Coastal Crisis: Federal officials to testify before committees - - Jackson, MS

Coastal Crisis: Federal officials to testify before committees

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's cabinet chief responsible for offshore oil drilling is on the congressional hot seat Tuesday over the Gulf Oil spill.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar faces questions from two Senate committees on what the government did and didn't do to prevent the spill, and how it's responded.

Lawmakers have some tough questions for Salazar about allegedly lax regulation of offshore rigs, and a relationship between regulators and industry that even the president has called "cozy."

However, administration officials stress Salazar was already moving to reform his agency's oversight when the BP rig exploded and collapsed.

Chris Oynes, associate administrator of the Minerals Management Agency, who's moving up his retirement.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, will testify at other committee hearings.

Five different congressional committees will hold extensive hearings on the disaster this week.

The appearances come as the president readies a commission to investigate the rig disaster.

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