Video: CBS Reporters Threatened with Arrest

Yesterday, on a trip to South Pass, Louisiana to survey the BP oil drilling disaster, CBS reporters were turned away by the Coast Guard under threat of arrest because of “BP’s rules.” Since this catastrophe first began almost a month ago, BP has attempted to restrict independent monitoring of the spill site and its impacts, and has worked to restrict data from the public and independent experts. For example, on the Saturday after the spill officials refused to allow GRN to fly over the site in order to survey the extent of the slick and cleanup efforts.We understand the need to ensure that BP pays for all cleanup efforts, but federal agencies need to assume more leadership in the cleanup efforts, as well as establish short and long-term independent monitoring of impacts in the affected area, provide public access to all data collected, and ensure free access to affected areas by independent organizations. The Coast Guard doesn’t work for BP and shouldn’t be out enforcing “BP’s rules.” GRN’s Jonathan Henderson is planning a trip to South Pass tomorrow, so stay tuned for more updates.Watch CBS News Videos Online Update on May 20, 2010 at 2:30 pm:The Unified Command has issued a statement, saying that there are no “rules in place that prohibit media access to impacted areas” and that the “only time anyone would be asked to move from an area would be if there were safety concerns, or they were interfering with response operations.” Read the full statement here.Raleigh Hoke is GRN’s Mississippi Organizer.

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