Isakson, Chambliss Urge Feds to Help Atlantic Coast with Oil Spill

I am told that I disappointed a volunteer by not attending a BBQ fundraiser for Senator Johnny Isakson last Saturday; I attended the GYR Convention instead. As a start to making it up to her I’m posting the following press release.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today joined 20 of their Senate colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to federal officials urging them to proactively work with coastal states along the Atlantic seaboard to ensure the states are prepared in case the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reaches the East Coast.

The text of the letter to Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is below:

Dear Admiral Allen, Secretary Napolitano, and Secretary Locke:

As United States Senators representing coastal states along the Atlantic seaboard, we are keeping close watch on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, not only so we can help the residents of that region, but also to assess whether the oil and chemical dispersants might affect the beaches and fisheries in our home states. Some widely-viewed but unofficial projections indicate that parts of the spill could get caught in the Loop Current, which would bring the oil up along the East Coast. This outcome is less than a certainty – it may even be highly unlikely. Nevertheless, we have spoken with residents in our coastal communities who are concerned about the oil and chemical dispersants, and these communities should at the very least be fully prepared for the worst case scenario.

To this end, we want the federal government to proactively work to ensure coastal states along the Atlantic seaboard are prepared and to ensure that the public and local governments are given the best science-based information about where the spill might be headed. Specifically, we have two requests:

  • We ask that the Department of Homeland Security immediately begin coordinating with all state emergency preparedness agencies along the Atlantic Coast, providing full information about how best to prepare for managing an oil spill and ensuring that these states are properly equipped for the worst-case scenario.
  • We ask that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration begin developing and disseminating official, science-based predictions about the long-term direction of the oil spill and chemical dispersants, that NOAA make frequent updates to these projections and that they be publicly available. We appreciate the current projections NOAA develops and posts on its website, but these estimates are limited to a 72-hour period. We fully understand that projecting the spill’s direction weeks or months in advance is extremely difficult, but it would be helpful to know the statistical probabilities of oil hitting various Atlantic Coast locations.

Our states’ beaches are fully open for the summer season, and at this time, the oil spill does not pose an imminent threat to them. However, the health of our shores is too important to be left to chance – not only are they natural treasures, but they are also how many families in our coastal communities earn a living. They add billions of dollars to our states’ economies, support millions of jobs and bring enjoyment to millions more families from nearby and across the nation. If there is any real risk to these communities from a spill that right now remains thousands of miles away, we need to know as soon as possible. Furthermore, our state agencies that will partner with federal agencies to protect our shores need to be fully prepared with the information and equipment needed to combat the worst case scenario. Such an effort should begin immediately. Thank you for your hard work to protect the Gulf Coast, and we look forward to collaborating with you.


Robert Menendez

Barbara Mikulski

Kirsten Gillibrand

Jim Webb

Richard Burr

Charles Schumer

Ted Kaufman

Saxby Chambliss

Scott Brown

Mark Warner

Johnny Isakson

Jeanne Shaheen

John Kerry

Sheldon Whitehouse

Tom Carper

Frank Lautenberg

Christopher Dodd

Susan Collins

Kay Hagan

Jack Reed

Olympia Snowe

Benjamin Cardin


  1. seenbetrdayz says:

    They should try stuffing the healthcare bill into the hole. That ought to stop the leak.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      But my serious reply is: We should be coordinating local plans, if we’re going to be thinking long-term at this point. Then again, given the past response times, it is probably good that they asked the Feds for help this early in the game—that is, if it does turn out to be a good thing.

  2. Yes, please master Fed, help us… we are useless without you… we have no idea how to help ourselves or hold people and companies responsible for their actions without your omnipotent and omniscient involvement. Plus, you have such a proven record of timely successes…..not!

    I’m tired, could probably do better making my point if I wasn’t… It’s amazing how the “Bi-partisan” leadership is playing the masses…. Inaction and private action prevention until the people “demand more government involvement”… just another measured power grab, sure to be followed by more regulations and intervention. Tyler, if you review Johnny’s and Saxby’s voting record over the past decade, I don’t believe the head of the RLC owes either a visit… regardless of how good the BBQ.

  3. hannah says:

    Gee, and I thought all along that the Congress, House and Senate, IS the federal government — i.e. the people in charge of directing the resources of the nation to promote the general welfare.
    Pontius Pilate would be gratified watching the son of Isak and the Saxon washing their hands of an oily mess. And doing so preemptively! Now, that’s progress!

  4. Jeremy Jones says:

    The federal government should not be involved.

    States have been getting royalty checks from the oil companies for the right to extract the natural resources. The monies from those royalties is what should be used to pay for the clean up. (assuming BP is unable to pay the entire bill, which they are certainly the primary responsibility) If the spill affects states other than those that receive royalties, then those states should seek re-payment from the other state. Why should residents of Iowa pay for a oil spill in LA or GA? Just as, why should GA pay for a spill in Alaska?

    Thanks Saxby and Johnny for once again showing your true colors.

    Now, I understand the royalty money is long spent before it ever arrives. Well, the financial mismanagement of one state should not (though I know it does) affect another.

  5. Game Fan says:

    Of course GF isn’t a big fan of “central authority” and is quick to criticize the bungling efforts of the past (Katrina for example) but, considering the ostensible power that currently exists within the executive branch, a real leader would be on these disasters right away. I’m talking about “situation rooms” and “blue ribbon commissions” ect… Along with some type of demonstration from day one that they actually comprehend the level of the disaster. Instead we have the US Coast guard playing second fiddle to BP. And as a POPULIST it ain’t a big stretch to compare the way the politicians operate as not being too different from how the corporate executives work. And when they get together all you have is a bunch of “coat and ties” without any real vision, or mechanical aptitude or comprehension of the real world. No, nothing resonates for these cats except poll numbers and shareholder value.

  6. Game Fan says:

    The Top Kill method was started and suspended several times. It was being attempted only half heartedly. The reason is, there is no money to be made with a solution that simple.

    The real money is in the use of dispersants.

    There is a company called NALCO. They make water purification systems and chemical dispersants.

    NALCO is based in Chicago with subsidiaries in Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia.

    NALCO is associated with UChicago Argonne program. UChicago Argonne received $164 million dollars in stimulus funds this past year. UChicago Argonne just added two new executives to their roster. One from NALCO. The other from the Ill. Dept of Educaution.

    If you dig a little deeper you will find NALCO is also associated with Warren Buffett, Maurice Strong, Al Gore, Soros, Apollo, Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Hathaway Berkshire.

  7. Game Fan says:

    In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here’s a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation’s capital. And Chicago.

    We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama’s 2007-08 campaign.

    Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer.

  8. Game Fan says:

    One reason Obama doesn’t challenge BP is because he’s on their payroll. The news agency Reuters explains: “During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.” (May 5, 2010).

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