The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Oil spill commission staff bemoan lack of subpoena power

November 08, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Fred Bartlit, chief counsel for the national oil spill commission, said today that his investigation into the causes of the massive Gulf oil spill has been limited by the panel’s lack of subpoena power.

In a lengthy presentation on the April 20 blow out of the Macondo well, Bartlit mentioned the limitations of the lack of subpoena power several times. “We would sure like to know that, but we don’t,” Bartlit said, referring to the circumstances surrounding a key safety test on the well.

The House in June voted almost unanimously to give the commission subpoena power, but the Senate never voted on the issue, yet another consequence of the lack of progress on key energy bills this year.

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