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Feinstein Offers Tepid Support for Obama’s Offshore Drilling Plan

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Thursday offered President Barack Obama qualified support for his administration’s response to the Gulf oil spill and announced she would convene a hearing June 16 to investigate the matter.

Feinstein, who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, said her focus would be the much-maligned Minerals Management Service within the Interior Department. The Senator noted that MMS had approved 17 permits for deep water oil drilling since the April 20 drilling platform explosion that caused the oil spill, now regarded as the worst such disaster in American history.

“The White House today has taken crucial steps to halt new offshore drilling,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This is welcome news, but I will be watching closely for further details and to make sure the Administration holds up its end of the bargain.”

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