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As the president's visit too little too late or perfect timing joining us now Wall Street Journal executive Washington editor Gerri so I've been retired special agent in charge.
Of the EPA's criminal investigation division Scott west he let it.
An investigation of BP following a major oil pipeline leak in 2006 and Alaska's north slope he is now with a sea shepherd conservation.
Society Scott you were known as a very.
Tough administrator in and you do the job part -- your.
You're very blunt about BP you have said that they are executives are known as liars and you think.
The way they've been treated throughout this by the federal government is is -- as if the feds -- kid gloves on and you say it's outrageous why.
Well it is outrageous and let's take a look at the comparison to the last administration.
At least during the bush Department of Justice.
I was not stopped and opening a criminal investigation into BP's.
Criminal responsibility for the -- rupture of the pipeline on the tundra.
And while at the end of the day that the Bush Administration DOJ did indeed.
Stop me from going after individuals they shut down the investigation they at least did something.
We got eight of corporate misdemeanor out of -- out of the company.
Now the Wall Street Journal ran with what I had to say about that about a year and a half ago.
Now this administration.
Is not doing anything there's not the first criminal investigator involved in this matter there is no criminal investigation under way.
Oh what is this this is clearly has all the markings of -- significant criminal activity that led to the destruction of this -- The death of those workers and then of course this environmental disaster.
And yet there's no criminal investigation.
And also leave the folks and within EPA within the criminal program have been instructed not to talk to anybody about this.
What are they hiding what does this administration hiding.
That's what everybody wants to know -- and -- all you have to do was read your paper today I encourage everyone to get their hands.
On this front page article by Jonathan -- -- and a couple of other reporters about how this bill went down Jerry I was outraged when I was reading.
The stories your reporters have -- quite deeply into this -- And right away it looks like there -- major issues with BP people all that rig.
Who actually yelled at 123 year old worker who grabbed a radio and said May Day we've got an out of control fire.
Right and and I we've had several -- the last few days that do I think chronicle what happened in the hours leading up to.
The the incident the explosion and then what happened immediately thereafter it.
I think there's -- material there.
Two for everybody to go through I think the problem bureaucratic -- has been in this is just simply -- reality.
There's nobody but BP who really can fix the problem of stopping the oil coming out of the well so I think the government is somewhat frozen in place.
Because he's he's got to fix that problem first before everybody then figures out you know who who pays for -- and one of the consequences for this and that's just an uncomfortable reality.
That admiral Allen of the Coast Guard has been talking about for the last couple of days we don't have a lot of choice here except to lean on BP -- once that's over.
I think -- probably going to be Katie bar the door at that point but the question is whether we are leaning on BP I mean Scott you say that if you were the EPA special investigator involved you would have begun criminal investigations.
From the get go of this say it hasn't been done do you think the EPA is being leaned on to stop these criminal investigation.
Well that's the only conclusion I can come to they have been obviously instructed.
Not to get involved and and that's outrageous -- actually witnessed or to have that authority to instruct them -- not gonna get that only come from that could only come from the White House there's no other source that would have that kind of power to to shut down an entire agency.
The special agent in charge in Dallas.
A sworn law enforcement responsibility.
These sorts of of issues that have all the markings of a significant criminal activity and yet he has failed to do his job now.
His boss the director of CID criminal investigation division should have instructed him to do that and she has not done that and all the way on up the chain.
These people are not doing their job they're not doing their duty -- Scott.
Spotted -- -- I think we've already seen the person that -- -- minerals and mining.
Get their head chopped off this -- Bob should the people at the EPA start to see their jobs disappear before their very eyes right now.
Why I think -- whom they should be worried about that absolutely.
Now are just as we would want to hold BP officials and people on the ground responsible for making decisions or following orders that led to.
Poor decisions leading up to this disaster by the same thing.
The a criminal investigators that he PA by failing to do their job perhaps following what I would consider an unlawful order to stand down.
They need to be held accountable for those very decisions that they are making and the orders they are following -- we want to hold criminals responsible this is out.
Rages -- not acceptable if what Scott west is saying is true even even just the suggestion of it is political -- about.
-- yeah exactly although I have to say that I think from most people in the country the that the top issue right now is in going after BP officials it's getting the oil to stop nobody thought it very let's face here at the White House is leaning on the EPA at a White House itself lead and EPA.
Not to begin criminal investigations of BP.
That is political dynamite.
What yet but I'm not I don't I don't know if there's any evidence that that's that that's happening and I suspect this is not administration's gonna be reluctant to go for big oil company if you and -- at the truth I.
I don't but I think our priorities lie elsewhere right now I have Scott -- -- we don't know that I just there.
There's not a criminal I don't know that.
I have proven.
I have proven with my my experience in investigating these types of things of dispatching criminal investigators immediately.
They go side by side with the emergency responders into this type of situation I have a corollary with BP the -- rupture pipeline on the slope.
We had criminal investigators right there they didn't get in the way they were part of the solution and yet -- that's not happening very.
And that OK so but -- you know maybe that the administration was also getting criticized when they held hearings saying.
Let these people fix the situation.
If they were to start criminal proceedings with that distract from actually just getting the darn.
-- -- Well that's that's the question I'm raising here you know I mean that the reality is this is very uncomfortable reality that -- is -- to deal with afterwards which is.
The government doesn't have a lot of power in this situation except to say to BP fix this problem the law as it as written now makes BP.
Responsible for fixing the problem and and then paying for the clean up.
And they're not a lot of ways around that right now I don't think that's a situation anybody going to be comfortable with when this is over but that's unfortunately where everybody's out right now it's it.
It's a situation in which what -- administration was doing was using report rhetorical power to try to compel BP to do a better job but didn't have a lot beyond that up until now.
I think what happened yesterday in political terms is very significant you've got -- from the from the administration saying this is BP's problem to the president saying this is my problem and I think that changes that dynamic and may change some of the behaviors -- been talk we that we are we don't have played all right questions response -- I have to ask you where do we go now and investigating your concerns.
You know congress really needs to dig into this they need to -- -- demand hearings they need to question these officials as to why this is doing.
And if congress won't do it then we need to get new congress people in there in November who will ask these questions Scott -- less than going on here.
Scott west is formerly with the EPA thank you very much -- side of the Wall Street Journal again we're we're telling people reading front page of the journal the entire article lists -- As they outline the minute by minute as -- terrific stuff.
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