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Public Frustration at BP Boils Over in Gulf Coast Oil Spill

May 25, 2010 – As the Gulf Coast oil spill catastrophe grows worse by the day, so too does frustration among the public and government officials. Yet the government’s lead crisis manager said there was little federal authorities could do but continue to let BP try to stop the gusher.

“To push BP out of the way, it would raise a question: Replace them with what?” said Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who’s leading the federal disaster teams in the Gulf. He said he had consulted with leaders of rival oil companies, who told him that BP appears to be doing what they would do.

Even so, political leaders have continued to trade barbs over the response to the spill by BP and the government amid a rising tide of criticism from both sides.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, speaking to reporters in Louisiana, vowed that the government “will keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done,” repeating a phrase that the White House has used previously to characterize its pressure on BP.

But Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, speaking at the same press conference, in turn blasted the federal response. “We need more boom. We need more resources. We need the materials we requested to fight this spill,” Mr. Jindal said.

BP’s next attempt to plug the leak will come tomorrow in the form of a complex “top kill” procedure, which Chief Executive Tony Howard warned may not work.

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