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Gonzalez, Baker asked how gas explosion disaster response could have been better


JANET: FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY
WERE CRIMINAL WAS USED IN
REFERENCE TO THE GAS EXPLOSIONS. THE U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE HAS
LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION. MORE THAN 5000 CUSTOMERS ARE
STILL SUFFERING WITHOUT HEAT AND
HOT WATER TONIGHT. MR. GONZALEZ, YOU HAVE BEEN
CRITICAL OF THE PACE, BUT IT IS
EASY TO CRITICIZE. I WHAT YOU TO GIVE US CONCRETE
EXAMPLES OF THINGS HE WOULD HAVE
DONE INSTEAD. MR. GONZALEZ: FIRST OF ALL IT IS
A TRAGEDY. I HAVE BEEN TO LAWRENCE THREE
TIMES THE LAST WEEK. PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY
THIS YOU DO NOT HAVE GAS SERVICE
IN THEIR HOMES, BUSINESSES THAT
ARE LOSING MONEY, AND THEIR
BUSINESSES ARE IN DANGER BECAUSE
OF THIS, IT IS A REAL TRAGEDY. IT SHOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED TO
BEGIN WITH. WE SHOULD HAVE HAD STRONGER
OVERSIGHT OF OUR GAS COMPANIES. I WOULD HIRE MANY MORE PEOPLE TO
OVERSEE OUR GAS COMPANIES AND
GAS INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE STATE
TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE. THE FACT THAT THIS HAS NOW BEEN
DELAYED FOR AN EXTRA MONTH IS A
REAL PROBLEM. THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE WHO
CANNOT BE IN THEIR HOMES DURING
THE COLD AND IT IS NOT OK. I THINK WE NEED MANY MORE
PEOPLE, OBVIOUSLY GETTING ALL
THESE HOUSES READY, AND WE
SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THE
GAS COMPANY. IF FEELS LIKE WE TRUSTED THE GAS
COMPANY TO TAKE CARE OF THIS AND
I THINK THE GOVERNOR NEEDS TO
TAKE CHARGE AND GET ON TOP OF IT
AND OWN IT AND MANAGE IT SO IT
IS BEING ADDRESSED LIKE THE EMERGENCY IT IS FOR THE PEOPLE
IN LAWRENCE. JANE GOVERNOR, HE SAYS YOU
HAVE BEEN TOO TRUSTING OF THE
GAS COMPANIES, THERE SHOULD HAVE
BEEN STRONGER OVERSIGHT. DO YOU TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THIS? GOV. BAKER: FIRST OF ALL WHAT IS
GOING ON THERE IS A TRAGEDY AND
IT IS ENORMOUSLY FRUSTRATING FOR
EERYONE INVOLVED. I HAVE BEEN UP THERE QUITE A BIT
MYSELF. WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE
EXPLOSIONS I SIGNED IN EMERGENCY
DECLARATION AND I TOOK OVER THE
PROCESS OF DOING THE IMMEDIATE
RESTORATION PROJECT AND TOOK IT
AWAY FROM COLUMBIA. WE ALSO PUT TOGETHER IN
OVERSIGHT TEAM TO OVERSEE THE
WORK ASSOCIATED WITH REBUILDING
THE MAINLINE PIPE, DOING THE
SERVICE LINE WORK AND THE HOUSE
TO HOUSE WORK. MANY PEOPLE SAID WE WOULD NEVER
GET ANY OF THAT DONE BY NOVEMBER
19. THE GOOD NEWS IS THE MAINLINE
PIPE IS RE-LAID, THE SERVICE
LINES ARE GOING TO GET DONE IN
THE BIG CHALLENGE NOW IS THE
HOUSE TO HOUSE STUFF, WHICH IS
ENORMOUSLY COMPLICATED. BUT BY WORKING WITH THE FIRE
MARSHALS, FIRE CHIEF’S, AND A
WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER PEOPLE IN
THE INSPECTIONAL AND ELECTRICIAN
AND PLUMBER FIELD, WE ARE MAKING
PROGRESS AND WE ARE GOING TO HIT THAT SECOND DEADLINE. JANET: SHOULD YOUR OVERSIGHT
HAVE BEEN STRONGER BEFORE THIS
HAPPENED? GOV. BAKER: THE NTSB IS DOING A
COPPER HAS A REVIEW. I SPOKE TO THEM AROUND 3:00 IN
THE MORNING IN LAWRENCE ON THE
NIGHT OF THE ORIGINAL EXPLOSIONS
AND SAID TO THEM WE WILL GIVE
THEM ANY HELP THEY NEED. WE ALSO SPENT TIME TALKING TO
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO PUT A
REQUIREMENT IN THAT NO DOCUMENTS
ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OF THIS
COULD BE DESTROYED AND THEY ALL
HAD TO BE MAINTAINE WE PLAN TO HOLD ANYONE WHO NEEDS
TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE,
ACCOUNTABLE. ABSOLUTELY. MR. GONZALEZ: THE BAD NEWS IS
FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE AFFECTED
AREA WILL NOT HAVE GAS SERVICE
FOR AN EXTRA MONTH NOW BECAUSE
NOT ENOUGH HAS BEEN DONE QUICKLY
ENOUGH. LET ME SAY THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH
OVERSIGHT BEFORE. THERE WERE TWO GAS INSPECTORS. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WARNED
WEEKS BEFORE THE INCIDENT. FOR OVER 21,000 GAS PIPE
INFRASTRUCTURE. THIS IS THE SAME REPUBLICAN
PLAYBOOK OF SMALLER GOVERNMENT. GOVERNMENT DOES REALLY IMPORTANT
THINGS LIKE PROTECTING PEOPLE. WE NEED TO B

One thought on “Gonzalez, Baker asked how gas explosion disaster response could have been better

  1. hmm sometimes accidents happen… I'd vote Charlie if I lived in this state… have looked at his record, and seems to have done a great job.

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