Coast leaders like choice of Bob Dudley as BP's new boss

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Bob Dudley has a tough job to do.  Clean up the Gulf of Mexico, and clean up the image of oil giant BP. Neither will be easy.  But elected officials in South Mississippi say he was far and away the best choice.

"He should know as much as anybody that you'll get at that level to know as much about the coast as we can get," Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott said.  "I would say he's probably the best choice that we could get."

Most everyone agrees that having someone with Mississippi roots in charge at BP is going to help the entire Gulf Coast as we continue to clean up from the massive oil spill in the Gulf.

"Excellent choice for Mississippi to have a local man out of Hattiesburg who understands the way we live here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and throughout the Gulf South area," Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel said. "Great to have him in the role.  We have our spokesman at the head table now."

As BP contract workers continue to scour coast beaches looking for oil related debris, there's a feeling of hope that Dudley's appointment will lead to quicker responses in the future, both from clean up standpoint and the paying of damages due to the spill.

"I've asked for months now to have somebody local dealing with these people that are having problems because of the oil spill and Bob Dudley is definitely a local," Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant said.

That's a feeling shared by a fellow supervisor Marlin Ladner.

"I'm optimistic that his arrival on the scene will benefit Harrison County and the Gulf Coast in opening up better communications with the local officials in assisting in treating this oil spill," Ladner said.

Dudley, who is already in charge of BP's Gulf oil spill response, is taking over for  Tony Hayward. Hayward's last official day on the job is October 1st.

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