Press Release: Groups Urge President to Federalize Response

For Immediate Release Contact: Aaron Viles, (504) 525-1528 Ext. 207 May 27, 2010 aaron@healthygulf.orgSEND IN NAVY, HALT THE DISPERSANTS, AND PUT HONORE IN CHARGE, GROUPS SAYGrand Isle, LA- A coalition of commercial and recreational fishing organizations, native American tribes and local community organizations have joined with environmental organizations to demand a larger, more effective response to the BP oil drilling disaster. Ongoing independent monitoring of the situation in the Gulf documenting the ineffective response from BP has led groups who care about the coast to greet the second visit by President Obama with a call for a significant change.GRN’s Jonathan Henderson and others in Grand Isle, LA on Friday during the President’s Visit, Photo Courtesy of Newscom.The groups strongly recommend the following immediate changes to the disaster recovery/response:President Obama should federalize the disaster clean-up and activate the United States military to become the on-the ground, command and control leader of the disaster clean-up.President Obama should order an immediate halt to the use of dispersants, unless and until federal and state natural resource scientists agree on their safety for people, wildlife and habitat.President Obama should replace Coast Guard leadership and designate a Federal military disaster response director, similar to General Honore in the aftermath of Hurricane KatrinaAccording to GRN Executive Director, Cynthia Sarthou, “our observations of the clean-up and containment response by BP has left us with the impression that BP does not have the capacity, organization, experience, or understanding of how to keep the oil out of our coast. Further, GRN is deeply concerned by statements made by BP CEO, Tony Hayward, which clearly indicate that BP is attempting to minimize the perceived environmental and economic impacts this disaster will cause in the short-term and long-term, and as such, should be removed from any decision making power over the deployment of clean-up and containment resources.”Said Captain Keith Kennedy, “BP needs to be writing checks, and shutting down their oil geyser. Period. Everything else should be done by the full force of the U.S. government, and put every coon-ass shrimper to work laying and maintaining boom.”

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