Tapper: Admiral Allen on Maine Boom, Tony Hayward, and How the Official Response Would Not Have Been Different If They’d Known the True Flow Rate

[CAJ note: It is simply mind-boggling to us that the entire blogsphere knew about the Maine booms before the Coast Guard Admiral charged with overseeing this disaster. Through news programs and articles we’re learning that state and federal officials in the Gulf region are growing increasingly frustrated and angry that no one in the Administration is returning calls or communicating with them by any means…So the President won’t speak with BP and no one is speaking with elected officials? We probably shouldn’t have been shocked to learn that Thad Allen hasn’t got information that he needs, either…]

Jake Tapper
ABC News
6/11/2010

We sat down with the national incident commander for the BP oil spill, US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, this morning to talk about the latest.

TAPPER: I talked to a guy who runs a company in Maine that offers boom, and he has – he says – the ability to make 90,000 feet of boom a day. High quality. BP came there 2 weeks ago, looked at it, they are doing another audit today. He is very frustrated, he says he has a lot of high quality boom to go and it is taking a long time for BP to get its act together. Don’t you need this boom right now?

ALLEN: Oh we need all the boom wherever we can get it. If you give me the information off camera I’ll be glad to follow up.

TAPPER: Florida emergency officials were upset a couple nights ago because oil was hitting Florida and parts of the ocean there were shut off and nobody had told emergency officials in Florida — what happened?

ALLEN: Well, I think we need to understand that we’ve got oil potentially spreading from South Central Louisiana to the Panhandle of Florida. And what used to be very large quantities of oil that came to the surface have now been disaggregated sometimes in very small quantities. And not all of them are going to be surveilled, and there will be oil coming ashore. Our attempt is to skim as much of that offshore as possible, but I’m not going to tell anybody in this country there’s not going to be some oil come ashore from time to time.

TAPPER: There’s been a lot of anti BP rhetoric, a lot of – and British officials are upset, they say there’s a lot of anti British sentiment. Does this concern you at all? Do you need BP as a partner, and having this rhetoric out there can be harmful?

ALLEN: Well the assumption is that BP is a growing concern. They are the responsible party. I continue to deal with them on that basis. One of the things, if you’re going to be involved in oil spill response — and I’ve done this for a good number of years — you’ve got to kind of keep your head in the game and focus on the response. There’s probably more politics and policy issues swirling around this operation than anything I’ve ever encountered in my career. You kind of have to have a clear idea of where you’re going and what you need to do. So I try to keep myself focused on the response and trying to make that as effective as possible. The other issues are handled by other issues above my pay grade.

TAPPER: Surely if BP went bankrupt for example that would really harm your ability to do your job because you are relying on BP to pay for everything?

ALLEN: Well there are a couple of dynamics here. Number one, BP is the responsible party. Okay so the question is what would happen if there’s no responsible party? And there are provisions in law on how we would go forward in doing that. But the presumption right now, BP is a going concern they are the responsible party. Those are the folks we’re dealing with…

Video of the interview and the entire transcript is at ABCNews.com

From Pajamas Media–BREAKING: Coast Guard Head Was Informed of Maine Oil Boom on 5/21. Yesterday, He Claimed He Didn’t Know

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