Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Acknowledges Failure of Government Oversight in Gulf Oil Spill

Ken Salazar admitted today that the government should have had better standards in place on the devices built to prevent disasters on offshore oil wells.

The interior secretary said he believed "additional work should have been done on blowout preventers," reports USA Today. "There will be tremendous lessons to be learned here."

The blowout preventer on the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded and sank on April 20, was not able to stop the flow of oil. Congressional investigators have found that it suffered from leaking hydraulic fluid, a dead battery and an inadequate design.

"The answer is no," Salazar said in response to a pointed question from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., about the government standards on the device. "I think there is additional work that should have been done on blowout preventers."

Grilled by skeptical lawmakers, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday acknowledged his agency had been lax in overseeing offshore drilling activities and that contributed to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"There will be tremendous lessons to be learned here," Salazar told a Senate panel in his first appearance before Congress since the April 20 blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig. Describing pending reforms in the Interior Department, Salazar cited a "collective responsibility" for the spill that included the federal agency he manages, he said.