Incoming BP CEO Bob Dudley was set to outline his company's long-term efforts to help the Gulf of Mexico recover from the oil spill Friday morning, and will be getting help from a Clinton administration-era emergency management official.
The oil giant said Dudley would be in Biloxi, Miss., to announce that former Federal Emergency Management Agency head James Lee Witt will support its recovery efforts. Local officials, especially in Louisiana, have been clamoring for more long-term commitments in the face of reports that the oil spill is dissipating, at least on the water's surface.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the government's oil-spill response chief, had what he called a frank and open discussion Thursday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and coastal parish officials concerned that the Coast Guard and BP PLC will pull back from the spill response once the oil is stopped permanently.
"One of the things we absolutely wanted to get today was their commitment that they're in it for the long-term," Jindal said. "Look, all those (federal) people in the room, with no disrespect ... they're going to be rotated out to different jobs. Everybody here is still going to be here dealing with this oil whether it's a year from now or years from now."
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said it's clear the cleanup effort is being scaled back even though oil is still showing up on the coast.