Georgetown University legal professor, environmental lawyer, and 40-time Supreme Court litigant Richard Lazarus has been appointed by President Obama as Executive Director of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. This panel – stocked with a prestigious group of ardent environmentalists and advocates – including William K. Reilly (former chairman of the EPA), Frances Beinecke (president of NRDC), and Donald Boesch (president of the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science) – and headlined by Professor Lazarus will be extensively investigating the causes of the oil rig explosion and associated failure of the company to control the leak. The Commission will also be looking to make recommendations for strengthening the regulations and safety practices governing the industry as a whole, and will be authoring a report detailing its findings. The Administration is hoping that the Panel’s findings will eventually lead to a wide-ranging overhaul of the oil exploration industry, thus avoiding similar disasters moving forward. However, there are apparently concerns over the (encouraging) composition of the panel, with some worrying that the lack of industry representatives or drilling experts might undermine the validity of its results. Only time will tell.