UPDATE 1-US will "push" out BP if spill response falls short

(Recasts, adds quotes, details)

HOUSTON, May 23 (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. government will move
aside BP (BP.L: ) from the operation to try to halt the Gulf of
Mexico oil spill if it decides the company is not performing as
required in its response to the well leak, U.S. Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar said on Sunday.

“I am angry and I am frustrated that BP has been unable to
stop this oil from leaking and to stop the pollution from
spreading,” Salazar told reporters after visiting BP’s U.S.
headquarters in Houston.

“We are 33 days into this effort and deadline after
deadline has been missed,” Salazar added, referring to the
failure of containment efforts attempted so far by London-based
BP to control the gushing undersea well one mile (1.6 km) down
on the ocean floor.

President Barack Obama’s administration is facing growing
public and political pressure to take full charge of the oil
spill containment operation as criticism against BP grows.

The spill is threatening an ecological and economic
disaster along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“If we find they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be
doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately,” Salazar
said, but he did not specify at what point this would occur or
what might be the trigger for it.

“This is an existential crisis for one of the world’s
largest companies,” he said, in a reference to the billions of
dollars of cleanup and damages costs that BP faces.

Salazar also said BP had agreed to pay cleanup costs beyond
the $75 million liability limit set by current U.S. law.

Stock Market Advice

(Reporting by Chris Baltimore; Editing by Pascal Fletcher
and Will Dunham)

UPDATE 1-US will “push” out BP if spill response falls short