Lawmakers hear from BP on oil spill latest

Bob Frier, BP vice president
Bob Frier, BP vice president

By Jim Shannon - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The oil leak in the Gulf was the topic of a marathon briefing in front of a joint legislative gathering in Baton Rouge on Wednesday. Legislators heard from state and local officials for the very latest on the spill.

The head of the National Guard to local parish presidents spoke, but when the BP official stepped up to the mic, everybody listened. The briefing outlined efforts along the coast on every aspect of the fight.

"This is a war to save our state and we're all in this together," said Sen. Joel Chassion, Senate president. "The tragedy on our coast affects every Louisianian and we all need to do our part to fight this battle."

When the vice president of BP spoke, lawmakers listened intently. Bob Frier's scripted remarks, however rhetorical, were well received.

"I would like to make one thing perfectly clear. BP will not rest until the well is under control, the oil spill is contained and we discover what happened and why," Frier said,

BP is in a public relations nightmare as the spill continues. The company is clearly using any advantage it can, even in picking out the messenger for the legislative briefing.

"However, I'd like to add a personal note. My ties to the Gulf Coast run deep. I was born and raised in Louisiana. My wife and I went to LSU. Our son is currently attending there now. I know first hand the state's beauty and the importance of its marshes and waters," Frier added.

And with all of the assurances from BP, the state's top lawyer made it quite clear where he is going on this.

"It's going to take us between $50 and 100 million to do the legal work that we need to do," said Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.

According to high-ranking state officials, BP has already retained as many as 1,200 lawyers since the spill began.

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