Mississippi House holds hearings on oil spill, BP doesn't show
JACKSON, Mississippi: On June 8, the 50th day of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Mississippi House of Representatives held an all-day hearing on the disaster. While hoping to hear from representatives of BP, the company instead sent a letter stating they would be unable to attend and suggested an alternative date. House Speaker William McCoy said he suggested three dates, none of which BP selected. Calling it an insult to the state McCoy stated, "We cannot and will not condone their absence at these hearings."
Gov. Haley Barbour spoke with the House committee for over an hour, clarifying that BP is responsible for all costs associated with the disaster, and that while the state has spent about $1.5 million so far, that will all be reimbursed. He also said he is pushing BP to send more vessels out to monitor Mississippi's waters in search of indications of oil. They are presently averaging about 300 patrolling vessels, but Barbour said that BP has signed contracts with 1,173 local vessels, and that they should be put to use.