Oil spill panel releases recommendations

By Amy Harder

January 11, 2011

The national oil spill commission released its long-awaited final report Tuesday morning in a media conference at the National Press Club.

The roughly 300-page report analyzing last year's massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill gathers many reforms that the seven-member commission, which President Obama appointed in May, has presented over the last several months in public hearings. But now with ink on paper, the recommendations will carry more weight. What happens now is up to the oil industry and the federal government, including Congress.

One of the co-chairs, William Reilly, pointedly rejected claims that the oil spill was President Obama's Katrina. In the months that followed the April 20 blowout, critics said the Obama administration's response to the oil spill was as slow and inadequate as President Bush and his administration's response to the 2005 hurricane.

"After a slow start, they responded quite effectively to this spill," Reilly said. "Make no mistake, despite some allegations, this was not Obama's Katrina."

Critics will be quick to point out that other bodies, such as the National Academy of Sciences, have yet to release their investigations on what caused the disaster and what reforms are needed. So, the oil industry and others will argue, drastic change should not occur until all reports are in. More reports are expected this spring.

Here are some of the most significant and controversial aspects of the report.


By Amy Harder

January 11, 2011

http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2011/01/oil-spill-panel-releases-recommendations/33073/