Interior Secretary Faces Oil Spill Questions

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Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is facing questions from two Senate committees about what the government did and did not do to prevent the Gulf Coast oil spill and how it has responded since.

Lawmakers want to know about allegedly lax regulations of offshore rigs. They are also concerned about what President Barack Obama has called a "cozy" relationship between regulators and the oil industry.

"There've been failings of corporations and companies - Transocean, Hailey Burton, BP - all pointing fingers at each other and walking away from the responsibility that must be taken," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. "But there's no doubt there's been a failing of government in a regulatory approach."

The president has ordered a special commission to investigate the spill.

Meanwhile, there has been a small victory in stopping that leak.

British Petroleum has now managed to siphon about 20 percent of the gushing oil up a pipe to a ship on the surface. BP thinks it can eventually capture up to 80 percent of the oil, but many experts and fishermen are skeptical of such claims.

"A little 4 inch pipe or whatever it is, is not going to do it," shrimper Debbie Malley said.

Environmentalists are putting more pressure on the oil companies in the form of federal lawsuits. They are trying to shut down a major BP platform and revoke recent permits for oil and gas exploration.

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Heather Sells

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Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.