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Members Tour Oil Spill, Meet With Officials

A bipartisan delegation from the House Energy and Commerce Committee arrived in the Gulf Coast region on Friday to view firsthand the impact of the deadly oil rig explosion and massive spill that BP is still trying to squelch more than two weeks after it began.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, is leading the nine-member delegation, which also includes Energy and Commerce ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas). The group, members of which met May 4 with BP and other company executives to inquire about what was being done to control the spill, is slated to participate in a flyover of the spill area with experts from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and receive a briefing from Coast Guard and Interior Department officials. They also will meet with local officials, response teams and affected residents.

The trip, which coincides with BP’s effort Friday to lower a cap to the ocean floor that aims to contain as much as 85 percent of the oil leaking into the Gulf, comes ahead of a Wednesday Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing probing the causes of and response to the spill.

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