Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) participated this week in Congressional hearings and meetings regarding the response and cleanup of the BP oil spill.
On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Energy and Environment Subcommittee heard from five top oil company executives regarding the future of offshore drilling and efforts to prevent future spills. On Wednesday, the Health Subcommittee held a hearing on the possible health effects of the spill and what actions the government is taking to protect workers and those who live in the Gulf region. Last week, The Energy and Environment Subcommittee examined the environmental effects of the spill.
Today, Admiral Thad Allen, United States Coast Guard, briefed Rep. Pitts and other member of Congress on the government response to the spill. Admiral Allen is the commander of the government's relief actions in the Gulf Coast region.
Rep. Pitts' statement follows:
"First and foremost, the leak must be stopped and the environmental damage must be repaired. This is an on-going disaster, and we should put aside partisan politics and find a way preserve the Gulf Coast environment and economy. Once this is done, it is imperative that we thoroughly understand what happened aboard the Deepwater Horizon so that it never happens again.
" At these hearings we focused extensively on the administration's response efforts, BP's actions before and after the explosion and potential health concerns.
"Hearings won't solve the problem, but Congress plays an important role in providing oversight and accountability regarding all aspects of this tragedy, including the appropriateness of the administration and BP response."