Alabama governor blasts oil spill response leadership


A key governor on Sunday blasted the lack of leadership in the US response to the worst ever US oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, saying decisions were being gummed up in committee.

Governor Bob Riley of Alabama said he was more frustrated with the Obama administration’s lack of coordination and unity of purpose than he was BP, the British energy giant blamed for the spill.

“You can’t have a committee making the decisions that are going to impact this entire coastal area,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

Riley, a Republican, said decisions were being stalled because each government agency represented on the “unified command” running the response has a veto on decisions advanced by other government agencies.

As an example, he said a Coast Guard plan for protecting the Alabama shoreline has been held up for 45 days because another member of the committee is reviewing it.

“You can’t continue to do that. We’re going to have to have one person who makes the call on what we do and where,” he said.

His comments came just days before President Barack Obama makes another trip to the region to review progress in containing the spill, which has affected the shorelines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

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