Senator McCaskill thinks the government is going to take the fall for the Gulf Oil spill even if British Petroleum shuts off the flow. She calls the spill a “crisis” and a “tragedy.” She says the incident shows serious flaws in the regulatory system although the potential dangers from deep-water wells have been recognized for some time.

“I think we have learned some things that are frightening,” she says, “Clearly over the last decade the relationships between these rigs and the people who were supposed to be providing some kind of oversight was way to cozy.”

McCaskill says the best minds in the country are working on finding a solution to the leak.

She recalls the claims from advocates for offshore drilling during the 2008 presidential campaign that the deep water wells were safe. She calls the disaster a “wake up call” for the advocates of “drill baby drill.”

Listen to excerpt from McCaskill conference call 3:38 mp3