Crist meets with BP in St Pete on oil disaster

05/12/10 Seán Kinane
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Gov. Charlie Crist has asked BP for more than thirty-four million dollars so the state can cover the costs of a marketing blitz to convince visitors the state’s beaches are still clean.

Crist met with representatives from BP, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies at the St. Petersburg unified command center this afternoon. But Crist says BP has not responded to his request to fund the VISIT FLORIDA PR campaign.

The governor does not mince words when talking about the serious disaster, which he called an “oil volcano.”

Keith Seilhan, the incident commander for BP at the St. Petersburg unified command center, insists the West Coast of Florida is “not in imminent danger.” But in other parts of the Gulf, Seilhan says, several fronts are being used to protect the shoreline from oil.

Coast Guard Capt. Tim Close says the bulk of the oil slick is still 60 miles north of the Gulf Loop Current that would drag it to the Florida Keys and the east coast of the state. So in the immediate future, Florida won’t see effects like Louisiana has seen.

After the meeting, Crist told a group of a dozen people holding signs against oil drilling that he would include an environmentalist on a statewide oil spill task force.

More WMNF coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill:

BP's track record on safety and are the chemical dispersants harmful to the environment?

Coast Guard holds secret meeting with environmental groups

Seabird sanctuary prepares for oil slick disaster in Tampa Bay

Castor says BP thinks oil leak could be up to 60 thousand barrels per day

Behind “Drill, Baby, Drill”

Officials give rosy view on oil spill recovery efforts

Sen Bill Nelson wants pause in exploration until cause of oil spill determined

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