5/6/10 Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) announced they will be introducing legislation to create an independent, non-partisan, “blue-ribbon” commission to investigate the causes of the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and provide the President, Congress, and the public with recommendations to avoid such disasters in the future. The commission would serve as an important long-term addition to the Obama administration’s excellent short-term efforts to investigate and respond to the Gulf spill.

The commission would also be tasked with providing Congress with a full understanding of the consequences of this spill and possible future incidents to sensitive and ecologically important areas, as well as the economic impacts to ocean and coastal communities. Additionally, the commission would have subpoena power and the ability to hold public hearings, including in the Gulf region.

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