Word came down Thursday evening from the House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats:
“The joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment entitled 'The Role of the Interior Department in the Deepwater Horizon Disaster,' scheduled for Tuesday, June 29, 2010 has been postponed. A new date and time for the hearing is to be determined.”
The star witness of the scheduled hearing? Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), top Republican on the subcommittee has repeatedly requested oversight testimony from the Obama administration on their actions in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.
The Majority has set up the greatest Witness Protection program this Congress has seen,” Burgess said. “Secretary Salazar had already agreed to be present for next Tuesday’s hearing, so it appears that the Democrats are delaying this hearing for purely political reasons.”
As far as I can tell I have found, I can find where Salazar has given any reason for his absence.
Burgess went on to go after the Obama administration for their lack of transparency in this crisis:
“It has been 67 days since the spill began, and we still have no sworn testimony or documents from the Obama administration before this committee,” Burgess said. “Given the frustration of the public with BP and the administration’s handling of the oil spill and response, one would think the Democrats would be eager to find out why federal authorities approved BP drilling plans and what role the federal government played in responding to the oil spill. We need answers to a host of questions and soon -- the American people are demanding answers now.”
Burgess sent a letter to Salazar asking him to prepare answers for oversight questions he would raise in the hearing. But within hours, the hearing was “delayed” until further notice.
The American people are looking for answers in this crisis. They want to know why it happened and how it will be fixed, and as we saw in Obama's pitiful excuse for an Oval Office Address, the Administration seems to be short on answers.