DUTCHTOWN — U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy said Tuesday that the federal government failed to be proactive in preparing in advance for the risks of a major deepwater oil well blowout and that he is frustrated with the federal response to combat the Gulf of Mexico spill. The Baton Rouge Republican also said the runaway gusher a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf is the result of a series of human and mechanical failures on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the hours before it exploded April 20, killing 11.
British Petroleum leased the Deepwater Horizon rig that drilled the deep water oil well that has spewed between 20 million and 43 million gallons of oil into the Gulf so far.
Cassidy told about 50 constituents, officials and others at a town hall meeting that the federal government should have known in advance the effects of oil in deep water, what dispersants should be used to break up a spill and what is the most-efficient way to clean up leaking and spilled oil. Cassidy cited a 2002 symposium of LSU and other experts that concluded that oil’s effects in the Gulf’s deep waters need to be studied, but none was ever conducted.