Oil Spill Commission Co-Chairman Calls On Congress To Act On Report

New Orleans, La. – The National Oil Spill Commission's report given to President Obama in January calls for revamping rules on oil industry oversight, adding staff, and dedicating money for research. But with lawmakers focusing on the national deficit, it could be a tough sell.

"I'd like to see Congress do those things which it alone can do - which is to assure a predictable stream of money to cover things like being able to hire people of the quality necessary to do effective oversight and to do the review of permit applications."

Graham says Congress took 18 months after the Exxon Valdez spill to pass the Oil Spill Pollution Act of 1990.

"This was a much more complicated issue than Exxon Valdez, involving more people, more damage, more complexity with five states rather than just the one state of Alaska. So I - I'm not, I'm disappointed but I'm not depressed that it hasn't happened more quickly."

Graham and several commission members spoke at the Gulf Coast Leadership Summit. The forum features business, environmental, health and government agencies reviewing the BP spill and how to repair the damage. Gulf Coast Claims Administrator Kenneth Feinberg and Senator Mary Landrieu are scheduled to appear tomorrow. (Thursday).
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.