Congressional review begins

UPDATE: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is also getting in on the act this afternoon with a hearing on economic and environmental impacts of the oil spill starting at 2:30 EDT. Witnesses include representatives of the three companies, and representatives of fishing, tourism, and state interests. An environmental law perspective will be provided by Meg Caldwell of Stanford’s Law School and Center for Ocean Solutions.

Tomorrow is the first of what will surely be several Congressional hearings on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The opening volley takes place in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, starting at 10 a.m. eastern time. Witnesses will include Elmer Danenberger, described on the Committee’s web site as “Former Chief, Offshore Regulatory Program, Minerals Management Service.” Based on MMS’s web site, Mr. Danenberger was in charge of the agency’s offshore regulatory efforts as late as November 2009. Also appearing will be the chairman of BP America; the CEO of  Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon; and the President of Halliburton, which was cementing the well when the rig exploded. The hearing will be webcast live and then archived at the Committee’s web site.

The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold its hearings on May 26 and 27, witnesses TBA. That one will also be webcast on that Committee’s web site.

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