WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today issued the following statement on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
“This oil spill is an unmitigated disaster – sidelining the livelihoods of so many who depend on healthy waters and threatening the Gulf Coast’s fragile ecosystem.
“The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the United States Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which play critically important roles in oil spill response, prevention, and preparedness. We are monitoring this serious situation very closely.
“In the coming weeks, I will hold a hearing to examine why and how this disaster happened, to look at the Coast Guard’s response, and to determine what can be done to prevent this type of catastrophe in the future.
“I know a lot of federal personnel have been assigned to help in this crisis and are on the ground with more than a 100 vessels and hundreds of thousands of feet of boom on the scene - I thank them for their tireless efforts.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the 11 missing workers – and I pray for the speedy recovery of the people who were badly injured by the blast.”