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BP knew of problems with an offshore well hours before it exploded last month, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a House committee chairman said Wednesday
The Minerals Management Service, the federal agency that regulates offshore drilling, has also come under fire in the wake of the spill.
On Tuesday, senators wanted to know why there weren't other back-up systems in place to stop a leak besides the blowout preventer, and questioned why the blowout preventer may not have been able to cut through thicker sections of pipe to pinch it shut and stop a leak. Lawmakers also questioned the agency's relationship with the oil industry, which some have described as cozy.
The Obama administration announced plans Tuesday to split the agency in two, thus removing an apparent conflict of interest between the drive to maximize oil production and efforts to ensure safety, which could slow drilling down.