Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has joined the other four attorneys general in states along the Gulf Coast in sending letters to the principal parties involved in the Deepwater Horizon well explosion and ensuing gulf oil spill. The AGs — Troy King of Alabama, Bill McCollum of Florida, Mississippi’s Jim Hood, Texas AG Greg Abbott and Caldwell — signed letters to Transocean, the rig’s operator, British Petroleum, which leased the rig, and Halliburton/Cameron International, a services provider. The three letters ask each company to “memorialize any commitment it has made to fund the clean-up and recovery effort,” i.e., put it in writing, as well as to preserve documentation related to the rig’s operation, the explosion and response.
Each letter begins with the preamble:
As the Attorneys General for the five Gulf Coast states, we write concerning the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that threatens our coasts and shared natural resources — as well as the livelihood of our coastal citizens and communities.
In the wake of the tragic loss of human life that has already occurred, our top concern now must be the well-being of the precious environmental and wildlife resources of our states. Protecting the fragile coastal ecologies and economies is critical to preserving the ongoing sustainability of our coastal communities. From the fisherman and shrimpers who rely directly upon the Gulf for their income, to the local businesses that are sustained by our fishing communities, and the small businesses that thrive on coastal tourism, this oil spill threatens the health and safety of our coastal communities. In addition, if the oil spill is not fully remediated, it could be an ecological and economic disaster for all of our states.
Further, in their letter to BP, the AGs warn that while they appreciate the company’s cooperation thus far, questions remain about the cause of the explosion, the environmental impact has yet to be fully understood and “there may be governmental investigations at some point in the future.”
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