(CNN) – Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Louisiana, said Thursday it may just be time for Tony Hayward, the CEO of embattled energy giant BP, to go home to the United Kingdom.
While speaking with the press in Louisiana Sunday, Hayward was asked what he’d say to the people of the state where BP’s heavy, unrefined crude is soiling precious marshes. "The first thing to say is I'm sorry," the energy executive said.
Then, Hayward added, "We're sorry for the massive disruption it's caused their lives. There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back."
Hayward used Facebook to apologize for the comment, but it still did not sit well with Melancon, who called on Hayward to resign because of the remark.
The people of Louisiana “would like to have their life back,” Melancon said in an interview on CNN’s The Situation Room. “They’re not responsible for what has happened down here but they’re the ones who are paying the price for it.”
“And if he wants his life back, go on back to Britain — but send us somebody who cares about this state, cares about these people and will be honest with us.”
Hayward’s Facebook posting called his comment “hurtful and thoughtless” and said he “was appalled” when he read it in print.
“I apologize, especially to the families of the 11 men who lost their lives in this tragic accident,” he wrote.
But when asked about Hayward’s apology by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Melancon said he appreciated the apology but it was not enough.
“It still doesn’t speak for BP’s behavior and the way they’ve acted since day one. This is a major issue, a major crisis for this part of the country and this may be for decades that we suffer through this.”
And Melancon also shared with Blitzer some of what he plans to discuss with President Obama, who is returning to the Gulf Coast region on Friday.
The Louisiana Democrat said one of his highest priorities in speaking with Obama will be the administration’s moratorium on offshore drilling in the wake of the rig explosion that caused the oil spill. Because the oil and gas industry is a significant part of the Gulf’s economy, the moratorium has the potential to impose additional economic damage on the region.
“I’m going to try and talk about the moratorium and how we find a compromise between ‘spill, baby, spill’ and ‘drill, baby, drill,’” Melancon said. “We can’t shut down this part of the country, just summarily, to not drilling at all.”
Melancon added the moratorium has the effect of possibly making the 33 idled Gulf oil rigs available for use in other countries but, at the same time, Melancon said he wanted to ensure that those rigs were safe.