May 23rd, 2010
04:09 PM ET
12 years ago

Salazar: 'Deadline after deadline has been missed' to stop oil spill


A BP cleanup worker lays out an oil-soaked boom on an Elmer's Island, Louisiana beach Sunday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

(CNN) - Saying BP has "from day one, frankly not fulfilled the mission it was supposed to fulfill," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar expressed frustration Sunday with the delay in stopping an underwater oil gusher 33 days after an oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.

"I have no question that BP is throwing everything at the problem," Salazar said. "Do I have confidence that they know exactly what they're doing? No."

Watch: 'I am not confident in BP,' Salazar says

But he and other federal officials likened the task to an "Apollo 13" mission. Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, told reporters that while BP has failed to meet its own schedule for stopping the gusher, their schedule was probably not feasible from the outset, given that the tasks involve construction, mobilizing equipment and fabricating new devices.

"I think everyone has to understand that the kinds of operations they're doing in the deep sea have never been done before," said McNutt, who is helping lead a team of scientists from the Department of Energy, NASA and others in helping find a solution to the leak.

Full story

Filed under: Energy • Ken Salazar • Obama administration
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. ib

    Salazar then why doesn't the gov. get involved and stop this disaster instead of using it to promote Obama's agenda???? You people are disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Felonious Monk

    A sad and sorry comment on safety preparedness of our major corporations!

    May 23, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    @ ib........ you need to understand that the government does not have the tech. to work at those depths. It appears the Oil companies don't know how to do it in a safe manner as they appear to place greed over safety.

    Now having said that, I am confident that sooner or later BP OIL will shut off the flow of oil or it will simply run out in which case we will rename the Gulf, "The Black Gold Gulf". What is sad is that the company is responsible for this mess and unlike China, we do not hold the CEO's of companies responsible. In China they get put in jail or they get death sentences. That is real accountability but in the USA, except for the purpose of political contributions Corps are not people so there is no one to put in jail or to give a death sentence to but I bet if there were then you would see a lot more concern being given to these matters.

    May 23, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. waiting

    Where are the other oil companies-along the Houston ship channel the oil industries train and drill as a team to assist with emergencies
    such as fires,spills and releases. They have the most expertise in
    knowing what they are dealing with and the effects of how they deal with it. Our government looks helpless because they are not trained and specialized in this situation.OSHA is responsible for ensuring the
    companies meet safety standards.Surely some oil companies have drilled and put contingency plans in place for this kind of event.
    They could ram a thick oblong shape balloon inside the pipe and
    rapidly inflate it.then force heavy mud behind it and that would seal off
    most of the leak but it seems BP is more concerned with saving the well.

    May 23, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    B.P. has killed the gulf .sea life will be subject to exstinction seafood will be dangerous to eat sea food company's will exspire and people will get sick from the toxics carried to land by rainfall and cancer will devellope from chemical treated sushi .

    May 23, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. BeverlyNC

    It's time for Salazar, Holder and the EPA to declare BP dishonest and incompetent and shut down ALL their American oil rigs until each one can be inspected. Since BP obviously has no idea how to handle their own rigs or to stop spills, we cannot take the chance that another one of their rigs will also explode at any time.

    Citing a pattern of spills, workers needlessly killed due to safety violations, and total incompetence and lies in this current oil spill, these agencies should jointly announce we are shutting down this foreign company's American waters oil rigs and will start proceeding with criminal charges and daily fines for every day the leak continues. The government should demand experts outside of BP be given access to the site to stop the spill and there will be costs paid by BP for their services.

    BP is a liar, dishonest, greedy, and totally unconcerned with the damage they are causing our country, our waters, our People, our fishing, our tourism, and our environment. This will be a multi-decade cleanup and we should put their executives in jail until everything is cleaned up and returned as it was!

    May 23, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    If our National Guard was NOT fighting the Bush/Cheney Wars for oil, maybe they would be available to help out.

    Haliburton and Cheney and all their profits should be stuffed down that hole to stop the destruction of our gulf.


    May 23, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. ajax

    Just remember it's the governments responsibility to see to it that the safety measures that were put in place to stop this kind of thing from happening weren't followed.For Salazar to lay this at the feet of just totally self serving,although they are much to blame for this.

    May 23, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. Larry

    It's obvious that BP, nor anyone else, has a clue how to stop this spillage

    And to think these and other companies are given the privilege to drill off our shores, when they don't have the ability to stop the most basic of possible threats

    Big oil, shoving it up Americas Butt again ...

    May 23, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. ronvan

    This disaster started well before the fire, loss of like, and resulting oil leak! It is and always has been about the money! But the priority right now is to get it stopped and it seems that NO ONE has the ability to do it. IF they do finally get it plugged then BP and ALL involved MUST come up with the money for clean up. I do not care if they go bankrupt!
    Then when the clean up is going WE need to find everyone that had money put in their pockets from BP and the other oil companies and make them pay every penny back into the clean up. IF severe, and I mean SEVERE fines and jail time are not given then we can expect this to happen again. We have already lost the gulf as it is going to take many, many years before it recovers. Anyone else want to hear "Drill baby drill"?

