BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Thank you so much, Admiral.
And joining us now, three Gulf Coast governors who are trying to deal with all of this: Haley
Barbour of Mississippi, Bob Riley of Alabama, and Charlie Crist of Florida. I want to go to
Governor Barbour first. Well, Governor, you just heard what Admiral–what the Admiral said and
that is they’re going to ask BP to set aside this escrow fund to be administered apparently by a
third party, someone not in the company, to start getting this claims money out. How does that
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR (R-Mississippi): Well, the law is very clear. It’s BP’s
responsibility to pay for all of this. And the mechanism fordoing it needs to be one that is
friendly to the claimant. Now in fairness, we in Mississippi haven’t had as many claims as
Louisiana or even Alabama, but we will have. And we want a system that–that works for our
claimants, works for the people who have been damaged. And BP is supposed to pay for it. The
law is very clear on that.
BOB SCHIEFFER: The President is going down to your state, among–to all of the states
tomorrow along the coast. You’re going to talk to him. Then we’re told he’s going to come back
and address the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday night. That will be before he meets with
the BP executives on Wednesday. What do you think about that?
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR: Well, that’s a little surprising to me. I mean, normally if we
were–if I were a governor trying to make sure somebody does something, I would meet with
them before I went on television. But, I mean it’s up to the President. It’s not–it’s not up to me.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think that BP is responsible for the lost wages that these oil workers
are–are facing now, now that the moratorium, now that the drilling off shore has been halted?
GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR: Well, I’m like a lot of people. And, there’s–there’s no
unanimity about this. But, I don’t think we should have a moratorium. There’ve been more than
thirty thousand oil wells drilled in Gulf of Mexico in the last fifty years. This is the first time
something like this has ever happened. And we need to get to the bottom of it. Find out what
happened. Make sure it doesn’t happen again. But, I think it is very reasonable to continue to
drill. And the reason I say that is if we don’t, then all this oil drilling equipment is going to leave
the Gulf of Mexico. It’s going to go to West Africa, to Brazil, to Australia, to China, and it’s not
going to be back in six months when the moratorium is over. It’s going to be gone. We produce
thirty percent of our oil in the United States in the Gulf of Mexico. You shut that down and it’ll
have an enormously negative effect on the national economy. What’s going on right now is
hurting my state’s economy and–and these other Gulf States that you’re going to be talking to.
But this moratorium is going to hurt the national economy.
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