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June 16th, 2010
09:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Birds in Danger, BP Executives at the White House

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/11/mizejewski.why.save.birds/t1larg.oil.spill.pelicans.afpgi.jpg caption="Brown pelicans are kept in a holding pen for cleaning at the Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Buras, La." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, Anderson will be reporting from Fort Jackson Oiled Bird Rehabilitation Center in Buras, Louisiana, where birds caught in the Gulf spill are brought to be cleaned. He'll give you an up close look at the operation.

There's a lot more to cover tonight. President Obama met with BP executives at the White House today where the oil company pledged to set up an independently managed $20 billion escrow account to cover economic damages connected to the spill. We’ll dig deeper on that development.

There's also the comment made by BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to reporters after the White House meeting.

"He (Obama) is frustrated, because he cares about the small people. And we care about the small people. I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don't care, but that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people," Svanberg said.

Small people?

Just moments ago, we got this statement from Svanberg:

"I spoke clumsily this afternoon, and for that, I am very sorry. What I was trying to say - that BP understands how deeply this affects the lives of people who live along the Gulf and depend on it for their livelihood - will best be conveyed not by any words but by the work we do to put things right for the families and businesses who've been hurt. Like President Obama, I believe we made some good progress toward that goal today."

Once again, a BP official has had to apologize for a poor choice of words. Previously that dishonor fell to BP CEO Tony Hayward who took heat for saying, "I'd like my life back" and the amount of oil lost is "relatively tiny" compared with the "very big ocean."

Hayward will be in the hot seat again tomorrow when he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

We've obtained a transcript of his planned remarks. It shows BP still doesn't know if its efforts to stop the leak will work.

"We cannot guarantee the outcome of these operations, but we are working around the clock with the best experts from government and industry," Hayward says in prepared testimony to be delivered tomorrow.

We'll have more details on Hayward's testimony on the program. Anderson will talk with Sen. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, who is the chairman of the committee Hayward will face tomorrow. We'll ask Markey what he wants to hear from Hayward. For weeks, Markey has pressed BP to be more transparent.

"What has been clear the whole time is that BP has been more concern about its own bottom line then it has to what has been going on the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf," Markey said earlier today on Capitol Hill.

Hayward will be added to our list of the "Culprits of the Catastrophe" tonight on 360°. All this week we're naming names and holding them accountable.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. judy Best

    i was just watching the piece Rob Marciano did on releasing the "degreased" Brown Pelicans from the gulf....that was one of the coolest things i've seen in a while...very moving...!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  2. Jill

    Anderson, I was very pleased that you did a follow-up story on the rehabilitation of the pelicans tonight. Even the smallest creatures, such as the pelicans, require our care and attention during a crisis. You promised not to leave the Gulf, and you'be kept the cameras rolling long after others have lost interest. Anderson Cooper, you are a man of your word, which is indeed rare during these troubled times. Hats off to you and the rest of the 360 crew for all the work that you do; great job everyone!

    June 19, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  3. Michael L

    I say to heck with bp, an our administration. All us americans who care, get our boats and our butts down there,and at least save the wildlife,its obvious they are keeping us away so it gets worse.The best idea i think is put bp top people,our fed gov[involved in the permits issued to bp} and Obama, on a boat in the slick,and they cant come off till the holesz plugged,maybe that would work, you cant put a price on animal,oceans,land,and peoples life,but all you hear are cost,screw the cost,look at whats at stake,its pricless,when will they wake up to that,and start doing the right thing,when?..

    June 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  4. Nancy L Bernstein

    hi anderson how 'bout we get the fishing trollers to drag nets on top of water (of the gulf) like skimming a pool .they have the heavy equipment for tonage weight and drop it into a shipment container to be filtered to recycle. the shrimpers and fisherman get help out and be working for salary as well(from the money alloted to the people by obama) Just a thought

    June 17, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  5. Corey

    What's happening in the Gulf is heartbreaking, but I think AC went a little overboard against on the "Small People" comment.

    June 17, 2010 at 7:19 am |
  6. Gordon Miller

    Congrats to everyone involved in CNN's excellent coverage of the oil catastrophe response fiasco.

    BP's leaders and President Obama both are saying things that would be hilarious as a comedy parady, if they were not so tragically true.

    I thought the BP top guy was making a nice statement until he got to the "little people" part. A comedy writer couldn't have scripted a more telling spoof showing BP's attitude.

