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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCollum's changing tone toward federal oil cleanup

Attorney General Bill McCollum issued a blistering condemnation of President Barack Obama's response to the disastrous oil spill, calling it "unacceptable." But it doesn't jibe with his previous response two days prior.

From his office's statement Thursday: "President Obama’s press conference today only reinforced what Floridians have known for weeks – the federal government is not doing everything it can to prevent further damage from the Deepwater Horizon spill."

But asked Tuesday if the federal government needed to takeover the cleanup effort from BP -- as CFO Alex Sink suggested and Gov. Charlie Crist embraced -- McCollum's office struck a different cord: "The Attorney General believes that more federal oversight on the oil spill response would certainly be welcome."

McCollum's earlier statement also suggested the onus falls to BP, more than the federal government, for cleanup and claims. "Federal law already makes BP the responsible party, and we will continue applying as much pressure as possible on behalf of Floridians and Florida businesses to BP as it manages the claims process," it continued.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:39am]

    

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