June 23, 2010
ORANGE BEACH, Ala.---BP now has a new man in charge of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and the White House is trying to overturn a federal judge's ruling that would allow deepwater drilling to resume.
Crews hit Orange Beach early today to clean up the brown sheen coloring the white sand. Alabama resident Nancy Ripley says it's sad to see their summer getaway under assault.
"With the red flags, you associate the red flags with storms coming," Ripley said. "But they don't want you to get in it because of the oil."
Today BP managing director Bob Dudley officially took the reins as the company's point man for the spill. He says he's committed to making sure BP responds quickly.
"My own personal priority is to listen," he said. "Listen to people of the Gulf Coast, the claim centers, the officials, to make sure we can move resources and make sure we can get them there as fast as we can."
Right now Gulf Coast residents are calling the BP claims process slow and frustrating.
"It makes you feel like you're going to get welfare or food stamps, you know," said Louisiana shrimp dealer Dean Blanchard. "They don't have no respect for you. They tell you one thing and do another."
While the rest of the summer looks bleak for fishermen and those who need a crowd at the beach to make a living, thousands of workers with jobs connected to deepwater drilling may start collecting their paychecks again. A federal judge struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf.
"I think everyone will be cautious to see how quickly we can get back to work," said Hornbeck Offshore CEO Todd Hornbeck.
The White House is appealing the decision, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to issue a new ban.
BP isn't saying if it will resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf. The company wants to focus on the explosion investigation first.