Nelson thinks Pentagon should step in on cleanup of BP oil disaster

06/10/10 Seán Kinane
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Florida’s senior Senator Bill Nelson is calling for the command and control structure of the Pentagon to help coordinate the cleanup of the Gulf

“Just know that you’ve got some folks in Florida who are mad as wet hens right now. We’ve got to get this command and control straightened out where communication is going to everybody at the local level.”

Nelson made those remarks this morning during the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Oversight Subcommittee, which is determining the effects of the oil disaster on Gulf States, coastal cities and private companies. One reason Floridians are mad, Nelson says, is because the state was not notified by the unified command about incoming oil.

The Democrat warns that the oil could spread beyond the Panhandle to the Keys and the east coast of the state.

Nelson wrote a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano complaining about reports of journalists being denied access to sites contaminated by oil. Nelson reminded Napolitano that Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen has issued directive allowing reporters uninhibited access to anywhere they are doing operations unless there are safety or security problems.

Sen. Bill Nelson's letter to Janet Napolitano

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