"Lawmakers on Tuesday asked the owner and operator of the oil rig that exploded last week in the Gulf of Mexico for documents as part of a congressional investigation into the accident.
The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California, and the chairman of the committee's investigations subcommittee, Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, made the request in letters to Transocean Ltd., the rig's owner, and to BP PLC, which operates the rig.
"A striking feature of the incident is the apparent lack of an adequate plan to contain the spreading environmental damage," the lawmakers wrote. They said they are investigating "what the companies knew about the risks of drilling at the site and the adequacy of the companies' response plans."
Waxman and Stupak asked the companies for documents, including communications to or from senior officials, on the risk of an accident; potential responses; testing of emergency response procedures; emergency management and contingency plans; and environmental protection and response plans submitted to regulators."