May 22, 2010: Markey, Capps Applaud Creation of Oil Spill Commission

Commend President for Ensuring Commissions Independence

WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif) was joined by her colleague Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass) in applauding the Presidents announcement he will create, by Executive Order, an independent commission to investigate the Gulf oil spill. The commission was modeled on the provisions included in the BP Deepwater Horizon Inquiry Commission Act of 2010 (H.R. 5421/S.3344), legislation introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate earlier this month. Capps and Markey introduced the House legislation.

"I commend President Obama for creating this important commission. So far, BP has not been able to get to the bottom of what happened at the bottom of the ocean. This commission will determine all of the facts, so we can know what actually happened, who is responsible and how we can make sure a disaster of this magnitude never happens again," said Markey.

"Thanks to the Presidents leadership, the commission will ensure that our scrutiny matches the depth and breadth of this human, economic and environmental disaster," said Capps. "This commission will determine exactly what went wrong and make recommendations to prevent future tragedies. The President has gone to great lengths to ensure that the diversity of those affected by the spill is well represented on the commission. This independent commission will guarantee a transparent and accountable investigation so the public can have complete trust in the integrity of its findings."

The lawmakers also commended the charges of the commission detailed by the President, as well as its membership. The commission will be co-chaired by Former Senator Bob Graham and Former Administrator of the EPA William K. Reilly. It will be composed of seven members, representing the diversity of those affected by the spill. No federal government employee will be permitted to serve on the commission or its staff.

The commission will investigate the causes of the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and provide the President, Congress, and the public with recommendations to avoid such disasters in the future. The commission would also be tasked with providing Congress with a full understanding of the consequences of this spill and possible future incidents to sensitive and ecologically important areas, as well as the economic impacts to ocean and coastal communities. Additionally, the commission would have subpoena power and the ability to hold public hearings, including in the Gulf region.