Cao Calls for Hearing on MMS Conduct Prior to Rig Explosion

May 29, 2010

Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao is calling for a Congressional hearing on the Minerals Management Services’ (MMS) involvement in the BP oil leak. This week, he reached out to leadership on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asking for a field hearing in Louisiana. The Congressman requested a review of MMS inspection procedures, its oversight of the Deepwater Horizon’s certification, and the agency’s royalty collection procedures. That hearing could take place as early as the next week or two.

On April 28th, Congressman Cao requested a hearing to look into the causes of the spill and MMS role in preventing it. His concerns were heightened after a report released by the Department of the Interior Inspector General’s office revealed that MMS employees in Lake Charles, Louisiana, routinely accepted gifts from oil companies, including hunting and fishing trips, parties, and even Peach Bowl tickets.

Testifying before the Committee on Natural Resources, British Petroleum executives said an internal investigation revealed a series of equipment failures and mistakes that should have warned of the pending explosion. Cao said, “The fact that these warning signs were missed by the company and MMS highlights the need for an inquiry. If MMS employees were doing their jobs correctly, there is no way they could have given the Deepwater Horizon a safety award.”

Click here to read Congressman Cao’s letter to Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Ed Towns and Ranking Member Darrel E. Issa.

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