May 18,2010

Grassley Works for an Accounting of Government, Industry Actions Before Gulf Coast Oil Spill

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has asked government regulators and industry for information related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Grassley has asked for an accounting of how the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service responded to previous critical reports from the agency’s Inspector General; conflicts of interest on the Interior Department board charged with examining safety procedures for offshore drilling; the government’s handling of the regulation that requires written certification that blowout preventers are capable of shearing drill pipes in emergency situations; communications between BP and Transocean that may shed light on why the oil rig exploded; and how operating under the flag of foreign governments may shield industry from regulation.

“I’m asking some of the countless questions about what’s behind the Gulf Coast oil spill on behalf of the public and taxpayers,” Grassley said.  “It’s a matter of accountability and understanding how the system works, or doesn’t, going forward, especially with regard to the regulators’ cozy relationship with industry.”

Grassley said he’s conducting his review as part of his constitutional responsibility for oversight and as Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over the oil-spill liability trust fund and tax incentives for deep water drilling.

Click here to read Grassley’s letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Click here to read Grassley’s letter to BP Chairman and President Lamar McKay.

Click here to read Grassley’s letter to Transocean, Ltd. President and CEO Steven Newman.

Click here to read Grassley’s letter to Halliburton Co. Chairman, President and CEO David Lesar.