Adm. Thad Allen, the former Coast Guard head who has been appointed the “incident commander” for the oil spill, says he has put out an order to allow the media “uninhibited access” to oil spill sites.
Adm. Allen also told the media Sunday that he expects the oil spill fight to continue into the fall.
Confronted by ABC’s Jake Tapper over claims made by numerous news organizations that BP and the Coast Guard have been working to keep reporters away from coastlines affected by the spill, Allen said media would have access in all cases except where there is a “security or safety problem.”
TAPPER: Lastly, I saw firsthand when I was down in Louisiana over the weekend, all the workers there, whether they work for the governor or for BP or for private contractors who work for BP, they’ve all been told not to talk to the press, not to talk to the public about their work. Shouldn’t they be allowed to share with the public the work that they’re doing?
ALLEN: I put out a written directive and I can provide it for the record that says the media will have uninhibited access anywhere we’re doing operations, except for two things, if it’s a security or safety problem. That is my policy. I’m the national incident commander.
TAPPER: Well, I can tell you firsthand people are not — people are not following that.
ALLEN: You take … the information and you tell me where it’s at, and we’ll get the word to them.
Allen made the rounds on the Sunday TV talk show circuit, telling CNN’s Candy Crowley that the spill is “an insidious enemy that’s attacking all of our shores. It’s holding the Gulf at hostage, basically.”
On CBS, Allen talked about the “long-term campaign” to fight the spill that will likely last into the fall.
This video is from CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast June 6, 2010.