(CNNMoney.com) - The widows of two men killed on the Deepwater Horizon drill rig urged lawmakers Monday to allow drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to continue, saying the oil industry is a major source of income for families in the region.
"Drilling in the gulf must continue," said Courtney Kemp, of Jonesville, La., whose husband was killed along with 10 other workers when the drill rig exploded and sank in April. The rig, operated by Transocean, was contracted to develop a well leased by BP.
"If drilling ceases, not only would off-shore employees lose their jobs," said Kemp, "but the trickle-down effect would be devastating not only to the coastal states, but eventually to the entire country."
The comments came during a hearing of the House subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in Chalmette, La., to explore the local impact of the oil spill in the Gulf. It was the latest in a series of Congressional hearings aimed at exploring the causes and consequences of the worst oil spill in U.S. history.