Executives from 5 Major Oil Companies Testify Before Congressional Hearing.
U.S. Congressman Mike Ross, D-Prescott, today called on executives from the five major oil companies to examine "what went wrong, how this tragedy could have been prevented and how the American people can have any assurance that this will never happen again."
The House Energy & Commerce's Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, of which Ross is a member, held a hearing today entitled "Drilling Down on America's Energy Future: Safety, Security, and Clean Energy." Testifying at the hearing was: Rex Tillerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ExxonMobil; John Watson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chevron Corporation; James Mulva, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ConocoPhillips; Lamar McKay, President and Chairman, BP America, Inc.; and, Marvin Odum, President, Shell Oil Company.
The hearing examined the impacts of the nation's dependence on oil, the safety of drilling operations and the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and actions to develop and promote the use of renewable and alternative energy sources that can reduce our overall dependence on oil.
The full text of Congressman Ross' remarks is provided:
Opening Statement by Congressman Mike Ross
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
Drilling Down on America's Energy Future
"Thank you Chairman Markey for holding today's hearing to discuss the safety and security of current offshore drilling practices and the future of energy production in our nation.
"In the wake of the worst oil spill in our nation's history, we must now learn from this disaster and re-evaluate our operating methods and examine how oil will be a part of America's future energy policy.
"As oil prices and oil company profits have increased dramatically over the last decade, so has our nation's dependence on foreign oil with the U.S. importing approximately 52 percent of the oil it consumed last year. While I believe that our policies must be broad enough to create energy from a variety of domestic sources, including domestic oil and natural gas, I also recognize the importance of thoughtful investments in biofuels, nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, and clean coal technology.
"On day 57 of this disaster with no end in sight, I am hopeful that the five companies testifying today can inform us of what went wrong, how this tragedy could have been prevented, and how the American people can have assurance this will never happen again.
"I believe the Administration and our government must do more to hold these companies accountable for their drilling practices and ensure the most advanced technologies and safety procedures are in place.
"Once again, thank you for holding this hearing and I look forward to today's discussion."