Obama's Oil Spill Panel Gets Scrutinized

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Obama's oil spill panel gets scrutinized The expert panel recently assembled by President Obama to investigate the causes of the nation’s worst ever oil spill is being criticized for having virtually no technical background in the field of offshore drilling.

According to the Associated Press (AP), only two of the seven appointed commissioners have a background in science, one of whom is an expert in optics and physics, not engineering. The other five panel members have spent the better part of their careers as policymakers.

The news source also reports that several of the commissioners have already publicly expressed their discontent with the nation’s current energy policy and its reliance on oil.

"We can blame BP for the disaster and we should," blogged panel member and environmental activist Frances Beinecke in late May. "We can blame lack of adequate government oversight for the disaster and we should. But in the end, we also must place the blame where it originated: America’s addiction to oil."

"The Gulf oil spill isn’t just an accident," she wrote in a separate blog. "It’s the result of a failed energy policy."

Meanwhile, two other panel members—including chairman Bob Graham, former Democratic Governor of Florida—have fought to prevent offshore drilling off the east coast over the last few years.

President Obama requested on Monday that Congress approve $15 million in funding to help pay for the commission, Politico.com reports.
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