BP hearings pile up as Senate environment panel joins the fray

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is the latest Senate panel to schedule a hearing next week on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The committee announced Wednesday it will hold a May 11 hearing on the economic and environmental effects, and witnesses will include executives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton.


BP had leased the Deepwater Horizon rig that blew up April 20 from Transocean, and Halliburton was a contractor on the drilling project.

“Witnesses will also include experts on the impacts to local economies, fisheries and tourism, as well as wildlife and natural resources. Senators from the coastal states are also expected to provide testimony,” the committee said.

The hearing is one of at least three next week. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is also holding a hearing May 11, and a panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing on May 12.

The quick Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing could draw fire from Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who earlier this week asked Boxer to hold off, citing fears that it could pull "people and resources" away from the cleanup operation.