Today, Rep. Ben Ray Luján joined his colleagues in the House to pass legislation giving subpoena power to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The bipartisan Commission was established in May, and it is chaired by former Senator Bob Graham of Florida and former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly. The Commission is tasked with analyzing the systemic industry and regulatory failures that led to this tragedy along with analyzing how to avert future disasters. The legislation passed the House of Representatives.
"We must determine what caused this incident and work to avoid similar incidents in the future," said Rep. Luján. "Providing the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling with subpoena power will help them get to the bottom of industry and regulatory failures. Moreover, it will help to ensure that we are not faced with a similar tragedy in the future."
Earlier this month, Rep. Luján joined 40 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives to send a letter to Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, calling on him to halt dividend payments until the oil spill is cleaned up and those affected in the Gulf are fairly compensated. Despite the uncertainty over the Gulf clean up and the compensation for those affected by the spill, BP had initially planned a $10 billion dividend payment. Last week, BP announced that they are halting dividend payments for the year. The announcement followed a meeting at the White House with President Obama. BP also announced that they will finance a $20 billion escrow account to pay claims to people who were impacted by the Gulf oil spill. In May, Rep. Luján also questioned a BP official on the company's safety record and the incident. He also questioned Administration officials on the spill and the response.