Cassidy conducts oil spill town hall session

Wade McIntyre

During a town hall meeting last week at Dutchtown High School Congressman  Bill Cassidy said federal government has failed Americans in terms of being proactive in the aftermath of the BP petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Failure by the government to follow through on an agency request in 2002 to study the effects of oil in the ocean is part of the failuret, the congressman said.

Federal government should also have been familiar with the effects of using chemical dispersants in the deep sea before the BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and began spilling oil into the gulf.

In terms of the spill cleanup effort, federal government under the Oil Pollution Act is supposed to work with the responsible party, BP, for the oil cleanup. But, because the study requested in 2002 was not done, cleanup has proceeded as a decentralized or ad hoc type effort, according to Cassidy.

Cassidy said that when Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser “went crazy,” James Carville started calling the President, and Bobby Jindal continued to keep the state at a high national profile,  the focus of  the nation’s attention stayed on Louisiana’s needs during the oil spill crisis.

Statistically, there are more oil spills from tankers than from drilling activities, Cassidy said.

If drilling is shut down in response to the Gulf oil spill crisis, that would mean the country would need more imported oil, which would in turn result in more oil spills as more tankers would be required for importing, according to the congressman.

Around 50 persons were in attendance at the town hall session in the school media center.