Fiorina: Obama should focus on stopping oil spill |

Fiorina: Obama should focus on stopping oil spill

Judy Lin
Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said Thursday that she supports the $20 billion fund established to compensate victims of the Gulf oil spill but had harsh words for President Barack Obama’s response this week.

During a campaign stop in Sacramento, Fiorina criticized part of Obama’s national address on the catastrophe on Tuesday. While the president used most of the address to speak about the devastation, he also urged the nation and Congress to address climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Fiorina, who is trying to unseat Democrat Barbara Boxer of California, said the president should be focused on capping the leak and cleaning up the oil, not working with Boxer on greenhouse gas legislation.

“President Obama’s emphasis right now should be on cleaning up the spill, something (Sen.) Dianne Feinstein clearly recognized when she said, ‘cap-and-trade legislation isn’t going to clean up the spill,'” Fiorina said.

Instead, she said the president is planning to meet with Boxer to discuss the climate change bill.

“I think our commander in chief’s attention should be devoted exclusively to cleaning up the spill and to making sure that the residents of the Gulf Coast receive the relief that they so desperately need,” Fiorina said after her visit to Rex Moore Electrical Contractors and Engineers in Sacramento.

Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski defended the actions. By addressing climate change, the U.S. can reduce carbon pollution and create thousands of jobs in the U.S., she said.

Fiorina agreed that BP should be forced to compensate workers affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

When asked if she would refuse campaign donations from BP, Fiorina said she would not address a hypothetical question.

“I’m unaware of having received any campaign contribution from British Petroleum, and so if that were to happen, we would certainly look at that very carefully,” she said.

According to campaign finance reports, Fiorina has not received money from BP. But she has received $5,000 from the California Independent Petroleum Association, $5,000 from Exxon Mobile, $2,500 from the Halliburton and $3,000 from the Occidental Petroleum.

Boxer has received about $11,900 from the oil and gas industries over the past two years, which ranks her 36th among sitting members of the Senate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, an organization that tracks campaign spending.

After the event, her campaign said Fiorina has decided not to accept BP contributions but said other donations from oil companies would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“In light of recent events, we would not accept any contributions from BP moving forward because their resources are better directed toward the disaster in the Gulf,” said Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager, Julie Soderlund.

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