All hands on deck for Boxer’s hearing

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., announced she’ll host a briefing in the Senate Commerce Committee at 3 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 14th, on Capitol Hill to examine last week’s oil spill in the San Francisco Bay.

Boxer already has raised concerns about the Coast Guard’s response and the delay in relaying accurate information about the magnitude of the spill to San Francisco officials and the public. Among those scheduled to take part are U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen; Rear. Adm. Brian Salerno, the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Policy and Planning; and others.

Somebody’s got some ‘splainin’ to do…

UPDATE @ 7:40 P.M. TUESDAY: Assembly Natural Resources Committee chairwoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Assembly Appropriations Committee chairman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, will convene an emergency oversight hearing to review oil-spill response efforts 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Emeryville’s City Council Chambers, 1333 Park Ave.

From the release:

During the hearing, Committee Members and other Bay Area Assemblymembers will have an opportunity investigate what led to the spill, assess current conditions and examine the environmental damage, as well as determine what immediate steps will be necessary to ensure proper clean-up and protection of coastal and marine resources and wildlife.

“I am deeply saddened by the contamination and destruction caused by the Cosco Busan crash and ensuing oil spill into our beautiful Bay,” stated Assemblyman Mark Leno, in whose district the oil spill occurred. “The most immediate thing we must do is work to minimize the on-going environmental degradation taking place in the Bay and Pacific Ocean. There are so many questions that need answering – why this occurred, what we’re doing about it and how we can prevent it in the future. This hearing will attempt to answer these questions and generate ideas for legislation and oversight that can prevent future disasters from happening,” he said.

“This oil spill is a wake up call for the Bay Area. For a spill of relatively small size, it has quickly spread out of control, impacting not only the waters and wildlife of the Bay, but also the Pacific Ocean and our coastal beaches,” stated Assemblywoman Loni Hancock. “It is imperative that the Committee hold this hearing to evaluate the response to this spill so that we are better prepared for future events of potentially greater significance,” she said.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.