Washington Takes On BP

Things are about to get a lot worse for British Petroleum: Over the next few weeks, the oil company will “get the full Washington treatment,” Politico reports, complete with hearings, document requests, and “calls for punitive legislation” following the massive oil leak wreaking havoc on the Gulf of Mexico. BP will face several House committees, including one that has asked executives from five major oil companies to testify. Three Democratic senators are looking to raise liability caps on oil companies from $75 million to $10 billion, while one Republican is calling for an investigation of the Minerals Management Service, which is responsible for overseeing offshore drilling. Executives from Halliburton and Transocean are also under investigation. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar have already been busy meeting with BP execs, members of Congress, and EPA administrators. In the meantime, BP has been doing its best to cooperate. On Monday, the oil company vowed to pay “all necessary and appropriate cleanup costs,” including “legitimate and objectively verifiable claims for other loss and damage caused by the spill.”