"From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented." — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, ascribing celestial blame for the Gulf oil disaster in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce May 3.
"I sense a little hypocrisy going on here. I didn't have one senator from New Jersey, Florida or Connecticut mention how badly they felt about the fishermen when they lost their boats in Hurricane Katrina.
"It's very interesting to me, and very concerning, that I literally never had one senator from the anti-oil and gas states to come to me to offer to help one fisherman after Katrina and Rita, when their boats were literally shattered in pieces, their nets were torn up and their homes were destroyed.
"And now, because it's sort of in their political interest, and with this environmental thing, they're going to be all concerned about the fishermen. Some of us have been concerned about them for a long time." — Sen. Mary Landrieu, calling out her Senate colleagues May 4.
"It's pitiful when a fisherman has to take off his rubber boots and wear oilfield boots." — Venice, La., commercial fisherman Donald Cheramie, quoted in the Palm Beach Post May 3, as he prepared to go to work cleaning up the Gulf for his new employer, BP.
"[It's like] demanding that a person running into their own burning home sign a release limiting or giving up their claims against the arsonist who caused the fire." — George Barisich, president of the United Commercial Fisherman's Association, on BP's attempt to have Gulf Coast fishermen sign agreements they wouldn't sue the oil giant as part of their employment agreements. A BP spokesman later said the language in the hiring contracts was a "mistake."
"You put a major hurricane in there, you're liable to have oil in downtown New Orleans." — Ron Kendall, chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, discussing the possibility of a storm in the Gulf before the oil gusher could be contained.