This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," July 21, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: Well, today, more than 10,000 people in Louisiana rallying against President Obama’s drilling moratorium, as we’re hearing reports that the spill may cost the Gulf more than 100,000 jobs.
My next guest, a rock star at this protest today, Charlotte Randolph, is the Lafourche Parish president.
Charlotte, what do you make of this? This is escalating to a real ongoing concern that this is going to be a permanent economic hit. Is it?
CHARLOTTE RANDOLPH, LAFOURCHE PARISH PRESIDENT: We’re very concerned that that will be the case, yes. And that’s why we’re reaching a higher level now, appealing to the president passionately, desperately, for him to reconsider his decision.
Most of the speakers today had direct messages to him, and — and because he’s the one who imposed it and he is the one who can lift it.
CAVUTO: You know, you would think he would give you some time, because I know he was impressed with you when — when you guys were sort of touring the shoreline there just a few weeks ago.
That was then. You raised concerns about the economic impact with him.
There you are with the president.
You raised it then. You’re raising it now. Do you think any of this is registering?
RANDOLPH: Well, as I say, we’re trying — we’re pulling out all stops right now.
I’m actually going to Washington tomorrow to testify to the Oversight Committee, along with Secretary Salazar, about this issue, about MMS. And, hopefully, we can — maybe if we get into Washington, there will be some — someone listening there.
CAVUTO: Well, I wonder if you will be like you were not too long ago. This is when — when you — when you put this quite candidly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDOLPH: But he did say to me that one of the reasons was that the mood of the country was such that he had to take a pause, because people throughout the country were seeing the pelicans and the dolphins and other things that showed a horrible situation.
I said, "Mr. President, you’re not in touch with real America."
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: You know, you might be closer to this, Charlotte, than I am, but I don’t see him changing this policy any time soon.
In fact, I see he can issue one executive order after another that can kind of keep the clock running, even if judges shut key aspects of that moratorium down.
RANDOLPH: And, therefore, he achieves his political agenda. And that is what infuriates us most of all, that we can be that expendable, that, in order to achieve that agenda, he would be willing to — to let thousands of Louisianians lose their job just to make a point.
We know what happened on that BP rig. It’s on the front page of today’s paper here in New Orleans. It shows the errors made by the people in charge, not by anyone else, but the people in charge.
It should not — this is not a systemic problem. This is something that we need to address individually. And it should be addressed individually, with a criminal investigation that Eric Holder is conducting right now.
The rest of the industry needs to follow the rules Mr. Salazar put into place early in May, and then we can resume drilling. That’s what they said we needed to do. They have agreed to that. Let’s drill.
CAVUTO: All right.
In the meantime, as you and I are talking, we want to bring this alert along to you, Charlotte. I don’t want to hit you broadside on this, but we’re getting reports now that four of the major oil giants, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips, are forming a joint venture to create what they call a rapid-response unit to capture and contain oil spills in deep water.
Now, we’re going to have the ConocoPhillips CEO on exclusively with us tomorrow to talk about this.
But what do you make of this, and is this a way maybe to get the administration off all of you guys’ back?
RANDOLPH: Well, that was one of — one of his major concerns, about having the resources available to respond to another spill.
But the — the hypocrisy in that is the fact that 11,000 oil tankers traversed the Gulf of Mexico annually, and — and they are not required to have that level of response.
Most of them carry a million barrels of oil. So, let’s talk about the entire industry here. And I like the idea that they’re forming the consortium to fight it and to have the resources available. But let’s address all aspects of this industry, if you’re looking out for the people of Louisiana when it comes to protecting our environment.
CAVUTO: Charlotte, thank you very much. Good luck. We will see what happens.
RANDOLPH: Thank you, Neil.
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