WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa, the Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released the following statement regarding the successful stoppage of oil flowing from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico:
“This is fantastic news that should provide some glimmer of hope to the besieged residents of the Gulf Coast. While the citizens of the Gulf can exhale for a minute, they must also grapple with the totality of the task before them in cleaning up their soiled shores. Hopefully, the Administration and BP can focus their immediate attention on deploying and dedicating every resource available to deal with the aftermath resulting from oil spewing unchecked into the Gulf for the last 85 days.”
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be holding a hearing next Thursday, July 22nd at 10 a.m. examining the Department of the Interior’s oversight of offshore oil drilling, including the management, operation, and effectiveness of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the proposed reorganization of MMS, and issues related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and response. Issa has sent a letter to Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar, who has been asked to appear at next week’s hearing, demanding that he comply with the Oversight Committee’s request for documents and information relating to the Committee’s investigation on the events surrounding the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the federal response to this unprecedented environmental disaster. To date, the Committee has made four requests dated May 3, 2010, May 14, 2010, June 24, 2010, and July 1, 2010 for documents and information. While the Department has produced documents partially responsive to 9 of the enumerated requests, it has failed to produce any documents corresponding to the remaining 45.
“The lack of cooperation is appalling for an Administration that prides itself on transparency and openness with the American people,” Issa wrote. “Unfortunately, your non-compliance only fuels more questions and causes more Americans to lose confidence that the government is acting in their best interests. Indeed, it appears that the Administration is more concerned with hiding from the tough questions than answering them. Accordingly, I ask you again to produce the items requested in the attached letters. Your compliance is essential to weighing the relevancy and credibility of your pending testimony before this Committee on July 22, 2010. If you do not produce this information by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 16, 2010, then I will seek a committee vote to issue a subpoena to compel production. This may or may not occur during the hearing at which you are requested to testify.”