Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Michael Steele, the chairman of the opposition Republican party, accused Obama of exploiting the spill crisis for his own political gain.
Steele said the US president’s actions demonstrated his inability to lead Americans out of a disaster and showed an “appallingly arrogant political calculus”.
He said Obama should instead focus on providing what he called “real and honest solutions” to those affected by the spill.
There was also criticism in Louisiana where fishermen have been put out of business by the massive oil spill but oil workers are also reeling from a six-month moratorium on offshore drilling imposed by the Obama administration.
Charlotte Randolph, the president of LaFourche Parish in Louisiana, told Al Jazeera the suspension of offshore drilling only served to compound the economic difficulties.
“I did not hear what I wanted to hear from the White House. I asked the president personally to reconsider his proposal on a moratorium on offshore drilling, and he would not.
“My impression of the speech is that he would sacrifice some Americans to further his agenda, and he is sacrificing the people and the parish I lead.”
Randolph said the 33 oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico that will be shut down following Obama’s order were not BP rigs, and that Louisiana’s history with drilling “has been a fairly safe one”.
“I trust BP as a company, but yes, we need to diversify and seek alternative fuel. However, it took a hundred years to get where we are now and it’s not going to happen overnight.
“This is something that will require infrastructure changes and it will take trillions of dollars to change.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 4:21 am