"The co-chairmen of the national commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico were surprised and dismayed Wednesday to learn that President Barack Obama didn't consult with top federal environmental officials before announcing plans to expand offshore oil drilling in March.
"If you're developing a policy to expand offshore oil and gas exploration to the extent that the president announced, consultation with the agency with responsibility for oceans management and regulation and your overall umbrella agency, your Council for Environmental Quality, would be two of the people on the consultation list," said former Florida governor and senator Bob Graham, a co-chairman of the National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
Graham's comment followed testimony from Nancy Sutley, head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Jane Lubchenko, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who were among a series of witnesses at the second hearing of the commission named by Obama to make recommendations on how to prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills resulting from offshore drilling."
"U.S. Spill Panel Question Drilling Policy" (Reuters)
"Top Obama Environmental Advisers Had Limited Role in Plan To Expand Oil Drilling" (Washington Post)
"Lawyers Take Over at Spill Inquiry" (Washington Post)
"Obama Endorsed Offshore Drilling Without Asking His Own Oceans Agency" (Mother Jones)
"Missing Piece in Oil Rig Inquiry: Who Was in Charge?" (New York Times)
"Former Chief of Drilling Agency Says New Inspection System Is Needed" (Green/NYT)