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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora