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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora