Obama: ‘We Will Fight This Spill With Everything We’ve Got’
President Obama speaks from the Oval Office on Tuesday evening. (White House photo)
Addressing the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, President Obama tonight laid out his plan to contain the oil spill and compensate people and businesses who have suffered from its effects.
Obama called the crisis “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced” and “an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.” He then outlined his “battle plan” to mitigate the ongoing oil leak.
[Environment1] It features three steps. The first is the cleanup effort along the Gulf coast. Obama emphasized that “from the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history.”
The second is assistance to the coastal states. “Tomorrow,” Obama said, “I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party.”
Finally, there is the need to prevent future disasters along these lines. Part of that is a reassessment of the role of offshore drilling.
“A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe — that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken,” Obama said. “That was obviously not the case on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why.”