June 2nd, 2010
08:49 PM ET
5 years ago

Crist questions why BP ever allowed to do deepwater drilling


(CNN) – The man who leads the state is likely the next to fall victim to the spreading oil spill questioned Wednesday whether embattled energy giant BP should have ever been allowed to engage in deepwater drilling.

In an article published in the Financial Times Tuesday, BP CEO Tony Hayward admitted that his company had not been fully prepared to deal with a deepwater oil leak like the one it is now contending with in the Gulf of Mexico. “’What is undoubtedly true is that we did not have the tools you would want in your tool-kit,’” Hayward told the British newspaper.

Asked about Hayward’s comments on CNN’s John King, USA, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said that BP should have never been allowed to drill at depths like those of the gushing well, located some 5,000 feet below the sea’s surface.

“Well, what it tells you is they shouldn't have been doing it in the first place, in my opinion,” Crist said of Hayward’s admission. “I think that, you know, if you didn't have backup plans, if you weren't prepared, if you didn't have the tools necessary to stop something like this once it began, then you shouldn't have been doing it from the get go. And so that begs the question, why were they doing it? How did this come to pass? And we've got to put a stop to it.”

Asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King whether he trusts BP, the Florida governor equivocated.

“Well, I think, you know, hard to say,” Crist told King. “I mean, if they tell us now that they didn't have the tools necessary to deal with it, and obviously that is the case, you know, you want to be able to trust them, but you have to be very skeptical at this point.”

That said, Crist also told King that his state has gotten everything it’s asked of BP so far.

“We received an original $25 million in order to help prevent the oil from coming on the shore in addition to cleaning it up. Then another $25 million thereafter to promote tourism so long as the tar and the tar balls and the oil didn't come on the beach. We've asked for additional monies on top of that because it looks like it's fairly imminent that this will hit Florida.”

And unlike his counterpart in Louisiana, Crist did not criticize how the Obama administration has responded to the oil spill.

“I think the president is doing everything he can,” he said.

Crist added, “You know, it has to be all hands on deck, we have to be working together, we have to work together in order to try to stem the tide of what we're dealing with here. I don't think it's the time to be pointing fingers, I think it's a time for us to come together, work together and do everything we can to protect the Gulf states and in my case, Florida.”

Crist is running for Florida’s open Senate seat in this November’s midterm election. After polling showed him lagging behind his primary GOP rival, Crist made the decision to skip his party’s primary and run instead as an independent, non-party-affiliated candidate.

Crist’s embrace of Obama’s stimulus package, which has turned out to be extremely unpopular with the GOP’s conservative base, and his actual embrace of Obama during a visit to Florida to promote the stimulus plan both proved fatal to Crist’s aspirations to secure the Florida GOP Senate nomination.

A poll released early last month showed Crist leading his former primary challenger Marco Rubio and Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee, in a three-way general election faceoff.


Filed under: BP • Charlie Crist • Energy • Florida • JKUSA • John King USA
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Angus McDugan

    Because you did not take tough enough of a stand against it Mr. Crist!

    June 2, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. John - NY former Independent now Libertarian

    I honestly see this spill as a necessary, painful experience. Bottom line we need that oil. Deep sea Oil is and will be a necessary part of our existence. Cut back all you want but these are the biggest resevoirs left. Now, fix the system, make rules that may add some cost to the product but will ensure a sage existence. We don't need complex rules just good , simple rules that fit the bill but more importantly, ENFORCE THEM!!!

    June 2, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. Veteran

    If you watched the "60 minutes" episode with one of the survivors of the oil rig, he said that the problem wasn't so much being allowed to drill. The fact was that safety procedures such as the blowout preventer were in place. But when oil riggers noticed that pieces of it were coming up the pipe indicating it was broken, they notified BP of the danger of continued drilling. BP overruled the safety call made by TransOcean and we know the rest of the story. The middle Eastern countries have been drilling forever with no problems The problem is not if we should drill; but rather, the problem is if corporate leadership will forget about their quarterly statements and make safety the top priority or not.

    June 2, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    I absolutely agree with Crist on this one. Whoever gave BP a permit to do this operation was bamboozled in the first degree. BP had no idea what they were doing and ran it like a bunch of rookies. With the whole series of bad decisions they made, I wouldn't even say they are qualified to run a gas station.

    June 2, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I have wonder the very same thing Mr. Crist. Some are so quick to blame the President, but where were the people fighting against BP drilling 5000 feet below the ocean? We have to be concern about the animals, the land, the ocean, before a disaster occur, and drilling further and further out in the ocean will only leads to more trouble.

