The Flow of Oil and the Flow of Words Continue

Posted on July 13, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

As energy giant BP reported progress toward containing the oil flowing from its damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico, the flow of words on the topic in Washington appears unstoppable. At congressional hearings, press conferences and back room meetings the oil spill is quite literally the talk of the town. Here’s what some people are saying:

Kenneth Feinberg, independent administrator, Gulf Spill Independent Claims Fund: “It would be nice if the oil stopped. That would make my job easier, because right now people are uncertain in the Gulf. What does the future hold? How will I survive? How will I make do? And over time, my goal is to make sure that the people in the gulf believe this claims facility will be fair, just, swift and provide them with the financial compensation they are entitled to.”

David Axelrod, senior advisor to the president on the latest plan to cap the leak: “Well, he’s (Obama has) been fully briefed on a daily and more than daily basis on this. And our scientists have met and — at some length with BP, and their technicians and scientists on this, and we have confidence that this is the right decision, because once this cap is on, we believe it will allow the capacity to collect all the oil that’s leaking, and it’ll make it easier to kill the well when those relief wells are completed in August.”

Bill Clinton, former President: “We are dependent on the technical expertise of these people from BP. They had 11 of their folks killed on that explosion. The people that are working on this, whatever the managers did wrong or didn’t, they’re good people. They’re trying to do the right thing. So I think we ought to just row in the same boat for a while until we plug the leak, keep the stuff away from the shore, minimize the damage of what’s on the shore.”

Rep. Frank Pallone, Democrat of New Jersey and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee: “The problem that we have is that there is no reason to believe that we can control a spill, prevent a spill. … So my point is, rather than doing that, we should be looking at renewable resources. Let’s build windmills. Let’s do more solar or wind power. Let’s not put our money, both private or public, into these deeper water drilling proposals that the technology simply doesn’t exist to control the problem.”

Rep. Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts on the costs of an experimental study to track oil leaking from the well: “I think that BP should pay for it. I think that “BP” should stand for “bills paid.” And this is certainly something that BP should pay for. I think it makes a lot of sense for this experiment to take place, especially the use of fluorescent dye in order to measure accurately how much oil and natural gas is coming out of this pipe. And I think if it does require the federal government to pay for it, they should just put it on BP’s bill. Because ultimately, BP doesn’t want to know the answer to the question, because they have to pay a fine per barrel of oil. And if it’s gross negligence, at $4,300 a barrel, the difference of 10,000 barrels per day for 77 days is $3 billion.”

Rep. Ron Paul, Republican of Texas: “You know, I’ve lived on the beach down here for 18 years. I don’t presently have a house there now, but I did. And every time we went to the beach, we had to scrub our feet because we had tar balls. So, even though, they say this has come from this oil, I will wait and see just exactly where this has come from to see if they’re absolutely right.”

Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Democrat of New York and chair of the House Committee on Small Businesses: “Studies have shown that businesses who get cash assistance shortly after they are impacted by a natural disaster or any kind of disaster, are more likely to succeed than those have who go through a prolonged wait for financial assistance. Early payments by BP to small businesses have been limited to one month’s worth of lost profits. Small businesses say these payments are too little to cover operating expenses and payroll.”

Gov. Charlie Crist, Republican of Florida and 2010 U.S. Senate candidate: “The frustrations I have are: Number one, I can’t believe that BP would allow this to happen in the first place. Number two, I’m frustrated with the response. We need to get a quicker response, more skimmers. That’s starting to improve frankly, but we’ve got to stay on it and make sure we get the skimmers and all the equipment — heavy equipment that we need and that’s happening. And then the claims process. You know, I’m not a scientist, I don’t know how to plug the hole out there but we have an obligation to make the people whole.”

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