FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 10, 2010
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Visits Gulf Coast
Locke to hear directly from business owners on the economic impacts of the BP oil spill
At the direction of President Obama, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to the Gulf Coast today to meet with local officials and business owners impacted by the BP oil spill. In Mobile, Ala., Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans, La., Locke will hear directly from area businesses affected by the disaster.
During his visit to the Gulf Coast region, Locke will hold economic impact meetings in all three cities and fly over the coastal regions of the Gulf between Biloxi and New Orleans. Mayor Mitch Landrieu will join Locke at the New Orleans meeting. In the evening, Locke will visit a bait shop to hear how the oil spill has affected the business.
In May, Locke visited Biloxi and Pensacola, Fla., with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, and on Monday he joined President Obama and other members of the Cabinet for a meeting at the White House to discuss the ongoing administration-wide response to the oil spill.
On Tuesday, Locke hosted a conference call with leaders from the Gulf Coast’s travel and tourism industry – an opportunity to hear firsthand about the impacts of the BP oil spill and receive feedback on what else the federal government could be doing to help mitigate the damage.
The administration has mobilized one of the largest responses to a catastrophic event in history, authorizing 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to participate in the response. More than 24,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines, and more than 4,500 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts.