Cassidy Discusses Oil Spill On WAFB

June 2, 2010

Baton Rouge, La – Louisiana Congressman Bill Cassidy discussed the Gulf Oil Spill on WAFB. Video and partial transcript below.

Frustration with the spill response and lack of planning

Cassidy: “It’s never good when you’re at plan ‘C’, and I think the frustration for the people in Louisiana is that it would have been nice had this been worked out prior to the incident – i.e. something happens and you immediately come in. Instead, much of this seems to be on an ad hoc basis, and that’s obviously not great.”

Focus on facts and solutions, not the blame game
Cassidy: “In 2003, there was a report by the National Research Council, in which several LSU professors participated with folks across the nation, which suggested since we were beginning to go deeper and deeper, let’s look at the effect on the seas, of the oil in sea at a deep level. All these things that now we’re figuring out, again, as we go along, were recommended in 2003. That’s number one. Number two, in the permitting process, BP said they had the ability to handle this sort of a spill. That didn’t happen. So, I agree right now might not be the time to lay blame, but it’s certainly not too soon to start saying: What could’ve been done better? What do we need to do better? And how do we keep this from happening again?”

Failure to plan impedes response
Cassidy: “Well, some of them are really simple. Let’s figure out what this person can use on a deep level. Worst case scenario, you can actually go down because there’s natural seepage. Sixty-five percent of the oil in Gulf prior to this incident was from natural seepage. You can go down, don’t have to add oil just find a place where it’s already coming up. See what happens with your disbursements. In Norway they’ve done the studies, where they go down, take a hundred barrels of oil, go to the bottom of the ocean off Norway, release them and see what happens. So people have thought about this, it could have been done, it’s just frustrating that is was not.”

Dissatisfied with the federal response

Cassidy: “I’m totally not satisfied … We can see that in the permitting process, that the permitting process apparently took it upon faith that there was a blowout plan when that did not happen. And then, at this very period, it took two and a half weeks to give approval to a berm, and I’m told that the section of the berm that was approved was actually permitted four years ago. It took them two and a half weeks to approve something which had been permitted four years ago. And so clearly there’s a lot of reason for dissatisfaction.”

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