    And for our President to brag about how great his administration is handling this situation is an even sadder laugh,.

    The Paquemine Parish president is the only official I have seen on tv talking any sense about this situation since it started.

    Keep on keepin' 'em honest, Anderson Cooper and everybody else at CNN! Too bad our President apparently isn't watching your coverage to understand how idiotic the federal response to this disaster has been.

    June 17, 2010 at 2:52 am |
  7. Mark

    Any fines that are levied by the government against BP for this catastrophe should be immediately sent to the affected areas for rehabilitation of the wetlands, marshes, and the habitat! Every penny!

    June 17, 2010 at 2:22 am |
  8. carmen

    i find it personally inconceivable that all these louisiana politicians and the newsweek "contributor" Ms. reed that was on tonight, are so up-in-arms about the drilling moretorium. It's as if they are unaware how the oil got out there. it's from drilling for oil! specifically "deep water drilling. it's very hard to plug any blowout,yet one at this depth has never been tried before. she was so worried about the oil jobs. what about the fisherman. how about their jobs. nobody wants to face the fact that fishing/recreation and oil production don't mix. i'm for saving the fisheries and the marshlands and put a permanent moretorium on oil production. i'm sick of hearing from these people like reed that say we will never be able to use renewable energy and replace oil production. so lets not even get started. we have been wasting time listening to this dribble while the technology exists. China is doing it. 47% of our oil consumption comes from personal use of cars and trucks. we have technology now for electric cars and it's getting more efficient all the time. when you need to replace your car get a hybrid, or one of the electric cars like those that will be out in the next year. this deep water drilling is in the early stages. when one of these wells blowout it will go for months just like this one. the more wells the greater the chance of a blowout. i'd rather have unemployed oil workers than no fisheries and vast areas of dead ocean. i can do without hearing from people like reed unless we can also hear from someone that is knowlegeable of the dangers of deep water drilling.

    June 17, 2010 at 2:12 am |
  9. Dan P

    If I could I would be in the gulf trying to help in any way I could. I am so tired of our government having hearings and just telling people from BP they should resign. The damage is done why are they not having hearing to try to solve the problem they can play the blame game after.
    I am an American and i want my congress I want my President and I want my Senators to look for fixes right now. I don't care if someone mispoke I want this ended I want the people of the gulf to have there life back. It is sickining to see that who is at blame is more important then fix this problam for this country.................The whole world knows who is at fault so stop dweliing on just that.
    It is time our Congress, State Senators and the white house get off there ass and look to others who have ideas to fix this problem because they sure dont.. The people in the gulf are at least trying to do something so get out of there way it is more then you are trying to do.

    June 17, 2010 at 2:11 am |
  10. Mike

    Hi Anderson> Well as usual BP keeps putting their foot in their mouth and has to keep apologizing! But their appologies are another cover up of how they really feel. Keep the heat on those criminals. And get down to the contradiction of why the President Obama has not put enough skimmers in service to keep oil off the marshes? He keeps
    claiming he is doing all he can do. I don't think so and Billy Nungressor can testify to that!! Why is Thad Allen harassing them when they try to clean up the oil with wet vacs? Putting Red tape in the way is not helping the people there. Thad Allen and The President need to be confronted on that!!! I think Billy Nungresser has a good idea that instead of spraying poision to make the oil go deeper they ought to stop sprayinbg it so that they can see it on top. They are trying to hide it, but it is still there!! Hey that's called a cover up!! Trying to hide the evidence!!!

    June 17, 2010 at 12:23 am |
  11. katherine

    Anderson, if you don't stay on this story, most people in the world will believe all the lies that continue to be told to the public on the biggest disaster the United States has ever faced. Did it strike you as odd the the President referred to the Gulf Coast as "our friends" repeatedly? We're not his "friends". We are all Americans but I sure don't feel like his "friend". This is not just a US problem, this is economic disaster for us and the rest of the world. Sad sad saddened Thanks for staying on the tough stories.

