Barbour downplays BP oil disaster again: “The coast is clear, come on down!” — blames media for “misperception of what is going on down here.”

Former dirty energy lobbyist joins Jindal in calls for more deepwater drilling before cause of disaster is found

On Fox News Sunday, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) continued to aggressively downplay the massive BP oil gusher, explaining that tar balls washing up on his state’s beaches are “no big deal” because you can “pick them up and throw them in the bag.”  And instead of attacking BP for causing the spill, he blamed the media for creating a “misperception” of crisis by daring to call attention to one of the worst environmental disasters in American history.  TP has the story:

BARBOUR: Well, the truth is, Chris, we have had virtually no oil. “¦ We have had a few tar balls but we have tar balls every year, as a natural product of the Gulf of Mexico. “¦ So, tar balls are no big deal. In fact, I read that Pensacola or the Florida beaches when they have tar balls yesterday didn’t even close. They just sent people out to pick them up and throw them in the bag. The biggest, the biggest negative impact for us has been the news coverage. “¦ The average viewer to this show thinks that the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle-deep in oil. “¦ So it may be hard for the viewer to understand, but the worst thing for us has been how our tourist season has been hurt by the misperception of what is going on down here. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is beautiful. As I tell people, the coast is clear. Come on down!

Barbour has consistently refused to accept the gravity of the situation in the Gulf, and blamed the media for supposedly over-hyping the disaster. He’s compared oil to tooth paste, said all the oil on Mississippi’s beaches could barely “fill up a milk jug,” and handed out gas cards to encourage tourists to “[c]ome on down here and play golf, enjoy the beach, catch a fish.” Meanwhile, dead dolphins have washed ashore on Mississippi’s beaches.

Barbour went on to suggest that President Obama was “destroying himself” by not adequately responding to the spill, but he had nothing negative to say of BP. Barbour “” who received $1.8 million from oil and gas companies for his gubernatorial campaign “” explained, “When we ask BP for something, they try to do it.” The lobbying firm Barbour founded relied highly on oil industry clients, with Barbour personally lobbying for regulation changes to the Bush White House.

Meanwhile, Obama has imposed a moratorium on deep water drilling until an investigation of the BP disaster is complete, and Barbour said today he agreed that it’s “critical for our future to find out why this happened.” But in the next breath, he came out strongly against the moratorium, and called for more drilling now:

WALLACE: The White House says until they figure out what happened, a question that you asked, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again it would be foolish to let the oil companies, including BP, drill new deepwater wells.

BARBOUR: Well, I disagree with that, because the alternative to that is we’ve shut in 33 wells, just kind of in the middle of production. Who knows if they will ever come back. And we’re going to push all the equipment away. We’re not going to have it to drill here.

Watch it:

Barbour joins a number of other Republicans in calling for more drilling before the investigation is complete. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) recently wrote a letter to the White House demanding drilling resume quickly, while Sens. David Vitter (R-LA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have also called for an end to the moratorium.

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9 Responses to Barbour downplays BP oil disaster again: “The coast is clear, come on down!” — blames media for “misperception of what is going on down here.”

  1. prokaryote says:

    BP BUCKED CANADA’S SAME SEASON RELIEF WELL POLICY — Citing Its Gulf Expertise, BP Argued Rapid Relief Well Capacity Is Needless Expense

  2. prokaryote says:

    Oil Spill: Alabama Closes Beaches Statewide PHOTOS and VIDEO

    With video on Good Morning America showing a swimmer at Pensacola Beach, Florida coming out of the water dotted with oil, neighboring states could follow Alabama’s lead at anytime.

  3. prokaryote says:

    From above article

    When condo residents started tracking oil from the sand in Orange Beach, Alabama onto the boardwalk, Sugar Beach Condominiums manager Patrick McIntosh called BP PLC and requested clean up help. Thinking BP would have a crew there in minutes, McIntosh was stunned when he was told he would have to clean it up himself because the condo is private property. McIntosh isn’t willing to risk his health or that of his employees without hazmat gear and training.

  4. mike roddy says:

    Much of my family is from Mississippi, complete with all the cliches- we called my grandmother Hon, Uncle Joe had a blue tick hound, and his dad, Big Joe, moved to Texas to become an oil wildcatter (dying broke, of course). Every house was filled with piano music, and not from the stereo.

    They weren’t racists. Hon dropped out of a ladies’ finishing school in Kentucky so she could go on the road with a mixed race jazz band, and ended up playing piano duets with Fats Waller. I loved everybody’s rhythmic accents, sense of humor, and the deep soul that you can only find in that part of the country, in all races.

    They all loved the Gulf, and would have been completely horrified at phony razorcut freaks like Trent Lott and Haley Barbour, who are descendants of the worst of the white trash slave auctioneers and traveling salesmen.

    So let’s tip our hats to the real people of Mississippi, not these creatures who show up on our TV screens- who represent the dark side that you find in every society.

  5. prokaryote says:

    Tony Hayward: ‘What We’ve Done So Far Is To Pay Every Claim’

    In fact, less than half of the claims have been paid. For the entire Gulf Coast, BP has paid 18,000 out of 37,000 claims, Darryl Willis, the BP vice president overseeing the claims process, said Sunday. BP has denied repeated requests from the state of Louisiana for access to its claims database, but did release a summary that showed the majority of claims in Louisiana, the hardest hit state, are still pending

  6. prokaryote says:

    Ground zero for oil disaster suffers double whammy from moratorium

  7. Lisa says:

    The oil disaster is also being downplayed by Obama Campaign, Inc. – from Mary Landry to Jane Lubchenco to Janet Napolitano – who all did their best to follow the BP script of minimizing the alarm by assuring a gullible public that they need not worry about any “fixation with barrels” of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico – while the government withheld information about the scale of the disaster.  But you won’t hear that from the partisan hacks at the Center for American Progress.  No, no … it’s those evil Republicans again!  (subtext: Vote for Democrats; keep us in power!)

    The volume of rhetorical fecal matter being spewed by the government/corporate partnership (i.e. fascism) of BP/Obama is surpassed only by the oil itself.

  8. prokaryote says:

    White House: BP estimates of oil leak into Gulf will no longer be trusted

    BP apparently can’t be trusted — for leak estimates, at any rate.

    The U.S. government will no longer rely on the London-based oil giant for estimates on how much oil is leaking into the gulf, the White House said Monday.

    Rather, flow rates calculated by the U.S. government will help determine penalties leveled against BP based on how much oil has been spilled, said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

    Read more:

  9. Chris Winter says:

    I’m concerned about whether the coast may be clear for defendants in upcoming lawsuits over this disaster.