Committee Dismisses Sudden Democrat Demand for Subpoenas, After Democrats Don’t Bother to Appear to Question Companies on Oct. 13th


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 2, 2011 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement following the conclusion of today’s hearing:

“Let me be very clear, if the companies officially cited for the oil spill had outright refused to provide witnesses, testimony or answers to the Committee, then I would be leading the effort to compel them to appear, by subpoena if necessary. But those are not the facts.

For the record, this hearing occurred at the request of the Democrat Minority who exercised their right under the Rules of the House and the Committee to demand a second day of hearings with witnesses that they request.

The original hearing occurred on October 13th. That hearing featured testimony, and the opportunity for every Member of the Committee to ask questions, of seven witnesses: the two co-Chairs of the joint investigative team, the heads of the respective agencies - BSEE Director Bromwich and Vice Admiral Salerno of the Coast Guard, and executives officially representing the three companies cited in the investigative report - BP, Transocean and Halliburton.

The Ranking Member has repeatedly stated that he wants to hear from only the CEOs. As I have stated before, I would also prefer that President Obama or Interior Secretary Salazar appear whenever this Committee has a hearing on the President’s policies or Interior Department actions. But it is the case that we often hear from other leaders empowered to fully represent and speak on behalf of the Department or Secretary Salazar.

Executives representing each of the cited companies did appear as witnesses less than three weeks ago and they responded to questions from the Committee.

I would note that the Ranking Member did not attend to ask questions of the companies at the first hearing. In fact, only one Minority Member of this Committee appeared at the hearing to ask questions of the executives – just one of 20. There was every opportunity for every Member to ask their questions – yet the Minority chose not to attend and to not ask questions. The opportunity still exists to ask written questions of the companies. The hearing record is open until November 16 for every single Member of this Committee to ask every single question they may have of the companies and to have it answered in writing.”

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