Congressman Parker Griffith, member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made the following statement at an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing entitled, "Inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast Oil Spill".
The hearing examined what caused the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and the oil spill now spreading across the Gulf, in order to help prevent future incidents and inform the direction of our national energy policy.
"I would like to thank the Chairman and Ranking Member for calling this important hearing today, and the witnesses for taking time to come before our subcommittee to discuss the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives on the Deepwater Horizon. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
"We cannot achieve energy independence without assuming some risk. Whether it is nuclear, coal, or oil and natural gas, the process of harnessing energy is inherently risky. Having said this, it is the role of the Federal government and good corporate citizens to minimize this risk, while working toward United States energy independence. Blocking future production will not protect America--it will simply cause us to be much more dependent on unfriendly sources of oil. The oil and gas industry employs hundreds of thousands of Americans, many in my home state of Alabama. We must continue to drill and avoid knee-jerk reactions to this accident. The oil and gas industry has a safety record that has been steadily improving over the years, and I have no doubt that what is learned from this incident will be incorporated in the future to increase safety.
"That being said, we must allow this investigation to go forward and ensure that Congress provides appropriate oversight. It is important to focus on not assigning blame based on theories, but to allow the time to pass that is necessary for a thorough investigation. Once investigations are complete, it is vital that we learn lessons from this incident so that we can keep our workers and environment safe, while continuing to produce our valuable oil and gas resources.
"Again, thank you for coming today and I look forward to your testimony," said Griffith.
Griffith questioned the following witnesses on the panel about details regarding the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast Oil Spill.
o Lamar McKay, President and Chairman of BP America, Inc.
o Steve Newman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Transocean Ltd.
o Timothy Probert, President, Global Business Lines, and Chief Health, Safety, and Environmental Officer, Halliburton
o Jack Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cameron