New Orleans, La. – The commission has been given six months to determine why the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20th, killing 11 men on board, how effective the response has been to the oil spill that followed, and how such as disaster can be prevented. Democratic co-chairman Graham says he disagrees with critics who say the commission hasn't enough drilling experts.
"Our job is not to pass judgment on offshore drilling as a matter of policy. It is to pass judgment on what is necessary in order for offshore drilling to be conducted as in a manner that will be appropriate to the needs of the entire region to optimum safety and concern for the environment."
Reilly was in charge of the EPA for the first President Bush, and was on the job when the Exxon Valdez tanker crashed in 1989. He says BP's response in the Gulf looks familiar.
"It's skimmers, booms and dispersants. And the technology of response has not evolved anything like the technology of offshore oil and gas drilling at very deep levels. That's one of the very serious concerns I take into this."
The commission will hear from officials in the region, as well as the public. People can register to speak starting at 7 a.m. at the Hilton Riverside.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming