What role did gov't play in oil spill?
A marine biologist shows oil collected from a jetti at the mouth of the Mississippi River near Venice, La.
Until now, the congressional spotlight has been on the role of BP and private companies in the disaster. But today that changes.
What will they discuss at the hearings?
These hearings are really going to focus on the government role in all this. So we can expect Senators to ask questions about regulations: what people are calling lax oversight of offshore rigs. We'll also hear about the "cozy" relationship between regulators and the industry.
Barbra Shook, Houston bureau chief for the Energy Intelligence Group, says the committees will want answers to all kinds of questions.
"Why the regulations that exist weren't enforced more strictly and whether a need exists for more stringent regulations," she says.