DODD: How many of these wells, uh, rigs out there don’t have the kind of protection that would have stopped, uh, this, uh, gushing to occur. I’m just sort of stunned that we’re … just overwhelmed by this. This is beyond a disaster of an oil spill. It’s a … Bob Herbert, I think, wrote a piece in the New York Times and said this is really just a failure of a system to accommodate this kind of a disaster. So I’m literally overwhelmed by it, as most Americans are, and find it stunning. The economies of Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and possibly Texas — the coastline — are going to be devastated by this for years to come.
IMUS: Well, it’s specifically a failure of leadership of the President, Obama, and the Administration, wouldn’t you agree?
DODD: Well, you know, they come into office a year ago with all of this. And so, after the last eight years …
IMUS: Come on.
DODD: It was ‘drill, drill, drill.’ I think you were quoting ‘Drill, drill, drill’ a few months ago, weren’t you, with Sarah Palin, the two of you?
IMUS: No. I wasn’t saying … and don’t try to lump me with Sarah Palin. And don’t use that lame excuse with me about the Bush administration. Have you lost your mind?
DODD: No, not at all.
IMUS: The President has been in office for a year-and-a-half, and they’ve been dragging their feet, and even people like James Carville said that his behavior has been, at the very best, lackadaisical and naive. And you’re still going to try to blame Bush?
DODD: Calm down, now. [Crosstalk.]
IMUS: Come on, you’ve got to do better than that, Senator.
DODD: Well, … lookit, it’s new and this goes out over a long period of time and to lay it at Obama’s doorstep in light of years and years of regulatory permissiveness when it comes to these kinds of operations occurring. It didn’t occur in the last year-and-a-half. You can’t lay this at Obama’s doorstep. [Crosstalk.]
IMUS: I’m laying the blame for the response to this BP oil spill disaster at the feet of the present Administration. He’s in office. He’s the President. Who’s responsible?
DODD: Well, all right, he’s certainly trying to do something but I’ve yet to hear anyone come up with the answer “What do you do about it?” Obviously they never should have been given permission to have a rig down there without the kind of a cap or whatever you call it that closes off these lines when a disaster like this occurs. Now that goes back years. That rig wasn’t built in the last year-and-a-half. That rig was built years ago. Who gave them the permission to put that kind of a mile under the water and then thousands of feet beyond that, and allow them to do that without having any emergency protection should there be a disaster? That occurred, what, 10 years ago, 20 years ago.
IMUS: I understand that but when the President took office, he knew, and particularly when he authorized this new offshore drilling off the coast of Virginia or wherever the hell it is, he knew that all of these permits and all of these stipulations were in place and he could have changed that, couldn’t he?
Dodd’s response was that carbon fuels aren’t the answer and we need to “shift gears” to other forms of energy.