May 27th, 2010
12:53 PM ET

Obama addresses Gulf oil spill disaster

[Updated at 1:57 p.m.] The president answers the last question from the media and ends the news conference.

[Updated at 1:56 p.m.] Obama says anyone looking for someone to take responsibility can look to him because it's his job to end the crisis. He said the situation "forces us all to do some soul-searching, and I think that's important for all of us to do."

[Updated at 1:51 p.m.] Asked about Interior Secretary Ken Salazar saying the administration had its "boot" on BP's "neck," Obama responded that Salazar is "frustrated, angry and emotional," but that it's important to focus on actions not anger.

[Updated at 1:44 p.m.] "It's problem if we don't start changing how we operate," Obama says, emphasizing the need for diverse sources of energy and explaining how he approached the GOP caucus and said, "Let's work together" on a bipartisan framework for addressing the nation's energy needs.

[Updated at 1:40 p.m.] "We have to verify whatever they say about the damage," Obama says, adding that the government has fallen short in checking out BP's information on the extent of the catastrophe.

[Updated at 1:38 p.m.] Asked if he regretted calling for expanded offshore drilling as part of the nation's energy strategy, Obama says he made the mistake of believing that oil companies "had their act together" when it came to assessing worst-case scenarios.

[Updated at 1:37 p.m.] Despite the oil spill, Obama says he continues to believe that "domestic oil production is an important part of our overall energy mix," but it is insufficient to meet the nation's future needs on its own.

[Updated at 1:33 p.m.] Prior to the oil spill, "there was lack of anticipating" what the worst-case scenarios could be, the president says, and "that's a problem."

[Updated at 1:31 p.m.] The president says he takes some responsibility for not moving quickly enough to change a culture at the Minerals Management Service in which "oil companies were able to get what they wanted." He added, "We should've busted through those constraints."

[Updated at 1:28 p.m.] Obama says he learned of Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum's resignation today.

[Updated at 1:26 p.m.] Prior to the Obama administration, there was a "habit" of signing off on environmental waivers because the Minerals Management Service couldn't complete the necessary studies within the allotted 30 days, the president says.

[Updated at 1:23 p.m.] Obama will "leave it" to the media to compare his oil spill response to former President George W. Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina: "I'm confident that people [will say] this administration was on top of what was an unprecedented crisis."

[Updated at 1:22 p.m.] The president asserts that if "BP's contractors are not moving as nimbly or effectively as they need to be, then it is already the power of the federal government to redirect those resources."

[Updated at 1:20 p.m.] Obama says, "This is a big mess coming to shore," and even with a perfect organizational structure, "spots are going to be missed."

[Updated at 1: 18 p.m.] BP has emergency contracts on hand in the event of an oil spill, Obama says, and "their job is to activate those and start paying them."

[Updated 1:15 p.m.] The federal government does not have "superior" technology, compared to that of BP, to help cap the broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, the president says.

[Updated 1:13 p.m.] Obama says the federal government has been involved in decision-making since Day One of the crisis: "This notion that somehow the federal government is sitting on the sideline for the last three or four or five weeks, we've just been letting BP make a whole bunch of decisions, is simply not true."

[Updated at 1:10 p.m.] "Those who think we were slow" in responding to the Gulf oil spill "don't know the facts," the president says.

[Updated at 1:08 p.m.] The president says the oil spill is a reminder of the need to push for comprehensive energy reform legislation.

[Updated at 1:06 p.m.] The crisis has been "the highest priority" since it began, and Obama says he has had more meetings about the spill than any other matter besides the Afghan troop buildup.

[Updated at 1:03 p.m.] Every day the oil spill dilemma continues, Obama says, "I'm angry and frustrated as well."

[Updated at 1:02 p.m.] Obama lists four actions the administration is taking: suspending exploration in two sites off Alaska, canceling plans for leases off the coast of Virginia and in the Gulf of Mexico, suspending permits for new deep-water wells in the Gulf for six months and suspending  33 current projects in the Gulf.

[Updated at 12:59 p.m.] Obama says oil industry's "cozy and sometimes corrupt" relationship with government officials resulted in inadequate regulations.

[Updated at 12:57 p.m.] White House has insisted that BP pay injury claims, Obama says, adding that the U.S. is "not going to abandon our fellow citizens."

[Updated at 12:56 p.m.] President says about 20,000 people are working on the cleanup effort.

[Updated at 12:55 p.m.] Obama, speaking at a White House news conference, says BP is operating under government supervision and must consult administration before undertaking any measures.

