June 2nd, 2010
08:49 PM ET
12 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. normajean

    One of the biggest puzzles we have right now along with how to stop the tremendous flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is how could any company be allowed to build and oil rig in the Gulf and operate it without the knowledge of what to do in an emergency.They are floundering around, obviously without the slightest idea of what they are doing.I'm not an engineer but this makes absolutely no sense to me.

    June 2, 2010 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  2. Victim of tree huggers

    A joke, the just like the rest of the so called leadership in this country.

    June 2, 2010 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Christ, ask your former drill baby drill crowd...

    ...but then again, you know first hand what they do to people that don't walk in lock-step with them.

    June 2, 2010 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  4. joynnbob

    Oh gee....Crist is an Obamist. Therefore witless.

    June 3, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |

    Hang in there Charlie Crist, we all like your independent, non-party-affiliated thinking and attitude!
    You make your decisions based on logic and facts.
    You are willing to work across party lines for the benifit of the people.

    June 3, 2010 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  6. vwrtb

    Because of republican tools! Vote no to the party of no in November!

    June 3, 2010 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  7. Ryan

    Because the Republicans in power at the time were bought off by BP to drill – that's why.

    And now Dick Cheney's mouthpiece is theirs...not a coincidence.

    June 3, 2010 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  8. Bob of Lompoc

    Ya see – they start to make sense after they leave the Republican Party.

    June 3, 2010 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  9. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Yes but why does Crist have to wait until AFTER the worst oil spill in U.S. History to become a better spokesman against offshore deep sea drilling? Sounds like he is playing to the Democrat-leaning voters to win the Senate. Doubtful he will stay that way if elected.

    June 3, 2010 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  10. Anonymous

    How? – Republicans
    Why? Republicans
    Deregulated? Republicans
    Shortened the time to disqualify drilling request? Republicans
    This does not take the responsibilities completely from Democrats because where were thye when this was happening? Why weren't they more vocal about what was happening?
    The real blame- all of Congress

    June 3, 2010 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  11. Michael from Ventura

    Whatever happened to "drill baby drill"?

    June 3, 2010 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  12. Independent One

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.....Why a foreign company was allowed to drill on US soil......PLEASE ANYONE ANSWER!!!!!!!!!

    June 3, 2010 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
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