News / USA

Coast Guard Commandant: Government Must Stick with BP

Multimedia

Audio

The U.S. Coast Guard commandant says there is no alternative at this point but to allow BP to continue with the steps it is taking to stop the deep sea oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Obama administration faced more sharp questions on Monday about BP's response to the disaster, and how the government is overseeing operations.

The remarks by Admiral Thad Allen, who has been directing government operations to contain the huge spill in the Gulf, came a day after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said BP could be pushed out of the way if it fails to carry out its responsibilities.

Listen to Susan Yackee's interview with Kurt Davies of Greenpeace on oil spill:

Since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank, the Obama administration has found itself on the defensive, with critics asserting that the government has not been aggressive enough in acting to stop the leak or putting enough pressure on BP.

On Monday, Admiral Allen echoed what the White House has told reporters in briefings for weeks, namely, that the private sector and oil industry have the most advanced equipment and techniques to deal with such an unprecedented event.

Responding to a reporter asking why, as Secretary Salazar suggested, the government couldn't simply push BP aside, Allen said that would raise the question of who would take over.

ALLEN:   "To push BP out of the way would raise the question, to replace them with what?"

REPORTER:  "Do you think that this government right now is doing the best it can?"

ALLEN:  "I have been involved with the technical decisions made especially in relation to dealing with the leak, and they are pressing ahead, we are overseeing them, they are exhausting every technical means possible to deal with that leak."

Admiral Allen said he had also consulted with executives from other oil companies who he said supported the kind of steps BP is taking to stop the leak, which is more than 1500 meters below the ocean surface.

The Coast Guard commandant said he agrees with a statement by BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, that an attempt expected this week to plug the leak by pumping heavy drilling fluids into it has a 60 to 70 percent chance of success.

Government officials, he said, are asking BP officials tough questions in sessions he described as "inquisitorial".  

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs referred to the anger President Obama expressed in a Rose Garden news conference earlier this month about oil drilling safety systems that had failed.

"The president's viewpoint is that 'fail-safe' has to mean that, and that if it doesn't, then we have to examine why it doesn't and the circumstances around that and have that impact our decisions going forward," said Robert Gibbs.

Gibbs said President Obama will receive a report he requested from Interior Secretary Salazar on Thursday, adding it is also expected the president will take questions from reporters. 

Related video report by Mil Arcega

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid