Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska senators seek review into Gulf oil rig explosion

FAIRBANKS - Alaska's senators want answers about the explosion of an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a statement released Thursday, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is a ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the committee will be having a hearing Thursday to review issues about offshore oil and natural gas development.

"As we look to expand exploration off our nation's coasts, it's critical that we take every possible precaution to guard against similar accidents," Murkowski said. "It's imperative that we find out everything we can about what went wrong on the (Deepwater) Horizon."

Murkowski called offshore drilling "critical" to the nation's domestic energy production.

Democratic Sen. Mark Begich stated in a press release issued Friday that he is asking the Commerce Committee he sits on to schedule a hearing to determine how the explosion could have been prevented and what can be done to prevent future oil spills of this magnitude.

"Having suffered the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaskans know firsthand the trauma and cost of tragedies such as the ongoing oil well blowout," Begich said. "Our thoughts are with residents of the Gulf Coast as they deal with the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident.

Begich praised Alyeska Pipeline Service Company for sending supplies to Louisiana to deal with the spill.

He called on Gov. Sean Parnell to offer the Alaska Department of Environmental Conversation's expertise in oil spills to Gulf areas affected by the disaster.

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Source: By Chris Freiberg. Originally published May 02, 2010