Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry weighed in on the Gulf oil spill today, telling reporters that he had “full confidence” in British Petroleum, the owner of the drill, which has come under scathing criticism from some Democratic lawmakers.
“I have full confidence that BP is doing everything they can,” to get the well under control, said Perry. A surprised reporter then asked Perry about BP’s handling of the 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery which killed 15 people – and which is still the subject of litigation. The Texas governor praised BP’s record since that accident to the Gulf spill.
“They’ve got a bull’s eye on their back,” said Perry of BP.Perry said that the spill would not impact the Texas Coast.
During the jobs summit session, Perry repeatedly suggested that the spill was “an act of God” which he hoped would not lead to a “knee jerk” reaction against offshore drilling. “I have concerns about the public being misled,” he said, of calls to stop new or existing offshore drilling.
Asked if he had any reason to describe the spill as “an act of God,” Perry said at the impromptu press conference that the spill has to be investigated because “we don’t know.”
“I suspect there was a mechanical failure somewhere.” Perry said he had spoken yesterday with Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens who gave him a lengthy explanation of what may have happened related to a mechanical failure.
Perry, who as a Gulf Coast governor has been on conference calls with top Obama Administration officials, declined to give the administration a grade on its handling of the spill. “This is a long way from being over with,” he said.
However, he added, “There has been a good flow of information.”
Perry has most recently made his political reputation on his anti-Washington rhetoric but Monday he said, “I’m not an anti-government guy. I just want government to work.”