[Posted at 12:53 p.m.] Top-kill method for cleaning up oil spill offers "no guarantee of success" and cleanup process could take months, President Obama says.

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. GinasDailyOpEd

    And where is the "TEA PARTY" in all of this. They were on a ROLL... with "DRILL BABY DRILL", then BOOM an explosion of an Oil Rigg and they disappear as fast as a Deer hearing a sneeze. Does Sarah think we haven't noticed her three steps back from the "DRILL OIL NOW" Podium and slithered her way to the "No Border in Arizona" Podium? Come on, Sarah, take up those OIL POM POMs, now. Team Color BLACK.

    May 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZakB

      Banning off shore drilling is as stupid as banning air travel after a plane crash!

      May 27, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. GinasDailyOpEd

    FREEZE BP ACCOUNTS BEFORE THE MONEY TRAVELS FASTER THAN THE OIL.
    THE ONLY DISPERSEMENTS WILL BE BP CASH ASSETS – OUT OF THE COUNTRY.
    GET THE MONEY – THEN PUT THE BRIGHTEST PEOPLE TO WORK.
    Never underestimate the will or the brilliance of the people.
    It will be those who care the most – who earnestly seek answers and resolution.
    Sometimes the answers come from the least likely source.

    May 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GinasDailyOpEd

    STOP TALKING AND START CLEANING!
    GET TONY A MOP AND BUCKET.

    May 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scoooby leeeek!!

    $British Prophet$, BP has no respect for Gods creatures. For over a year I have been stopping at MacDonalds in the morning and see a seagull standing on one foot. I throw a few chips to him and its a bit sad now that he is gone. Now it reminds me of the dead sea turtles in the gulf. Obama=more double speak. He admitted knowing of the problems when he took over from Bush. I'd expect this type of incompetence and bull from Bush. But everyone believed in the arrogant Obama hype. This is Obamas fault. He knew about the corruption and risk taking and did nothing but hang out at cool Washington parties. In fact he said oil rigs don't pollute anymore so drill away boys. Nice try blaming BP. Waiting for a month, hoping with the kids that this would go away didn't work. Call in another company with actual expertise and send BP the bill you ninny! You also have the Fatima and other information that they are covering up. People may ask is there any meaning to what is happening here? The government is behind the 8 ball because Big oil paid off everyone in government. There is no plan for alternative energy because of this. The angel is trying to say something.....Rev 16:3. Hillary, Kim J is calling your bluff. Let her rip? Or bold talk?

    May 27, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Milan

    The solution could be so easy
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt524CVyEuI&w=640&h=390]

    May 27, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DamiĂŁo Carlos

    It will cost a lot of lives, a lot of time, a lot of money in order to stop the oil. http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com

    May 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • michel pellerin

      my solution to stop the flow of oil would be to; INSERT A PIPE INTO THE WELL, WITH AN UMBRELLA AT THE END. THE UMBRELLA COULD BE OPENED WITH THE HELP OF A CABLE INSIDE THE PIPE, THE SPOKES COULD HAVE SPIKES AT THE ENDS TO HELP LOCKING INSIDE THE PIPE. THIS COULD REDUCE THE PRESSURE, AND HELP TO PLUG WITH CONCRETE BEHIND THE UMBRELLA.

      May 28, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. David Foster

    Simplicity – Set two huge ankors on either side of the leak, attach chains with a winch from one ankor to the other, have the chains go right over the leak, weld a curved steel plate to the chains right over the leak, attach a thick flexible fabric material to the steel plate – winch the assembly down pulling the steel backed fabric down over the leak.

    May 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Henry Myers

    Why dont they try loading a barge full of concrete an sinking it on the hole /or sinking a super tanker an blowing a hole in the bottom than they can drain out throw the pipes on top of ship if they kept the value open so when sinking the ship the lines will not clog

    May 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sean Robert Pearson

    use Volcano lava2 seal the hole

    May 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sumin

    Hello there is a great company called planetresource to fix the problem there is a frrat animation of correcting this
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60bdQQQ3iVw&w=640&h=390]

    June 7, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mirror Tiles ·

    the oil spill in mexico really affected the eco system around that area, it would take years to clean those mess "

    November 4, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Metal Cabinets

    oil spills can really mess up the environment, i hope we can find a very good solution to control oil spills `:'

    December 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kilieasemsbew

    http://sharerun.com/ – file upload

    October 29, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
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    April 4, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
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