Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will sign an executive order establishing a presidential commission to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an administration official said Monday.
The official, who did not want to speak on the record ahead of an announcement, said it hasn't been determined when Obama will make the announcement or when he'll sign the executive order.
"The commission will take into account the investigations under way concerning the causes of the spill and explore a range of issues," the official said. In particular, the commission's inquiry will focus on industry practices, rig safety, regulatory regimes, federal governmental oversight - including the structure and functions of the Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling operations - and environmental review and other protections, the official said.
Last week, Obama harshly criticized the companies involved in the spill, which threatens to become one of the nation's worst environmental disasters, and pledged to break up what he called the cozy relationship between regulators and the oil industry.
Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts quickly endorsed Obama's planned commission.
"Whether it's a nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island or an oil blowout one mile deep, appointing an independent review panel is critical to reduce the risks of future accidents," said a statement from Markey, chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
Updated: 7:08 p.m.