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Bill Nelson offers qualified support for President Obama's oil efforts

Asked on MSNBC to rate the White House's response to the Gulf spill, the Florida Democrat said "the president is doing what he can in an impossible situation. But this thing is going to go on ... it's going to change our way of life. The administration has got to do better.."

Obama in remarks after a Cabinet meeting sought to assure Gulf residents that the coast would recover: "The one thing I'm absolutely confident about is that, as we have before, we will get through this crisis," he said, adding that "not only are we going to control the damages to the Gulf Coast, but we want to actually use this as an opportunity to re-examine and work with states and local communities to restore the coast in ways that actually enhance the livelihoods and the quality of life for people in that area.

"It's going to take some time. It's not going to be easy. But, you know, this is a resilient ecosystem. These are resilient people, down on the Gulf Coast," he said. "And they bounce back. And they're going to bounce back this time."

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Blue Dog

I wonder if Senator Nelson felt the same way about President Bush during Katrina. I think probably not.

The ineptitude by the Obama administration during the oil spill speaks volumes. Why hasn't the President himself sat down with the CEO of BP to get answers and devise plans going forward.

This is not the CHANGE we bargained for.

Marcoenfuego

The government has been slow to respond and hold BP to deadlines that have been set. Its time to protect Florida's beaches and tourism. Let's get the offshore oil drilling amendment on the books so big oil cannot buy off our legislators and sell out Florida's beaches. Join our Facebook group which supports the drilling ban. Here is a link to 4 different groups opposing offshore drilling: www.marcoenfuego.com/oil-drilling/

James Deen

At this point, banning all oil drilling may not be the answer either, thousands more would be unemployed and further damage the economy.

The Government needs to investigate each and every well to see that all regulations are being met and the equipment functions as required. If that means having to shut them down for failure to comply so be it, but closing all wells for this one failure could be just as harmfull to America as the spill itself.

seanndc

George Bush and his crew game BP this sweet oil lease deal with lax oversight, now once again Obama has to clean up Bush's mess.

As for Nelson's qualified support. He'll do anything to cover his @ss

Cheryl Petrovich


The State Department on June 14 released a list of [17 countries] that offered to help… The State Department also detailed what offers had been accepted.

From Mexico -- Two skimmers and 13,780 feet of boom (accepted in early May).

From Norway -- Eight skimming systems (accepted in early May).

From Netherlands -- Three sets of Koseq Rigid Sweeping Arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil (accepted on May 23).

From Canada -- 9,843 feet of boom (accepted on June 4).

On June 15, Qatar, the 18th country, offered chains of containment boom and Sweden followed up on an earlier offer to provide skimmers. State Department officials also started making a distinction about the aid -- it wasn't coming for free…

The Washington Post reported about the decision to accept or decline foreign aid in its June 15 edition, noting that the decision to accept foreign aid came after weeks of delay, and that foreign governments were unsure if they should contact the government or BP. In some cases, the Post reported, the administration rejected offers because they failed to meet U.S. specifications: For example, the private consortium that serves as Norway's spill-response team uses a chemical dispersant that the Environmental Protection Agency has not approved.
All along the Gulf coast, local officials have been demanding more help from the federal government to fight the spill, yet the Gulf states have deployed just a fraction of the National Guard troops the Pentagon has made available, CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.

Cheryl Petrovich


The Washington Post reported about the decision to accept or decline foreign aid in its June 15 edition, noting that the decision to accept foreign aid came after weeks of delay, and that foreign governments were unsure if they should contact the government or BP. In some cases, the Post reported, the administration rejected offers because they failed to meet U.S. specifications: For example, the private consortium that serves as Norway's spill-response team uses a chemical dispersant that the Environmental Protection Agency has not approved.

In other words, Jindal, LeMieux, and right-wing bloggers are claiming that Obama refused aide and won’t tell us why despite the facts that a) he was unable to accept many of those offers because they were made to BP, not to him; b) the Coast Guard and State Department have indeed accepted some aide and c) legitimate explanations were provided for the aide that was refused.

On a similar note, if right-wing blogs and Senators are going to criticize the President because the federal government hasn’t blindly accepted all that was offered to it, they should do the same for the four affected governors, all Republicans. With the feds it’s skimmers and booms to stop the leak; with the governors it’s National Guardsmen to clean up the spill. From CBS News on Thursday:

All along the Gulf coast, local officials have been demanding more help from the federal government to fight the spill, yet the Gulf states have deployed just a fraction of the National Guard troops the Pentagon has made available, CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.

That's a particular problem for the state of Louisiana, where the Republican governor has been the most vocal about using all resources.

Gov. Bobby Jindal's message has been loud and clear, using language such as "We will only be winning this war when we're actually deploying every resource," "They (the federal government) can provide more resources" and "It's clear the resources needed to protect our coast are still not here."…

But CBS News has learned that in addition to Louisiana's 1,053 troops of 6,000, Alabama has deployed 432 troops of 3,000 available. Even fewer have been deployed in Florida - 97 troops out of 2,500 - and Mississippi - 58 troops out of 6,000…

The Coast Guard says every request to use the National Guard has been approved, usually within a day. Now Jindal's office acknowledged to CBS News the governor has not specifically asked for more Guard troops to be deployed.

At the end of the day, it would seem that policy-wise Obama is doing just about all he can to stop the leak, and that he’s certainly no more behind the curve than are the local Republican officials. Yes, he could have demanded more transparency from BP earlier; yes, he could have better communicated what his Cabinet was doing earlier than he did; and yes, perhaps he could have subjected himself to more deficit criticisms by renting or purchasing more foreign aid. But none of that would have actually stopped the leak or even slowed its rate. Maybe his leadership style needs some tweaking, but from a policy perspective, he’s doing just about all he can.

Thankfully, voters seem to get it. Only one new poll – NBC/WSJ – shows the spill affecting his approval rating, while most others show him holding steady right around 48

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