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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."

By 44 Editor  |  May 30, 2010; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Obamas keep low profile on holiday weekend at Chicago home


Hello, Rep. Markey? Remember that little wind farm that you like so much? Well,if Cape Wind happens, you might need some quick speech material. Just fill in the blanks with some Cape Winds, ecocides, and Nantucket Sounds.

"Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) charged that ______knew how much ________ 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 ______; it was also on the liability of ____," Markey said. In estimating the figures for how much __________, ___ was "either lying or they were incompetent," Markey said. "I have no confidence whatsoever in ___," 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 _____________."

Posted by: JonFox1 | June 3, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

BP must fix the leak. It should be noted that we currently have no substitute for oil as energy source in automobile and many other industries. So, we have to continue to drill offshore. The alternative is to spend American money buying fuel from unfriendly nations. Fuel pollution in the wide oceans by tankers is unabated via leaks, spills and disasters following accidents. It's double hurt - overseas producers get American cash, pollution still happens.

Posted by: vk1537 | May 31, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. President-
Are you commander in chief?
Over the Navy too?
Still funding and staffing SUBMARINES?
Do you think it's worth a few million funding an attempt at using them to close this leak?
Want to try sinking a few dozen barges full of really heavy, large objects over it?
No....I guess this weekend is better spent in Chicago "Brainstorming" over SESTAKgate while our environment goes to hell over a platform approved by your inept administration!

Posted by: thecannula | May 31, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

President Needs To Appoint Al Gore To Spearhead Solving, Investigating BP Oil Spill.

Posted by: crabbygolightly | May 31, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

It's awful what the oil is doing to the gulf. We need to demand technology such as Stan Meyers, Daniel Dingel and others used. The 1959 Opel got 376. miles per gallon. Why don't we have these technology's today? We could stop all deep water drilling! Save our wetlands!! Obama has a chance to be the greatest president ever, if he steps up and stops the suppression of technology.

Posted by: oilless | May 30, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Please declare the BP Global oil company a terrorist organization and seize all the BP Company assets and BP Company officer assets. The present BP Company liability in the oil well spill in the Gulf of Mexico is limited to $75 million but if BP Global Oil company is classified as a terrorist organization then there is no cap on liability. NASA maps show the oil plumes have entered the Gulf Stream and will soon contaminate the entire East Coast of US. The latest leak or spill rates are 100,000 barrels of oil per day (earlier estimate of 5,000 bpd was in error). All BP attempts to stop the leak or spill have failed including (TOP KILL). The only certain stop is the wells being drilled by BP that will not be completed until August 20th. Thus the total oil spill or oil leak volume will be 91 days x 100,000 bpd (4,200,000 gallons) =9.1 million barrels or 382.2 million gallons of oil. BP Global Company net profit for 1st quarter of 2010 was $6.1 BILLION and the projected annual profit of $24.4 BILLION should be guaranteed to US government by BP assets immediately to cover the cost of the cleanup of 9.1 million barrels. STOP BP FROM CUTTING THE RISER AND INCREASING THE OIL LEAK!!!

Posted by: Billy4 | May 30, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

We have started a piss on BP face book group.

View/Join here:!/group.php?gid=125395810821746

Posted by: maddmatt2k | May 30, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Lets Get Rid of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Lawmakers are examining the leadership of the Minerals Management Service, a bureau of the Department of the Interior. The Interior Department is charged with enforcing environmental and safety rules for energy exploration.

On April 28 Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his decision at a joint Massachusetts State House news conference with Gov. Deval Patrick voting to go forward with the Nantucket wind turbine project. The same day of this decision, more than 5,000 barrels of oil had poured into the Gulf of Mexico. (One barrel equals 42 gallons.)

An internal investigation found that in 2008 many at the Minerals Management Service were involved with substance abuse. It was stated that workers accepted gifts and trips.

Salazar decided to make a decision on the Nantucket ocean wind project himself. The decision was to go forward with the first ocean wind project the very day of the Gulf oil spill!

Salazar has now decided to split the MMS into two agencies on the heels of going forward with the wind turbine project. We have to question the regulatory breakdowns happening at Minerals Management.

Every resident of Massachusetts should question the judgment of the Mineral Management Service ocean wind turbine decision before any more projects approved by MMS go forward! Did the MMS since 2009 put too much emphasis on wind and other renewable energy sources?

Those most familiar with the MMS review of Cape Wind recognize that the weight of the project draft and final Environmental Statements is not relevant, but the lacking quality of the content is. MMS has ignored and sanitized the testimony provided on the Cape Wind project indicating this conclusion by Salazar was foregone and politically motivated. Cape Wind is not about public interest. Cape Wind threatens public interests that include environmental and economic interests.

Posted by: fnhaggerty | May 30, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

WARNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
also the new method to be used by BP to (just try to) stop the oil spill (cut the oil riser, near the wellhead's top, and put a valve with a pipe to pump up the oil to surface) has the main goal to "save the BP oil" (like all other, failed, methods used so far) but, this time, if the second part of the attempt (plug the just cutted riser) will FAIL, there will be NO FAST OR EASY WAY to stop the oil spill for at least TWO-THREE MONTHS, since, without the riser, BP can't no longer adopt other, simpler, methods to stop the leak, like these:
they CAN stop the oil spill within TWO days!

Posted by: www999 | May 30, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Criminal? I doubt it.

The federal government has been overwhelmed by a series of corporate avalanches that demonstrate it is virtually impotent to regulate such monstrosities i.e investment banks, big insurance (AIG), Big Oil, Detroit Auto, etc. When the government decides that it needs to get serious again about reducting the size and power of mega consolidated corporations, and begin to truly regulate - quite possibly we can have a country that is not of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation. Read more at:

Posted by: FunkUniversity | May 30, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Whats next for the oil companies who want to obtain permits to build off the gulf coast? If they regulate it to the point of red-tape overload then I think you will see oil companines will find it to expensive to tap those resources. Maybe thats a good thing, maybe not. All I know is that responsibility is key; my business is actually in the field of Corporate Responsibility, and from what I can see all there is are people who want to point the finger. Its like a scenerio of a two year old when he's asked if he's the one who spilt the grape juice on the carpet.

Sean Flynn

Posted by: sean28 | May 30, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama, too, has his mantras of comfort think: "this isn't going to be easy" is now a favorite (and non-compelling) cliche; yet, it is easily seen Obama is not holding BP or federal officials accountable for even the basics of communications, reporting, or manning operations.

I still suggest moving outside of the invisible but restricting limits of comfort think (media pundits are indicted by their parade of experts who have no new ideas) and embrace transparent and public discussions about two technical solutions readily available: ignore the Army Corps of Engineers review and design-build sea berms on Louisiana's submerged barrier islands; use the advanced Aegis system (operating in the Navy's Arleigh Burke destroyer class, built in Misissippi!) designed to guide torpedoes and small missiles with non-nuclear munitions with pinpoint accuracy underwater. True, the explosive charges would have to be re-configured and re-installed, a simple task for munitions experts who take down buildings by implosion without a brick flying across the street.

Kill the well. BP, in their comfort think, is still trying to save it. Boom and the leak stops.

Posted by: walterrhett | May 30, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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