The company informed legislators that no BP representatives would be able to appear at the House committee hearings in Jackson, and suggested an alternate date.
House Speaker Billy McCoy said he considered the company’s action an insult.
“We are not holding these hearings to conduct a witch-hunt,” McCoy said in a statement Tuesday.
McCoy said lawmakers wanted to get BP’s version of how the disaster happened and what are the plans to control the massive leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lawmakers also wanted to discuss the extent of the damage and any possible long-term effect of the oil spill that occurred after the deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in April.
BP spokeswoman Marti Powers said many of the company’s executives were heading to Washington, D.C., for meetings there this week about the oil spill.
“We didn’t want to just send anyone to go speak to the Mississippi lawmakers. Out of respect, we wanted to make sure they talked to people who are in the know and can answer their questions,” Powers said.