Congressional oil disaster hearings under way
WASHINGTON -- The first congressional hearing into the BP oil disaster has just begun. The goal is to establish a "thorough factual record and informed decision of the very important questions presented by the disaster," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Bingaman likened the situation to the Titanic and the Challenger explosion, saying it is likely there was a "cascade" of human, mechanical and regulatory failure that caused the 11 deaths and ongoing oil spill.
Fireworks are expected. In prepared testimony, BP America Chairman Lamar McKay blames a Transocean blowout protector that did not work. "That was to be the fail-safe in case of an accident," he said.
Another committee takes up the issue this afternoon. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson will testify.