News Releases

Listen to the full exchange

 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) questioned administration officials on the health impacts of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill during a full committee hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Senator Murray questioned officials from the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Health and Human Services on their efforts to monitor and respond to both short and long-term health effects of the devastating oil spill in the Gulf on workers conducting the clean-up, families living in the region, and our food supply from the Gulf. 

“I think back to the Exxon Valdez spill and recall numerous reports on the negative health effects of responders there, and that there were wide spread concerns that such reports and claims were largely ignored.  I absolutely want to make sure we don’t repeat that, and that we take all claims and concerns seriously both now and into the future,” Senator Murray said during the hearing.

Last week, Senator Murray chaired a hearing of the Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee to investigate the failure of oil and gas companies to learn from previous tragedies and implement effective worker safety processes. Today, Senator Murray spoke on the floor to urge the Senate to move forward with eliminating the liability cap on big oil companies for covering the cost of oil spills and to make the ban on West Coast drilling permanent. Senator Murray also called on BP to put forward $20 billion to set up an immediate fund for cleanup and damage compensation.