Gulf, and Halliburton did work on the casing).
The hearing will come just hours after another Senate hearing on offshore oil drilling--the Senate energy committee, led by New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman, is expected to grill the Interior Department next Tuesday morning over its plans for offshore leasing and drilling and its role in the Gulf accident.
The Interior Department, which has long been accused of being too cozy with the oil industry, has come under fire following revelations that it did not require the BP Deepwater Horizon project--the site of the accident--to undergo a major environmental analysis last year, concluding that there wasn't likely to be a spill there. Bingaman's hearing had originally been scheduled for Thursday but was postponed because of the spill. Boxer's committee has yet to release a full witness list but says it expects several coastal state senators to testify at the hearing as well.