US to have tighter control over spill website

Harry R. Weber
Associated Press
7/5/2010

HOUSTON — The US government is expected to take over control of the central information website on the Gulf oil spill response that has been run jointly by various agencies and BP.

The Department of Homeland Security wants a one-stop shop for information that is completely overseen by the government as it settles into the long-haul of dealing with the response to the disaster.

BP and the government are part of a unified command that is working together to try to contain the oil gusher, but the government has been directing BP at every turn.

A DHS spokesman tells The Associated Press that the joint relationship won’t change when the website is given a dot-gov address instead of a dot-com address.

But who can post information to the site would change.

Read also BP remains key Pentagon supplier despite U.S. scrutiny

…President Obama said last month that the company’s “recklessness” in the gulf contributed to the disaster, and he promised that BP will “pay for the damage.” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on June 2 that Justice Department lawyers were looking into possible violations of civil and criminal statutes. “If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be forceful in our response,” he said.

BP, meanwhile, remains a heavy supplier of military fuel under contracts worth at least $980 million in the current fiscal year, according to the Defense Logistics Agency. In fiscal 2009, BP was the Pentagon’s largest single supplier of fuel, providing 11.7 percent of the total purchased, and in 2010, its contracts amount to roughly the same percentage, according to DLA spokeswoman Mimi Schirmacher…

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