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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid