White House Defends Gulf Oil Response In 6,200-Word Blog Posting

White House Defends Gulf Oil Response In 6,200-Word Blog Posting
# 05 May 2010 18:35 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The White House, aggressively trying to beat back criticism that it responded slowly to the Gulf oil disaster, on Wednesday posted on its official blog a 6,200-word narrative of what the government has done since the moment the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded April 20 off the coast of Louisiana, APA reports quoting “The Wall Street Journal”.
The post, by White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Heidi Avery, states that at 10:30 p.m. April 20 "notification was received that Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon had exploded and was on fire." It’s unclear who received that notification.
Avery said "concurrently" upon receiving notification the Obama administration established a command center on the Gulf Coast to address the potential environmental impact. She continued, "Since this point, the administration has continuously anticipated and planned for a worst-case scenario."
The Gulf oil disaster has the potential to become the country’s most devastating man-made environmental catastrophe, possibly eclipsing the iconic 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. The Obama administration has tried to stay ahead of the public relations curve by commenting on the disaster daily and sending top leaders from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior, Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard to Louisiana to help coordinate the response.
The administration has also used tough rhetoric to characterize its oversight of BP Plc’s (BP) clean-up efforts, saying the government will keep its boot on BP’s throat to ensure the company mitigates the environmental and economic impact of the spill. President Barack Obama has stressed in several briefings on the incident that BP, the British oil giant that operated the now sunken rig, will bear the full cost of the disaster.
Despite all this, some have characterized the administration as playing catch-up amid concerns it took the government over a week to label the spill as being of "national significance." Such a label allows the federal government to use more money, federal personnel and materials to response.
BP has also faced intense criticism. White House and Congressional investigations are ongoing into what caused the spill.
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