June 3rd, 2010
08:28 PM ET
10 years ago

Louisiana Dem to BP's CEO: 'Go on back to Britain'

'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,' Rep. Melancon said of BP's CEO.

'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,' Rep. Melancon said of BP's CEO.

(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.

Related: For new campaign, BP looks to Washington

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.”

Related: Melancon gets emotion over spill's impact

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.

Filed under: BP • Charlie Melancon • Energy • Louisiana • The Situation Room
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. PAUL

    It is a shame that Britain can't bring back draw and quartering at Tyborn. It is so appropriate in this case.

    June 3, 2010 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Bob in PA

    Why isn't he screaming at Washington and the Administration for preventing BP from attempting the current method to stop the leak first ? Kind of odd that the most successfull method so far is the one that the government was against.

    June 3, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. Inconvenient truth

    As much as I agree with the Louisiana Representative, BP's CEO isn't going anywhere, especially since BP was a major contributor to the campaign of the current administration.

    Things that make you go, "hmmm".

    June 3, 2010 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. Jerry

    It was the liberals like this man that drove drilling a mile deep for no reason, he and others like him are the reason this happened. Beat the rush and build nuclear now.

    June 3, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. LaChatte

    Amen, Rep. Melancon! I shouldn't want Tiny Tony's karma!

    June 3, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Jacq

    Seems like Vitter and the rest of the GOP want bite the hand that feeds them

    June 3, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  7. Kevin Collins

    Good for Melancon, for most GOPers think it's unthinkable to criticize Biiiiiiiiig Bidness, no matter how much irrefutable malfeasance they commit.

    June 3, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. phoenix86

    Congratulations Rep. Melancon, you have, bar none, said the dumbest thing so far in 2010. At least your district now knows what a fool you are.

    June 3, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. Patsy, Texas

    Gibbs said the same thing, ie "there are eleven people who would like
    their lives back too", but you didn't want to report that, did you CNN?
    Everybody wants drilling to continue, but they want safety first, so what
    do they want the government to do? How do they insure safety first,
    before they allow more drilling? Which comes first, the chicken or the
    egg. This is a devastating event, affecting the environment, economy,
    and people's livelihoods. Some from oil, some from fishing– so how
    do we reconcile the two.
    Governor Jindal also took on this BP executive. We are all sick of
    their attitude and ineptness, but for goodness sake CNN Ticker,
    get a grip, quit stirring the pot by pointing out only criticisms of Obama
    and try looking to the future. If you had been so interested during the
    Bush years, maybe some of this c–p would not have happened,ie,

    June 3, 2010 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  10. Robert Alcaraz

    anderson cooper,Earlier I made a comment about stopping the oil leak. I would like for you to ask someone that knows about this stuff .If they can lower a cap over the cut pipe without it blowing it away and secure it in position , Than why can't they remove the top flange with the cut pipe on it 'which is bolted to a matching flange on the one than is sticking up. Than add a valve with a matching flanges on both ends bolt one end to the valve that is sticking up with the valve open so the pressure of the oil goes thru the valve so it can be set in place. This would stop the leak 100%. please reply with a positive or negitive.

    June 3, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  11. DHenn

    I would like to say how sad it is that 11 men lost their lives, and how sad it is that so many people have lost their way of life and how so many animals and birds and marine life have perished and will perish, and how sad it is that the environment both above the water and below will be impacted for many, many years to come. So the impact is of death on a very large scale even beyond the 11 workers who sadly perished in an explosion, that most likely could have been prevented.

    BP management – where was your EMERGENCY PLAN in case of a disaster – all oil and gas companies – all companies in this industry are required to have an emergency plan in place incase of an accident or injury or disaster. WHERE WAS YOURS? BP you should have had 3 or 4 EMERGENCY PLANS in place just in case. BP must have thought they where above an emergency plan or two. BP was totally not prepared for an explosion or a disaster. BP should be charged in the billions – forget the millions for the damage and the clean up needed. This is now more than a Louisiana problem as the currents take the oil around the globe!!! BP management did not have a plan it is as simple as that. They were only interested in making their billions – no human or environmental concern at all. Just a giant money sucking monster that has managed to destroy a most precious eco-system.

    June 3, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  12. t22

    So you already are losing thousands of jobs due to the spill and now you want to chase away even more?

    June 3, 2010 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. Katia

    What is being done about the many , many oil rigs currently operating in the same area. They are all governed by the same rules and regulation as BP was.
    Federal and State governments have to shoulder some blame for not having tighter controls of safety and effective oil spill response in place.
    I would also add that Obama has failed miserably the way he has dealt with this catastrophe .
    I found it absolutely disgusting to watch him laughing and joking and doing – sing a – longs at the White House , this man has proven once again that he is not fit to lead our nation.

    June 3, 2010 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  14. John

    BP CEO back to Britain? I agree.

    Besides, its not as if Europeans haven't always viewed the US as nothing more than a place to be exploited however possible.

    June 3, 2010 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Well the British invaded those parts back in the War of 1812 so maybe King George Bush sold-out out our shores back to them again.

    June 4, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  16. Fed Up

    I am sick of the hypocrisy. You people loved BP when they were flooding your state with money, didn't you?

    June 4, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  17. ehwilson429

    melancoln appears to be related to Joe "90" Biden.

    June 4, 2010 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  18. Daph

    Charlie , BILLY NUNGUESSER, BOBBY JINDAL and MARY LANDREIU AND her Brother our MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU are doing a great job fighting for us, they gov. needs to let our LOCAL POLITICIANS and FISHERMEN AND PEOPLE do what we KNOW will work , the SAND HILLS will work ..... they will work , BUILD THEM AND SEND BP the bills or threaten to CUT OFF THEIR HUNDREDS OF OIL AND GAS PIPES THAT PASS THROUGH LOUISIANA..... If they dont want to pay , we can sell what comes through the pipes....... I live here in NEW ORLEANS, and its horrible, theyre not showing all the dead fish and thousands of fish and crabs and little baby fish that are all dead..... Millions of animals are dying and it will take decades for the entire GULF of AMERICA to maybe hopefully get back to some bit of normal........ I hope ........ Katrina was bad, and now theyre saying this year will be as bad as 2005 when KATRINA and RITA hit... It sounds scary , but it will sure get the oil for awhile out of the water, it will be all over the land and everything in its path.... The EXXON VALDEZ was decades ago and they can dig down a little bit and find tons of OIL , still, after all these years..... BP has KILLED the largest marshlands in the U.S.A .......... PLEASE HELP US .............. We need the HUGE SAND BARS BUILT TO PROTECT OUR MARSHES......... BUILD THEM AND SEND BP THE BILL ...... THEY HAVE THE MONEY ...... THEYVE DESTROYED AMERICAS MARSHLANDS....... PLEASE PLEASE HELPPPPPPPP ...........

    June 4, 2010 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  19. Daph

    We have the power to keep all their MONEY in US BANKS ... And their OIL AND GAS PIPES have to go through Louisiana to get to the rest of the nation .......... SHUT OFF THE VALUE UNTIL THEY START PAYING AND FIXING THEIR MESS ..... OR WE SHOULD JUST TAKE OVER ALL THE OIL AND GAS ............ I BET THAT WOULD WAKE THEM ALL UP ............ PAY TO CLEAN AND FIX UP YOUR MESS BP ....... OR LOUISIANA SHOULD TAKE CONTROL OF AND ALL PROFIT OF ALL YOUR OIL AND GAS PIPES................

    June 4, 2010 12:41 am at 12:41 am |