U.S.: 'We're going to keep cleaning it up'

Aug. 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The head of the U.S. response to the gulf oil disaster said Sunday the government's role won't be reduced now that the oil has stopped gushing.

But retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," said the response to the massive oil spill is moving to a "different phase."

"Obviously, we're delighted there is not going to be a source for the oil," Allen said. "But if you're in Barataria Bay or the Chandeleur Islands (in Louisiana) or the Mississippi Sound or see the oil coming into shore on the beaches of Alabama and Florida, what you need to understand is we're going to keep cleaning it up.

"We've got a commitment to be there. BP is responsible. We are going to hold them accountable."

He said "the largest environmental response in the history of this nation" will "continue until the cleanup's done."

Asked his impression of Bob Dudley, the next BP chief executive officer, Allen responded: "Well, you know, I don't hardly have an interview where they don't raise the words 'trust' and 'BP' in the same sentence. And what I tell everybody is that this is more of a requirement to cooperate, collaborate.

"We all have to be working on the same mission. We have to achieve the effects we're trying to achieve for the American people."

Allen said he would decide whether to remain national incident commander for the response based on the progress of cleanup and added if he retires, a federal official would continue serving in the oversight job.

BP said on its Web site Sunday a test on cement to plug the well had succeeded.

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