White House summons BP officials

June 11, 2010 at 9:53 AM

WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- The White House summoned top officials from British petroleum giant BP to Washington to answer questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. President Barack Obama has grown increasingly frustrated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as oil seeps into the volatile marshlands in the U.S. South. Fishing and tourism in the area is significantly affected by the environmental disaster, state and local officials say.

U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, national incident commander for the Deepwater Horizon response, in a letter to Carl-Henric Svanberg, board chairman for BP, summoned top executives to Washington.

Allen in his letter said White House officials would like to discuss the "profound" impact the oil spill is having on communities in the region.

"As part of our ongoing communication, I request that you and any appropriate officials from BP, meet with senior administration officials on Wednesday to discuss these timely issues," the letter read.

Allen said Obama would take part in the meeting. Obama, the Coast Guard admiral said, is "not going to rest or be satisfied" until the leak is stopped, the mess is cleaned up and life returns to normal in the affected region.

BP in its latest update on the Deepwater Horizon response said it released $25 million in grants each to Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

The grants follow a batch of $25 million block grants handed out in May.

"Working in partnership with the state is important to an effective spill response," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer.

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