Recovery from oil spill is Obama priority: Navy Secy

Published on News Center, Source Reuters, August 08, 2010.

US President Barack Obama’s administration sees the restoration of the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill as a national priority and the president should not be blamed for the disaster, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said on Saturday.

Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, faced a barrage of questions at a meeting with angry Gulf Coast residents who are worried about their livelihoods and future even as BP and the US government declare the worst of the spill is over … //

… “I will tell you this. President Obama should not be blamed for what has happened since this spill,” Mabus said. 

Mabus is tasked with developing a long-term plan for the restoration of the oil-hit Gulf states and said he would be submitting a report to the president in a few weeks.

“This is not just a Gulf problem. This is a nationwide problem,” Mabus said.

“One-third of the nation’s seafood comes from this region. Our nation must have a healthy Gulf. I hope we can all do something in this long-term plan to keep our Coast,” he added.

But his audience bombarded him with questions about delays in the damage claims process, the future of the fishing industry, air and water quality testing, falling property values and BP’s cleanup plans for oil under the ocean surface. (full text).

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