Markey: BP oil spill is 'criminal'; BP: Oil leak may continue until August; Powell on 'don't ask' repeal: 'Things have changed'
By Felicia Sonmez and Matt DeLong
Sunday Rundown: A quick talk show wrap-up.
CBS: FACE THE NATION - Markey: BP oil spill is 'criminal'
BP managing director Bob Dudley said that "by the end of the week," the new containment dome effort should be in place. "We're operating at the frontiers of human endeavor at 5,000 feet," Dudley said, adding that "there is risk with it, there's no question." He also took aim at early claims of 70,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day being leaked as "alarmist."
White House climate adviser Carol Browner said that it's possible oil will be leaking from the well until August, and that as much as 20 percent more oil could leak during the period when the containment cap is being attempted. "We're going to hope for the best and prepare for the worst," Browner said of the new effort. Browner also noted that BP has a "financial interest" in downplaying the size of the spill, but that "the American people have a right to know how much oil is spilling."
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) charged that BP knew how much oil was coming out at the start, but that they "had a stake in lowballing the number right from the very beginning." As a result, "their focus was not completely on the livability of the Gulf; it was also on the liability of BP," Markey said. In estimating the figures for how much oil was spilling, BP was "either lying or they were incompetent," Markey said. "I have no confidence whatsoever in BP," he added. "I think they do not know what they are doing." Markey also said that "without question," the word "criminal" should be used to define the situation that is occurring with the spill in the Gulf.
CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - BP: Oil leak may continue until August
BP managing director Bob Dudley said it was "possible" that the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico might not be stopped until August, when a pair of relief wells are completed. Dudley described BP's latest plan to contain the disaster, a "sophisticated operation with robots" that will involve lowering a "cap" down on top of the well, allowing BP to bring the "majority" of the oil and gas to the surface. He said that part of the procedure could actually increase the amount of oil spewing from the well before the cap is put in place. "If we can contain the flow of the well between now and August and keep it out of the ocean, that's also a good outcome as well," Dudley said. "And then, if we can shut it off completely with a relief well, that's not a bad outcome compared to where we are today. "
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said that "all of these failures are enormously frustrating." He added that BP made some "enormous mistakes" and "probably cut corners." He also blasted the federal efforts to protect the coast as a "failure." Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen has been "terrific" as commander of the federal response. On Afghanistan, Mullen said, "By the end of the year, from a trend standpoint, we'll know whether this thing is headed in the right direction."
Mullen said that "ideally" he would have preferred that legislation to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military not be brought forward until after the military completes its review. Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) said "the way this procedure was accelerated" by Congress in the last week was "in some ways disrespectful to the military."
"I think we still should go through this process of listening to the input of the military," Webb said.
ABC: THIS WEEK - Powell on 'don't ask' repeal: 'Things have changed'
BP managing director Bob Dudley acknowledged the failure of the "top kill" effort, saying, "we failed to wrestle the beast to the ground yesterday." Dudley added that the relief well expected in late August is "the end point on this game." Asked about criticism of BP's operations, Dudley replied that "cutting corners is not the way I describe how we do our business." Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) also discussed the response of BP and the administration to the spill. "We need more local decision-making authority," Jindal said. "We asked for senior Coast Guard officials to be put in each coastal parish, the second thing we needed. We need just simply more resources." He said that he told President Obama that "for us, it's trust, but verify." Jindal said that "we need our federal government for exactly this kind of crisis." But he added that the message of southern governors to the president this week was, "make BP pay for this."
"The federal government shouldn't be making excuses for BP," Jindal said. "This is their spill, their oil. They're the responsible party. Make them responsible." Former Secretary of State Colin Powell also appeared on the show and offered his advice on the spill response. He noted that he's learned that in crises such as these, the president and the government have to get involved "as quickly as possible," otherwise "public opinion starts to drag you, the media pushes you."
Powell added that Obama and the nation "would have been better served" if he'd given his speech on the spill "a few weeks earlier." Now, Powell said, it's time for a comprehensive, total attack on this problem." He also offered his thoughts on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" law. "Things have changed," Powell said of his previous support of the law, noting, "that was 17 years ago." Powell said he is "personally of the view now that attitudes have changed" and that it's "perfectly acceptable" to repeal the law. He said he believes that DADT "will go away," but emphasized the need for the military's review to be completed.
NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Browner: Administration is 'prepared for the worst'
BP managing director Bob Dudley said on NBC's Meet the Press that after the failure of the "top kill" operation to stem the flow of oil in the Gulf, the aim of the next maneuver is to contain the majority of the flow.He said the operation will take four to seven days, and has a better probability of success than the top kill. The outcome should be clear by the end of this week, Dudley said.
White House energy and climate change adviser Carol Browner said the administration is "prepared for the worst," which includes oil continuing to wash up along the Gulf Coast. Browner said BP has a financial interest in lowballing its estimate of how much oil is flowing from the well because the size of the fine it will pay is dependent on the size of the oil spill. Browner said that the government is in charge of the operation "At the end of the day, the government tells BP what to do," Browner said. "And at the end of the day, we will hold BP accountable for all of the costs associated with this."
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said President Obama has failed to show the "political courage" to push for comprehensive immigration reform. "What he has done is respond easily by sending 1,200 troops" to the border, Gutierrez said. Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), who is making a primary run against Sen. John McCain, said the plan to send more troops to the border is "cosmetic."
FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Issa: Sestak job offer is 'clearly a crime'
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.) discussed the ongoing controversy surrounding the White House's alleged offer of a job to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) if he were to drop his challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa). Rendell said that there was nothing illegal or improper about the offer, contending that President Clinton "wasn't a political fixer" because he and Sestak were "close personal friends." But Rendell acknowledged that the "stonewalling" on behalf of Sestak and the administration was "not smart," adding that the explanation issued by White House counsel Bob Bauer on Friday was "perfectly reasonable" and "they should've put it out there in the beginning." Issa charged that if Clinton had offered Sestak a job in order to get out of the race, "it's clearly a crime." He added that it would've been a crime "under a law signed, of all things, by President Clinton during his administration."
"They're now coming up with a non-plausible answer," Issa said. "It's the reason the FBI needs to investigate this." Rendell responded that any investigation would be a "waste of time" and merely an attempt to "make political points."
BP managing director Bob Dudley explained that the attempted "top kill" procedure didn't work, but that the company is now putting a "lower marine riser package cap" on the top of the well which it hopes will bring a "majority of the fluids from the well up to the surface."Dudley said that BP "learned a lot" from its last attempt. Asked whether he'd put a "percentage" chance of success on the new vessel, Dudley said, "There is no certainty, but we feel like the percentages are better that we'll be able to contain the oil." He noted that BP is working with the Coast Guard, and that the operation "is almost military now."
Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also appeared on the show. He said that North Korea committed a "heinous act" with its March torpedo attack on a South Korean warship, sand expressed concern that there could be "follow-on activities." Asked whether Iran should be on the U.S. terror watchlist, Mullen replied that it's "not for me to decide," but noted that the country is a known proliferator. On Afghanistan, Mullen said that "success in Kandahar over the next many months is absolutely critical" to long-term success in the country. He also reaffirmed his support for repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" law, but emphasized the importance of the Pentagon's review process and said that "ideally, I would like the legislation to wait until we've completed the review."
May 30, 2010; 3:59 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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