    June 2, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Walter

    I don't know about the cause of the oil spill but I am pretty certain that Charlie Crist and George Hamilton go to the same tanning salon.

    June 2, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Remember the Alamo

    It is simple. You have an idiot in the White House. Ask him how much BP contributed to his campaign. Then ask him really just what does he have experience in. Certainly not running a Nation such as America. A small town Walmart Store maybe as an assistent manager. i don't want to insul them either. Forgive me Walmart.

    June 2, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. Obama the liar

    Crist, you are an idiot. You should have run as a Democrap.

    June 2, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. National GuardDuty

    Now that Dubya has so much spare time to talk about himself on his Facebook page, he should _finally_ serve his National Guard Duty by flying down to help the beleaguered Gulf Islands deal with all the oil that made his family rich! They are severely understaffed. Five time draft dodger, fellow Methodist, and former CEO of Halliburton, Dick Cheney, should join him! Halliburton's incompetence is what _started_ this entire disaster (BP's management worsened it by not listening to the rig crew, complaining about Halliburton's shoddy cement)! Of course, if he doesn't help Dubya, then the friend he shot in the face will have to apologize for him.

    June 2, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. b. o. stinks

    is this guy trying to get a position under obama or what he is another arlen spector and how did changing parties work out for him

    June 2, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. Larry

    This is an easy one Crist–

    Corrupt regulatory practices under the Bush administration.

    June 2, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  12. "is that we did not have the tools"

    then you need to be sued

    law suits for each and every one on down the line from CEO to the guy on the rig

    if you were doing something that you weren't prepared for, that is malpractice and individually as well as collectively you need to be sued to compensate the people of the gulf coast region

    June 2, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  13. Chris

    Gov. Crist wonders why BP was allowed to drill in the first place? I'm going to go out on a limb and say, because our government is hopelessly in bed with the oil companies? Or...we're hopelessly addicted to oil and don't care when, where or how we get it? But then again, I'm just guessing...

    June 2, 2010 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  14. George

    Ask President George W. Bush.

    June 2, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  15. darko

    everything he can???

    Sending lawyers and swat teams was his first response.

    Sending lawyers and more lawyers is his second response.

    He's doing everything possible to avoid having to lead. He's says he's fully engaged and leading, but he's done nothing of the sort because he has no clue how to go about it. He never has and if he hasn't learned yet, he won't anytime soon.

    You can't lead when every decision is weighed by internal polling.

    June 2, 2010 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  16. Get A Grip

    Congress order these rigs out that far due to pressure from environmentalist and you should know this Charlie Crist. And I bet Al Gore was right on top of that environmentalist list pushing it. If this rig had been further in chances are it would have been plugged in a few day. Still would have been a mess, but nearly the mess we now have.

    June 2, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. Pay the piper

    We are at war. War for oil. and now its gushing unstoppable in the gulf, fouling the life and the shores. its as if God said, "you want it that bad, here, drown in it.

    June 2, 2010 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  18. Matt

    Typical republican reaction... Let business do whatever they want; then when they mess it up cry wolf. Just like this banking crisis we just had. And other environmental problems, such as toxins in our food chain etc. But just keep voting for those guys, because their campaign words sound so good!

    June 2, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. Frank in valparaiso indiana

    You can thank Dick Cheney, George Bush and the drill baby drill crowd. In short, the Republican party. All they care about is money rolling into the business coffers. There should be criminal prosecutions, and that includes the former president and vice president. And those who supported their campaigns financially from the oil companies who reaped the deregulation benefits.

    June 2, 2010 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  20. thor

    I sure as heck didn't hear any objections from him prior to the disaster.I think he's trying to score points with voters that want to voice their anger at BP.What a slezzy politician?

    June 2, 2010 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  21. gate

    An intelligent Republican!?!?! No wonder his party abandoned him.

    June 2, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    I admire Crist because he refused to be PURIFIED by the fake christian family values Demented in SC.

    June 2, 2010 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  23. Dan, TX

    Drill baby drill. That's why. We have the oil, and we have to get it, all of it, and burn it, all of it. It won't do any good to leave it sitting in the ground for 100 years. There won't be any humans left on the planet to use it by then.

    June 2, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  24. FloridaRes

    At last someone says something intelligent! What Crist doesn't mention however that it is the same MMS under Bush-Cheney that OKed the drilling! The very same MMS that cozied up to the oil industry along with Cheney and his very secret meetings. The very same MMS and Cheney who pushed for a 30 day limit for evaluating environmental impact statements for the oil drilling at the behest of the oil industry. If the 30 days was exceeded, the drilling was approved automatically!

    June 2, 2010 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. MGJ

    Any way the wind blows Charlie...

    June 2, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
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