ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. (AP) -- President Barack Obama planned to meet Tuesday with the co-chairmen of an independent commission investigating BP's catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
A senior administration official said Obama will meet at the White House with Bob Graham, who is a former Florida governor and U.S. senator, and William K. Reilly, a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting had not been formally announced.
It will be Obama's first meeting with the group since naming the commission less than two weeks ago.
The session comes three days after BP said its latest attempt to stop the oil spewing out of a broken well 5,000 feet underwater had failed, and four days after Obama visited coastal Louisiana to assess the situation and assure residents frustrated by the government's response that he is doing everything possible to fix the well.
Amid concern that the worst oil spill in U.S. history could threaten his presidency, Obama has stepped up his public appearances to demonstrate that he is engaged. He held a White House news conference Thursday, focused almost entirely on the oil spill, and followed that with the Gulf visit on Friday.
Obama still must name five members of the commission, which will investigate such issues as what caused the spill, the safety of offshore drilling and operations at the federal agency that grants drilling rights.
The administration official said Obama was not expected to announce those names on Tuesday.
The Gulf oil spill began April 20 when BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and rupturing the underwater pipe.
In the six weeks since, the government estimates that between 19.7 million and 43 million gallons of crude have poured into the Gulf -- affecting beaches, wildlife and the local economy and making it the worst spill in U.S. history.
After BP announced Saturday that its latest attempt to stop the oil, known as a "top kill," had failed, Obama said that disappointing news was "as enraging as it is heartbreaking."
It was the latest in a series of failed efforts by the British oil company to shut off the oil flow. BP will try again as early as Wednesday when it attempts to put a cap on the leaking well so oil can be siphoned to the surface.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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