More Questions on the Gulf Spill

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Yet another Senate Committee has launched a probe into the catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with some new questions about angles that have yet to be explored in the incident. On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee sent inquiries to the heads of the three oil and oil service companies involved with the rig and to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The committee’s questions focus both about what happened on the night the rig exploded, and what regulations the rig may have skirted.

A few lines of questioning that are new in the letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): the committee wants to know why the Deepwater Horizon was operating under the flag of the Marshall Islands, as has been reported, and whether that may have been used to avoid US regulations. The letter also asks for a list of all other BP rigs flying under the flags of foreign countries. Grassley also asks for records of “all tax breaks and/or subsidies” that Transocean and BP may have received for the Deepwater operation.

There’s also this bit, which may yield some interesting information about the White House’s relationship with BP:

Also, I have learned that BP sent a letter dated April 9, 2010 to the White House Council on Environmental Quality regarding offshore oil drilling. I would like to more information about BP’s contact with the White House on this matter.

Grassley sent a separate letter to Salazar asking for more information about the oversight from Minerals Management Services (or lack thereof).

Here’s the letter to BP, the letter to Halliburton, the letter to Transocean, and the letter to Salazar.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate