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Public Pans Obama's Response to Oil Spill, But Gives Worse Marks to BP

4 years ago
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A majority of Americans give negative marks to President Obama and the federal government for the handling of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill and they are even far more critical of the response of the oil giant BP which leased the oil rig that drilled the deepwater well.

Fifty-three percent of Americans rate Obama's performance as poor or very poor while 43 percent consider it good or very good, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted May 24-25. Sixty percent say the federal government has done a poor or very poor job while 35 percent rate it good or very good.

A CBS News poll conducted May 20-24 also found public displeasure with Obama's handling of the disaster, with 45 percent disapproving compared to 35 percent who approved, with 20 percent undecided.

BP takes a harder hit with 73 percent in the Gallup poll describing its response as poor or very poor, while 24 percent say it has been good or very good. In the CBS survey, 70 percent disapproved of BP's response compared to 18 percent who disapproved, with 12 percent undecided. Recent news reports have contained a number of disclosures about missed warning signs about problems with the well or procedures that increased the risk of a problem.

Gulf oil spillThe snapshot of public opinion on the issue comes as the political fencing over the response to the spill has intensified and frustrations have grown about the failure to get the well capped since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig last month..

Some critics have said that the Obama administration has left too much of the on-the-ground response to BP rather than having the government take more control, and there has been much finger-pointing about how much the Bush versus the Obama administration is to blame for the alleged failure of the Minerals Management Service to aggressively oversee offshore drilling projects and for reports that its officials were too cozy with their industry counterparts.

Obama, who will travel to the Louisiana coast on Friday, plans to announce at a press conference Thursday that he will impose a six-month ban on drilling new deepwater wells and cancel plans for exploration of some offshore sites.

On the issue of who is in charge of efforts to contain the spill and prevent environmental damage, 68 percent in the USA Today/Gallup poll come down on the side that the operations should be in the hands of the oil company while 28 percent want the federal government to lead the response.

Thirty-seven percent believe the spill will turn out to be the worst environmental disaster in 100 years while another 35 percent label it a disaster, but not the worst in 100 years. Twenty-three percent label it a major problem rather than a disaster and 3 percent say it is a minor problem.

Forty-seven percent of Americans are following the story very closely, which puts it near the bottom of the list of other major events of the last 10 years. The stories that commanded the most attention in that period were, in order, the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq war. Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana and the sniper shootings in and around Washington, D.C.

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79 Comments

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kiana1524

they have tryed every thing, but they should dig were its coming out allaround weres its flowing from. they put a big heavy acrilic type pipe over it till they get to the serface . and then put thoses big yellow oil stoper bags around it and as they fill up have a barge atop to suck up all they oil into another boat, so it doesnt spread over the gulf keep it in a one area and that way they keep it contained till they can fix it , im sure they can put pipes like the water ones that are the big heavy plastic ones over it until it reaches the top were they block the spill with the yellow things then suck it up in another boat, just a thought nothing elses has worked for them , thank you

June 01 2010 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Naomi

I wonder since all that oil is coming up from below the ocean floor. what will happen with the void it leaves as the oil gushes out? is there a vein that is running say....under a populated area? has anyone thought of this? and you might say...well, it is over 50 miles out to sea, but even that isn't far away enough to prevent damage that is being caused to beaches, birds and sealife right now.

May 31 2010 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Burt

I have been thinking that the military , specifically the Navy and the Army Corps of Engineers should be placed in charge of the effort to cap the well and clean up the spill, and that this effort should be fully funded by BP, with any necessary equipment and resources that the military does not already posess or have adaptable for the mission being provided by or purchased by BP , regardless of its cost. BP should step out of the way and allow dedicated men to fight this battle( and thats what it truly is) who posess plenty of expertise in their own right. The crux of this problem is that we don't have people involved in this effort who really have service to the American people and to the people of other nations at heart. As an Army veteran who served in Iraq, I can say that it is the charictar of the vast majority of soldiers that they would be willing to give their lives in order to stop such a disaster from affecting this country and our neighbors on such a massive scale, as surely as they would ,and have, given their lives for a few of their battle buddies. Indeed, people could very well die in the long term as a result of health problems caused by this disaster, and they need heroes right now to save them. At a time like this, when the enviroment, economy, and public health of this nation is being threatened, one does not turn to oil company scientists , engineers, and executives. This is a time for heroes in the service of the American people to be given the mission and the power to act.

May 31 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melissa

I wanna know why BP didn't have a "plan B", accidents like this are bound to happen. All of these oil companies should already have a what if plan...

May 31 2010 at 5:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
teensiepassmore

First I would like to know why Water Management for each state is not in charge of any of these issues regarding the wetlands (or did BP) buy land in the event of oil leakage and spills? There are mitigation suits regarding the wetlands trees, wildlife, water, etc. I know this first hand with a case I was involved in where someone dug 35 feet into the wetlands! I also want to know why there is no moritorium placed on BP free gas for everyone or no gas at all.....!! This is getting into all the water supply whether any government official wants to admit or not and it has effects on every person in this country. Wells, Rivers, Oceans, landfills, wetlands, runoffs for industrial businesses that are allowed to go privately and build it next to your home (ie Imeson City of Jax did next to me and only allowed to dig 25ft dug 75 ft destoryed my property and dumped right into the Broward River which goes into the Ocean) So here again is a small example of government getting away with corporate america and each and everyone of us suffers and the justice system doesn't work for the little people or the real people it only works for those who have the most money who can get away with the most damage control around them to hide the truth. Well, when will the truth be told? This should have never happened and with the hurricanes coming it is only going to get worse and they can fix this they only want to get to their physical original desitination and are being allowed too... no matter what I can not believe no one can't stop this leak GET REAL. When the lawsuits start and the attorneys start making all the money and the people get sick..maybe this is just an act of terrorism? Maybe an act of genocide? Two many Admirals and not enough Corporals...

May 30 2010 at 11:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
byjack007

It is clear that President Obama\'s hands are tied, as are those of ANY American President when our BIRTHRIGHT was given away or sold in the last 20 years, for a philosophy of \'Drill baby Drill\'...our country, and our future, and our childrens future was EQUALLY sentenced... to a philosophy of....SPILL BABY SPILL....

May 27 2010 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ddscorp1

On a serious note... Hey all you \"GO Green\" heads... You are totally clueless! Take this FACT into consideration... ALL of the Wind Turbines combined with all the Solar panels in the whole United States of America don\'t produce the power of ONE, yes that is just ONE coal mine.... You sheep are just to easy!

May 27 2010 at 3:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ddscorp1's comment
HAHAHAHA

That\'s a very interesting fact, if true. If you could, please list where you found this. I would love to read up on it.

May 27 2010 at 4:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
punnster

I am astounded that those \"EXPERTS\" didn\'t find a way to contain more of the oil at the site. I\'m inclined to think their first concern was to spend as little money ads possible.

May 27 2010 at 3:03 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
WD Simmons

Katrina was about people who did not have a lot of alternative. As bad as this is you won\'t ever hear the wildlife being referred to as refugees in their own country. We never have to put our waterways in this must danger. Katrina didn\'t give us a whole lot of choices. Although it doesn\'t happen alot \'drill baby drill\' can always become \'spill baby spill\'. How many time is okay?

May 27 2010 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WD Simmons

I have no issue with Obama other than being more of a presence. He was there three weeks ago and technology wise there is really not much else that he can do. The Katrina comparisons are unwarranted. Everyone knew that Katrina was comming and nothing was done to prepare for it. The restricitons that was eased on the oild companies came courtesy of VP Dick Cheney. There is always enough blame to go around. Rand Paul said \'accidents happen\'. Now Sarah Palin is supposed to be GOP expert yet she\'s has nothing to say. It\'s funny how everyone wants less government until something big happens.

May 27 2010 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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