    May 23, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Terri

    I wish the govt had the expertise to do something about it because maybe things would move but they don't. Instead we have to rely on corporations that are more worried about profits. I have not heard a single idea put forth by BP that doesn't involve saving the well. The hell with the well, stop the oil!

    May 23, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    FACT: BP overstated it's ability to handle a situation like this. If you don't have back up plans A, B, C, D, E, and F, then you are not ready to drill in that deep of ocean. It's obvious that BP failed, and the blame is squarely on them, and their subcontractors. The Federal Government on the other hand is partially to blame for allowing these companies to operate with very little actual regulation. The failure to make sure these companies can actually do as they claim, is on the part of the Department of Interior. The fact that Republicans and some Democrats have been in bed with the oil industry for so long, has tainted the ability of said agencies to actually monitor and guarantee the oil industry can handle such a disastrous accident.
    Evidence: The fact that BP has still failed to get control of this accident. If I were the Federal Government, and in charge of leases, I would guarantee that this company is never allowed to drill in our coastal waters again.

    May 23, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Terri

    If corporations can be treated as individuals when it comes to advertising for political candidates and causes (which the Supreme Court just said they are), I think they should be treated as individuals when it comes to the oil spill. Bring them up on charges. Fine them 50 million a day for each day the spill continues. But most of all, don't take their word for the safety of off shore drilling, shut it all down till the leak is shut down, the spill cleaned up and they can PROVE the safety! Then all the companies will collectively scramble to get the leak shut down, things as cleaned up as they can ever be and a more diligent approach to safety.

    May 23, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. American Patriot

    Time to make BP a Government owned Corporation. They should turn over all assets to the US government to cover the costs of the Damage.

    May 23, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. But Kenny, what the hell have you done....

    besides sit on your fat butt and pontificate on the state of things.......

    You're just like your boss, Obama....all talk, no results.....

    May 23, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Pragmatic

    The plain truth is that no one, either in BP or the government knows what will work to plug the leak 5,000 feet down in the ocean.

    Americans need to learn from past mistakes: the fact that Republicans defeated any new regulations that might have prevented the Drill-Baby-Drill Oil Spill, the fact that just yesterday Republicans kept the $75 million economic loss liability cap in place even though the economic losses will be over one trillion dollars. the fact that Republicans are still fighting to defeat any research and development of sustainable alternative energy resources.

    May 23, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. Albo58

    This administration sure likes to get that blame stamped on BP at every opportunity, but exactly what has this administration done to mitigate this disaster? We can put a man on the moon, but somehow sitting on the sideline like a Monday morning quarterback is so-o-o much easier! This President and his drones are pathetic!

    May 23, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. deni

    How unfortunate it took something like this to get people to realize that we cannot trust big oil and we must protect our coastal environments. And what's more disturbing is the government is not holding their feet to the fire. Every administration has always been in cahoots with big corporations...even the Tea Partiers want a piece of that action (yes, they are $$ mongers too) as evidenced by Paul's recent comments SIDING with BP on how our President made comments that were 'unAmerican' ...give me a break ! How transparent of you Mr. Paul. BP, the drilling company, and Haliburton are ALL to blame and should ALL be held accountable! We can put men on the moon, a station in space, develop vaccines and eradicate deadly viruses, yet we can't stop this environmental disaster? I think the US citizens should bring a suit against BP, the drilling company, and Haliburton. You have totally trashed our Gulf and the administration and CEOs, COOs, should be held totally accountable.

    May 23, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  19. harold

    Look what happened when ole Bush de-regulated everything along with Reagan et al... and the Wall Street crash... These Republicans should learn some lessons from their 1929 disaster and the last 8 years which the T-Party wants to repeat by electing more Republcians who can do nothing for them not even get them small govenrment.. You kiddin?.. Your Texas T will only get you more confused.. T-party... Let your Rand Paul clear everything up for you..huh?

    May 23, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. teena

    wha I don't understand is: how can you drill 5,000 feet in the water and NOT have a back up plan in case of a problem? Where is the safety preparedness that is touted by the oil- companies and the great minds that the oil companies show on their TV ads? This is akin to driving 100 miles per hour and not having any brakes to stop. Sheer idiocy!

    May 23, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. JonDie

    Mr. Salazar IS a major embarrassment for Obama; Salazar is essentially Obama's gift to conservatives, an Interior Secretary who has shown himself to be virulently anti-environmental protection. Now is the time for Salazar to go.

    May 23, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. Marie Md

    I would like to know where these so called "engineers" went to school? It's too late for wildlife and fishermen! Cap the darn thing with cement. It sounds like the best plan of anything else they hae tried.
    It's embarrassing that all that education has gone to waste!!!

    May 23, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. JonDie

    Salazar is part of the problem, not part of the solution. He should never have been hired but now he should definitely be fired.

    May 23, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Ben

    Salazar is part of the problem. Why has the government response been so slow?

    May 23, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  25. Mike

    Why is this administration dragging their feet when Louisiana wants to dredge the beach and the demorats and in particular NOBAMBY sit on their hands. Their handling of this is far worse than the response to the hurricane in New Orleans. At least New Orleans had a chance to avoid their personal injury but in most part were to lazy to get on the bus.

    May 23, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |