Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 6/10/10

Jun 10, 2010 3:07pm

TAPPER: Late yesterday, oil arrived off of Florida's Perdido Key. And the unified command closed off some of the waters, then neglected to inform Florida emergency officials. And a lot of officials in Florida are very upset about this and they see this as an example of unified command failing and federal government not being — you know, having a competent coordination in terms of this emergency. Can you explain why –    
GIBBS:  I would — I don't know the circumstances of that, Jake.  I would talk to someone on Admiral Allen's team or at the Joint  Information Center.  

TAPPER:  It was reported, I think about a week and a half ago, that the month before the explosion in April, Deepwater Horizon informed federal regulators that they were not able to control the well.  For some reason, they continued to operate the well.  They were not told to stop. Can you shed any light on that, as to why that happened?   
GIBBS:  I don't — I don't know the circumstances you're talking about.  I'm happy to look at whether — the degree to which — let me just look at something.  I don't know what the circumstances are.  I don't know if you've talked to Interior or MMS on this.    

TAPPER: And I guess lastly, President Obama has acknowledged the failings of the federal government to deal with this explosion and the aftermath.  Is President Obama apologizing to the families that are visiting with him now, apologizing for the ways in which the government, run by him, failed them?   
GIBBS:  Well, look, Jake, I — we will have a readout of the meeting that is, as you mentioned, going on as we speak.  I think the president has not failed in his remarks over the past several weeks to include the regulatory failures of — of what was the Minerals Management Service, under both his administration and previous administrations.  We've seen — we had an IG's report that came out during this time period that mentioned problems from 2005 to 2007 in different district offices.

There's no doubt there was a regulatory failure in this case, Jake.  Secretary Salazar had been working to reform Minerals Management Service, and it's — it is clear in the steps that they have taken now in breaking apart this entity and ensuring that safety regulation and royalties are not done by the same group of people.  I think that is what any of us owe anybody that is working in the Gulf or in waters throughout this country, in terms of ensuring their protection through smart regulation.    
TAPPER: Without going into the IG report, does the president feel personally responsible for the fact the federal government failed demonstrably to regulate this oil rig and people lost their lives as a  

GIBBS:  I — and I think he's — I think he's spoken to that throughout this process.  

-Jake Tapper

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