Five Years After Deepwater Horizon, Full Committee Hearing to Examine Lessons Learned

April 24, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene on April 29, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. for a hearing entitled, “Five Years After Deepwater Horizon: Improvements and Challenges in Prevention and Response.”

On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon.  Eleven men perished in the explosion.  Two days later, the Deepwater Horizon collapsed and sank in approximately 5,000 feet of water, located 42 miles from shore. On April 29, 2010, the resulting oil spill was officially designated a “Spill of National Significance” – a distinction established in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Not until September 19, 2010, was the well permanently sealed by the injection of cement.

In the five years since the oil spill, the largest ever in U.S. waters, there have been numerous studies on the causes of the spill and how to prevent future disasters.  This hearing, coming after a request from the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), will hear testimony from expert witnesses on the improvements in prevention and response that have occurred following the oil spill, as well as ongoing challenges and opportunities.  This hearing will review the lessons learned in the wake of the spill and the steps taken to make offshore oil and gas exploration safer.  It will also explore advances in response technology.

The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which were both involved in the response and remediation efforts.


  • To be announced

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
9:30 a.m.

Full Committee hearing entitled, “Five Years After Deepwater Horizon: Improvements and Challenges in Prevention and Response”

This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available at