The White House commission investigating the BP oil spill will hold its first hearing in New Orleans on July 12-13, the panel’s co-chairman said.
William Reilly, a Republican and former Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President George H.W. Bush, told the Financial Times in Brussels it is important that local residents be allowed to speak out on the environmental disaster.
“The region deserves a voice,” he said. “People there have been affected. They have suffered and are suffering.”
The commission will meet at the Hilton Riverside. Reilly said there would be a series of hearings at a 500-seat venue. The seven-member commission was appointed June 14 by President Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Wednesday for a congressional sponsored commission to study the spill, with some members, including Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., suggesting the White House panel is too weighted with environmentalists who have been critical of the oil and gas industry.