May 29th, 2010
01:40 PM ET
12 years ago

BP contractor denies beefing up workers just for Obama visit

(CNN) - An independent contractor supplying workers to clean up an oil spill on the Gulf Coast denied Saturday that his company sent more workers to Grand Isle, Louisiana on Friday just because President Barack Obama was going to visit that site.

Donald Nulty of Environmental Safety and Health - hired by BP to supply clean-up workers - denied a Gulf Coast official's claim that it sent the workers to Grand Isle in a "dog and pony show" to coincide with the president's visit.

"Absolutely, without a doubt, no. I had no idea about the president," Nalty told CNN. "Whether it's the president or whatever dignitary is coming into the area, it makes no difference to us. We're there to clean up Grand Isle."

Councilman Chris Roberts of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana accused BP on Friday of shipping workers to Grand Isle for Obama's visit and sending them away after the president left.

On Saturday, however, Nulty told CNN that his company decided several days before it knew of Obama's visit that it would send 400 workers to Grand Isle on Friday.

BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles downplayed the claim Friday evening, telling CNN it is not unusual to see people wrapping up work in the afternoon.

"These individuals are working out in the heat of the sun. These are long days. They start early in the morning and they stop early in the evening," he said. "So the fact that they were leaving the location late in the afternoon was not unusual. It's not associated with the president arriving."

Suttles added that the workers would be back Saturday morning to continue working.

Filed under: BP
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. ajm

    And now that it is Saturday, have they in fact returned?

    Kinda important to the story, no?

    News really sucks today, they stop the top kill for 16 hours and nobody knows about it. That live feed is really providing a load of info...

    May 29, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. PK California

    Then why were the workers not allowed to speak? This was surely staged for the president's visit. Dumb and dumber!

    May 29, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Hammerer

    BP needed to provide the workers to make obama's photo-op look realistic. But now that the event is over everyone can go back to business as usual. obama off to play golf and watch basketball and everyone else can go their seperate ways.
    Charade over!

    May 29, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. max

    And why would we believe BP THIS time ??

    May 29, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. dc

    I believe the "Top Kill" is a faliure. It will take months to stop the leak and years to clean up the coast. America was warned back in 1990's gulf oil leak and that lead to this biggest disaster on record as of today. We need a "Climate Enegery Bill" to move away from the fossil fuel. I hope we will get support from coastal community. This is America wake up call.

    May 29, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Karl in Charleston,SC

    Then why were the workers instructed not to answer reporters questions as reported on CNN?

    May 29, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. quiana bost aka ladybost

    to be honest i trust BP as much as I trust myself not to eat this double chocolate chip cake. They have lied several times and just as an fyi could you please tell the executives to quit trying to look so pityful while being interviewed...its not working

    May 29, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |