Friday, June 11, 2010- Peter Flaherty, President of the National Legal and Policy Center, is interviewed by Sally Kidd of Hearst TV on the BP oil spill. Hearst TV provides news reports to 30 broadcast TV stations. Here’s a transcript:
Stefan Holt: Everybody welcome back to WPBF 25 news, I’m Stefan Holt.
Angela Rozier: And I am Angela Rozier. Continuing coverage of the oil spill now with a live look at the leaking well, tonight after new estimates from the government. Scientists are warning of greater harm to the Gulf regions wildlife. They said, oil, twice as much as had been thought is likely to travel longer distances.
Stefan Holt: Tonight the government admits that it is hard to nail down just exactly just how much oil has been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says there is still hope that the spill will be contained. Sally Kidd continues our coverage tonight from Washington.
Sally Kidd: Stefan, BP says there is no accurate way to measure this spill. While this is the third time the federal government has boosted its estimate and it may not be the last.
Sally Kidd (voice over): When it comes to numbers…
Admiral Thad Allen: Twelve hundred Coast Guardsmen, fourteen hundred National Guardsmen…
Sally Kidd (voice over): …there is only so much the federal government or BP can say with certainty.
Admiral Thad Allen: Twenty one thousand contractors…
Sally Kidd (voice over): Reliable numbers are much harder to come by when asking how much oil is spewing into the Gulf.
Admiral Thad Allen: I think that we are still dealing with the flow estimate and we are still trying to refine those numbers.
Sally Kidd (voice over): The US Geological Survey now says the ruptured well was gushing about forty thousand barrels or from one to two million gallons a day. That is much higher than previously reported, but in line with what independent scientists said weeks ago.
Senator Ben Cardin: I think that the estimates are critically important to know. I don’t think this issue has been handled the way it should have been by BP.
Sally Kidd (voice over): A Senate delegation toured the region, Friday.
Senator Barbara Mikulski: This is their summer time season. Their boat is in dock and their in hock.
Sally Kidd (voice over): Meantime on Capitol Hill, Democratic leaders called on BP to suspend dividend payments to investors.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: They should not be paying dividends until they make these people whole.
Sally Kidd (voice over): But not everyone agrees.
Peter Flaherty: Nancy Pelosi does not know what she is talking about. BP has the ability to cover all claims. They have said they will and they have an obligation to their shareholders to pay the dividend.
Sally Kidd (voice over): The company, which earned seventeen billion in profits last year says it is considering its options.
Sally Kidd: Next week President Obama is scheduled to meet with BP’s Chairman for the first time. In Washington Sally Kidd, WPBF 25, Stefan.
Stefan Holt: All right Sally, Thank you. END TRANSCRIPT