    June 17, 2010 at 12:12 am |
  12. Marlena

    WAIT! Is our own coast guard working with BP, or are they working for us, USA? I agree with Mr. Billy N. about examining extractors on the fly, we have NO time to sit around and wait for approval. Every asset needs to be put into play NOW not latter every second counts. The Brown Pelicans can't wait for approved methods of oil extraction the rookery is being lost as we stand around on breaks because of the heat. Also the Chairman may have misspoke when he called Americans "small people" but NO American is a small person.
    Is the use of this corexit going to make this crude oil unrefinable? It makes the crude sink below the surface so that the booms can't stop it from reaching shore.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Lila Tidwell

    Anderson nailed it! Even if the language barrier was the problem for the BP chairman when he referred to "small" people, the human side of this catastrophe needs to be continued to be focused on. All Amereicqns need to organize themselves to try to improve the situations of the people on the Gulf Coast. Obviously, BP and the government are not going to fix this thing. We need to band together as if this were something like WW II. We all need to send money and visit the Coast. Also, where are the celebrities? They quickly raised millions for the Haitians. Let's keep doing that but also take care of our own. Thank you, Anderson. You are a great American. And that is coming from a right-wing conservative. CNN is proving it is not a biased source of news.

    June 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  14. Diane

    Is there another group(s) helping dolphins, smaller birds, etc.? Great story on helping pelicans.
    I also have not heard how much BP is paying the 11 families?

    Just so unreal, get with it government and BP get more equipment, military in there, get with it please

    June 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  15. Terry Houle

    Draft Lt General Honore' for World War 3 in the Gulf oil spill. Current efforts are not good, or fast, enough.

    Terry Houle
    Bloomington, Mn

    June 16, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  16. greg garmon

    anderson u made a impression on me to be a viewer because u had a lady on tonight that told the real truth and i loved what she had to say about the whole situation on spill, u have made a regular viewer out of me, honesty, the best policy!

    June 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  17. Amberlee

    I am watching this catastrophy unfold on CNN from British Columbia, Canada. I have had sleepless nights thinking about the damage to the planet and the bio-diversity. I am also thinking of the people that have faced so much disaster. I think that this is going to affect the world far beyond the shores, I know that it will affect how my family and I take care of our piece of the planet...and how we look at big business

    June 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  18. tami

    Why are 'we the people' relying on the government to to do anything to help when history tells us another story?

    Katrina was a 'National disgrace' – slow responses and inability to coordinate its efforts with local and federal agencies, relief organizations, etc.... Sound familiar?

    I don't care what Obama says... I want to see what he is gonna do.

    June 16, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  19. Deb Beckham

    The "small people" comment showed the complete lack of respect Svanberg has for the human race. He set himself on a royal loft, and you can be sure the apology came only after the PR people advised him. I have so much empathy for the people, whose lives are being destroyed, by man's designs gone wrong. No matter how much money is pumped into them, they will never be the same. It will be worse when the oil is stopped, and cleaned up. When the workers are gone, the beaches cleaned, and reporters move on to the next story, these people will be left utterly alone. Each will spend the rest of their days, wondering why and forever wishing they could have their "old" life back. It will be hardest for the teenagers, they will live with this the longest, and it is their futures over the next ten plus years that has been destroyed. What will happen to them, will be as heartbreaking as the images oil soaked birds. I was 19 years old when the medicine my doctor said would "make my life better" caused me to have a massive stroke. That was 38 years ago, so I know what having your life & future destroyed is like.

    June 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  20. Colleen Black

    How dare Carl-Henric Svanberg of BP call the residents of the Gulf Coast "small people"..EXCUSE ME..Who the hell do you think you are? You might refer to people where you come from "small people" but Mr.Svanberg, don't you DARE stand on AMERICAN SOIL and call our residents "small people". It is people like you who look down their noses at those who have made you billions...You need to take your care less attitude and go home...

    June 16, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
  21. Annie Kate

    I think the remark about "small people" was an innocent statement from a man whose first language is not English and who was doing the best he could in an off the cuff remark to say that he and the others at BP cared about what happened to the people of the Gulf. People just seem to look for things to be insulted about these days and do not make allowances for things like this. The press blowing this up into a big furor does not help the situation and may indeed worsen the working relationship that needs to be maintained with BP until this spill is capped and cleaned up.

    I was glad Obama got BP to agree to the escrow account; hopefully the money the Gulf residents need to get by until they can work again will be easier to obtain now. I am looking forward to the report on the bird rehabilitation center; I have wondered where the wildlife was being taken and how they were being treated since this began. Thanks for this report!

    June 16, 2010 at 9:14 pm |

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