WASHINGTON — Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry weighed in on the Gulf oil spill Monday, telling reporters that he had "full confidence" in British Petroleum and suggested the blowout that led to the spill was "an act of God."
“I have full confidence that BP is doing everything they can” to get the well under control, Perry said. Asked about BP's handling of a 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery that killed 15 people — and that is still the subject of litigation — Perry praised BP's record since.
"They’ve got a bull's eye on their back," said Perry, who made no mention of another BP-related environmental disaster, the leakage of crude beginning in November from an oil pipline owned by BP in Alaska.
Perry predicted that the Guilf spill would have no impact on the Texas Coast.
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Perry repeatedly suggested that the spill was “an act of God” that 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's cause still has to be investigated.
“I suspect there was a mechanical failure somewhere,” Perry said.
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.”