Murkowski Comments on Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference, today said there would be plenty of time to "assign blame" in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but the major focus at this time should be on "how we contain this devastation."

"There's a lot of focus right now, folks want to bring the individuals from BP, get the execs in here, and basically start pounding them," Murkowski said at the weekly Republican Leadership news conference. "My interest right now is to make sure that everybody who can do anything to help contain the spill is doing that job right now rather than coming up here and trying to figure out how they're going to be briefing the Congress."

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said her panel will hold a hearing on the Deepwater Horizon accident next Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

"We'll have a chance at that time to speak with the folks from BP and from Transocean to try to determine are we doing all that we can to contain the devastation," she said.

Murkowski said the nation, and especially Alaskans, were watching the Gulf oil spill with "great trepidation," calling it a "nightmare unfolding slowly before your eyes."

"Coming from a state where we have seen our own environmental catastrophe and the decades that it took to resolve the issues when the oil hit our shores, Alaskans, needless to say, are watching this with great anxiety, wondering what it is that we can do to help," said Alaska's senior senator.

# # #