Gov. Haley Barbour said he doesn’t think the Deepwater Horizon oil spill should mark the end of offshore drilling in the United States.
“A bunch of liberal elite were hoping this would be the Three Mile Island of offshore drilling,” he told the Mississippi Manufacturers Association at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino on Friday.
Since the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania in 1979, no new nuclear facilities have been approved for construction in the United States.
Barbour said seven of the 10 largest oil spills in American history involved ships and one an oil well. Shutting down wells in the Gulf of Mexico would mean the country would have to import oil from other countries, which he said would put the country at more risk of an oil spill.
As oil invades the marshlands of Louisiana, Barbour said, “I feel terrible for them.” What is coming ashore is the consistency of mousse or Jell-O, he said. “I call it glop,” Barbour said.
About 700 vessels are ready to help with the cleanup and Barbour said if any oil comes to Mississippi, particular emphasis will be on the mouths of the bay and defending the marshes.
If the oil reaches land, “we’ll fight it in the sand,” he said. “If we get some oil on the beaches, we’ll clean it up.” The beach is man-made and wasn’t there when he was a boy, he said. New sand can be pumped in if needed, but Barbour said, “I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”