(CNN) - Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison struck a partisan tone while calling for the development of a comprehensive energy policy Saturday, just days after both Democrats and Republicans saw separate energy-related bills defeated in Congress.
“Republicans have consistently called for greater access to our domestic sources of energy to spur good American jobs, and to prepare for circumstances we can’t control, like natural disasters or unrest in the Middle East that creates instability and drives up the cost of a barrel of oil,” Hutchison said in the GOP weekly address.
Washington (CNN) - As they furiously typed computer code through the night in a small Capitol Hill office, little did they know they were about to change the way Americans would view what has become known as the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
The handful of staffers from Rep. Ed Markey's now defunct Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming had just received word from oil giant BP that they would be given a live feed of the underwater cameras monitoring the spewing oil from 8,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico. The date: May 19, 2010 - nearly one month to the day that the Deepwater Horizon well had exploded, killing 11 workers and causing oil to stream unabated into the Gulf.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - If the government does not take drastic steps, another deep water oil spill like the BP spill in the Gulf could devastate the United States' coast, warned an oversight commission Tuesday in a long-awaited report to the president.
More research, funding and oversight are needed to help prevent another disaster, concluded the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet a crowd upon their arrival in Florida. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
(Updated 2:20 p.m. ET)
Panama City, Florida (CNN) – On a visit to the Gulf Coast Saturday, President Barack Obama said that while the gushing undersea BP oil well had been capped, the administration remains committed to ensuring a full cleanup and recovery for those crippled by the disaster.
"I'm here to tell you our job is not finished and and we are not going anywhere until it is," Obama said after meeting with government and business leaders in Panama City, Florida.
"That's a message I wanted to come here and deliver directly to the people along the Gulf Coast," he said. "Because it's the men and women of this region who have felt the burden of this disaster, who have watched with anger and dismay as their livelihoods and way of life were threatened these past few months."
Obama arrived in Florida on Saturday, his fifth visit to the Gulf Coast since the start of the oil disaster, with his wife, Michelle, and daughter Sasha. He will spend the weekend on the coast in a trip intended to relay long-term support for economically devastated areas.
"If you're sitting in Barataria Bay, it's still a disaster. If the folks have not come back to the panhandle of Florida, it's still a disaster," former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told CNN's State of the Union. (Photo Credit: CNN)
(CNN) - The undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico has been brought under control, but the worst oil spill in U.S. history will continue to be felt along the Gulf Coast for some time, Obama administration officials said Sunday.
People? We Have to Deal with People?
A preliminary grade for BP from the not-so-retired Admiral Thad Allen, the administration’s point man for the gulf oil spill. Allen said he isn’t sure any company could have done better than BP in capping the spill (Presumably this includes the whole golf ball, tire parts episode)
But, a big ole Fail on another front. As Allen explains it, BP is a “large global oil production company. They don’t do retail sales, or deal with individuals on a transactional basis…It’s something they don’t naturally have as a capacity or a competency…” We believe this is Coast Guard speak for BP has no people skills.
The president's top environmental and energy adviser Carol Browner pronounced the government run environmental cleanup in the gulf “very successful” but added “there’s still a lot of work to do.” This will come as a relief in the Gulf where residents fear with the leak plugged, they are already in the country’s rear view mirror.
Amen from Allen: “If you’re sitting in Barataria Bay (Louisiana) it’s still a disaster. If the folks have not come back to the panhandle of Florida, it’s still a disaster. “
Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is
Browner also revealed that at the president’s (belated) birthday party Sunday, “he’s going to be serving his guests seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.”
By Fall, They’re Going to Need An Answer
Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) went after the Obama administration for wanting to let the Bush tax cuts expire in January for the wealthy ($250,000 and up households). He argued GOP economics 101: Don’t raise taxes in a struggling economy. Asked repeatedly, Boehner would not say whether keeping those tax cuts in place simply adds to the deficit republicans are so eager to reduce. It may be time to posit the question: In arguing for keeping tax cuts for the wealthy, has the GOP found a potent election year issue or are they boxing themselves in?
Washington (CNN) – As he reflects on lessons learned from dealing with the Gulf oil spill, the man charged with leading the federal response gave embattled energy giant BP a mixed grade Sunday.
Asked on CNN’s State of the Union to give BP a grade from “A” to “F,” retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen separately assessed different aspects of the company’s response to the blown out well.
“At the well head, I’m not sure there’s any oil company that could have done anything more than they did,” Allen told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “The technology that was needed to be brought in for other parts of the world, was [brought in]. It took a long time to engineer it. It took a long time to install it. But, ultimately, it helped us put the cap on and control the well. So I give them fairly good marks there.”
But Allen quickly added that where the energy giant’s performance has been lacking is in having a human touch.
Washington (CNN) - "The long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil" befouling the Gulf of Mexico is at last nearing a finish, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
"We learned overnight that efforts to stop the well through what's called a 'static kill' appear to be working and that a report out today by our scientists shows that the vast majority of spilled oil has been dispersed or removed from the water," the president told the AFL-CIO executive committee at the labor union's meeting in Washington.
"So, the long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil is finally close to coming to an end, and we are very pleased with that," he said.
On the cleanup front, 74 percent of the oil that leaked from the well since the drilling rig sank in April has been collected, has dispersed or has evaporated, according to a government report released Wednesday.
Updated: 1:35 p.m.
TOPICS: Gulf of Mexico, oil spill
Full results (pdf)
The Gibbs Antidote
Joe Biden, Vice President of Optimism, appeared on for ABC to predict that Democrats will “shock the heck out of everybody” in the November elections. He means that in a good way. It was a veritable chorus of Democratic Yay-Sayers this Sunday, bravehearts all, Reps. Chris Van Hollen, James Clyburn, Steny Hoyer and Sen. Robert Menendez.
To be clear, they’re not talking victory as generally defined in every language around the globe except political-speak. They’re talking about not getting beaten too badly. Hoyer: “I don’t think we’re talking about a big loss…”
Take that Robert Gibbs.
Getting with the Program
Remember that icky feeling Democrats were getting that the White House was not all that vested in winning House seats and intends to blame election losses this year on bad campaigns? There’s been a meeting of the minds. As Van Hollen delicately explained “…the day after the elections, it will be interpreted as a referendum on the President’s policies in the press, whether they like it or not. So we are on the same page.” Check please.
Dumped by the Tea Party
David Webb, of the National Tea Party Federation says his organization has expelled the Tea Party Express and Mark Williams. Make sense of that if you will. Williams authored a controversial blog featuring a dialogue between “coloreds” and President Lincoln. He called it a “satire.” Many others called it offensive.
BTW, the Vice President of Optimism said he wouldn’t characterize the whole Tea Party movement as racist, though there are racist elements. Nearly every Sunday guest was asked the Tea Party/Racism question. Nearly everyone answered. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell took a pass, saying “I’m not interested in getting into that debate.”
Your Can Stop the Oil From Going Into the Ocean But You Can’t Take the Politics Out of the Oil (Is That How That Goes?)
On the first oil-free Sunday in almost three months, at least three Republicans went after the President for incompetence in cleaning up the spill. Is this a co-inky-dink? Only 106 more days until the election. Or, as we put it, 15 more Sundays.