June 15th, 2010
07:46 PM ET

Obama: We'll fight spill with everything we've got

[Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET] BP issued the following statement after the president's Oval Office speech:

"We share the president's goal of shutting off the well as quickly as possible, cleaning up the oil and mitigating the impact on the people and environment of the Gulf Coast. We look forward to meeting with President Obama tomorrow for a constructive discussion about how best to achieve these mutual goals."

Read the transcript of Obama's speech

Read the full CNN.com story

[Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET] The president ended his Oval Office speech by saying that what sees the nation through tough times "is our strength, our resilience, and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it."

"Tonight, we pray for that courage," Obama said. "We pray for the people of the Gulf.  And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. "

[Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET] The president said the oil disaster "is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now."

"I am happy to look at ... ideas and approaches from either party, as long they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels," he said. "Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings like we did in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power. Others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development, and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development.

"All of these approaches have merit and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead. But the one approach I will not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet."

[Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET] President Obama said he knows the government's six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling "creates difficulty for the people who work on these rigs."

"But for the sake of their safety, and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue," Obama said.

[Updated at 8:13 p.m. ET] President Obama says he's asked the secretary of the Navy to "develop a long-term Gulf Coast restoration plan as soon as possible."

"The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists, and other Gulf residents. And BP will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region," he said.

[Updated at 8:11 p.m. ET] President Obama said he will tell the chairman of BP 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" during their meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

"This fund will not be controlled by BP," Obama said. "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."

[Updated at 8:07 p.m. ET] The president says that despite best efforts, "oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife."

"And sadly, no matter how effective our response becomes, there will be more oil and more damage before this siege is done. That's why the second thing we’re focused on is the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast," Obama said.

[Updated at 8:04 p.m. ET] President Obama has begun to address the nation, saying that the oil spill "is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced."

Obama said his administration has directed BP to "mobilize additional equipment and technology."

"In the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well," Obama said. "This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that's expected to stop the leak completely."

"Make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes," he added. "We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever's necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy."

[Posted at 7:46 p.m. ET] President Obama will detail plans for dealing with the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in an address to the nation tonight at 8 ET.

Check this post for updates on the president's speech as he gives it.

The 18-minute speech, Obama's first from the Oval Office, will emphasize the government's containment strategy in conjunction with oil giant BP, which owns the broken well, to capture as much as 90 percent of the leaking oil in coming weeks, two senior administration officials said.

Watch it live on CNN, CNN.com/Live and the CNN iphone app.

soundoff (448 Responses)
  1. MICHAEL SSENYONGA

    my name is michael ssenyonga from woodbridge virginia; i believe that its imperative that we all comprehend and consider the fact that life will always invoke issues and problems. depending on how we handle or correspond to them, will either defuse/ thurs solving the problem; or induce the issue futher! intriguingly, i think most enlightened individuals would agree that in most cases; "the cool heads" would provail towards the solutions much faster! now wether president Obama or BP excutives are to blame or not; my point is, critisism and finger pointing does not produce constructive ideals for solutions.Though, optimists do indulge in searching/ creating plausible possibilities that usually are the answers! LETS STAND TOGETHER AS ONE ALL THE TIME NOT JUST SOMETIMES: ITS THEN, WE WILL GAIN OUR INTERNATIONAL RESPECT BACK AS AMERICA THE GREAT...

    June 16, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Putz

    The amount of hate in the blog is an underlying problem that we will have in addressing this. BACK to the topic: NO, I don't believe he addressed my concerns. I am glad that he is trying and alternative energy was mentioned. I would like the plan posted here and specific sanctions for those who approved the plans (Walruses and all) and for BP. In other words, show us the "money".

    For the rest who are so full of hateful diatribe: if you would not say it in person, don't do it here. Be civil. We are Americans. Set an example.

    June 16, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Texan

      Yes we are Americans! That's why we can say WHATEVER we want here!

      June 16, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. Red

    He is an excellent orator...and that is about it. Resolution to this situation calls for strong leadership...and sadly, he is completely overjobbed.

    June 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tami

    Mighty Putty will do the trick.. :)

    June 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JoDee

    Some facts you may have forgotten or overlooked:

    1. The Republicans came up with the stimulus package BEFORE they left office.
    2. The Democrats were going to vote it down.
    3. Sarah Palin said, "Drill baby drill!!"... or is everyone forgetting who campaigned for offshore drilling? I'm not.
    4. Obama was elected on a platform of change. Clean energy. Healthcare for all. I remember like it was yesterday.
    5 i). The Republicans spent this nation into the largest deficit it's ever faced ...and the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.
    ii) sub factoid: War costs money.. don't forget that one!!
    6. Wall street has paid back it's debt... fyi... jus sayin..
    7. Obama wants to implement regulations that would prevent Wallstreet from doing this again.... ya... I know.. but it's true.
    8. Republicans want to stop Democrats from doing this ... naturally they do.. of course they do... it makes sense...
    9. Obama will go down in history as the greatest President this country has ever had... (ok so, that's MY fact.. you can refute it if you like... but you'll feel stupid in 20 years).
    10. Obama wants out of the middle east... our troops out... war over...
    Why? because killing people for low oil prices and redevelopment rights in foreign countries is CRAP.
    And he's right... and that's leadership.
    11. Bush's policy: Send our boys to fight = Investing in our future economic growth! (I'm not kidding. This is how it works).
    12. Oil prices have MYSTERIOUSLY dropped since Obama's investment in clean energy.... go figure... big surprise there.. anyone want to hazard a guess why prices are dropping? Anyone? Bueller?
    13. If America develops sustainable alternative fuels with new technology... anyone want to guess how low fuel costs will plummet? Anyone? Still want to send our boys off to fight? No? Good.
    14. The oil in the Gulf is bad.
    15, Obama wants to stop the leak.
    16. He can't do it himself.
    17. He has assembled an 'A' team of engineers and scientist to do it.
    18. Would his acknowledging the spill 2 weeks earlier have stopped the spill? I mean, seeing as BP can't even do that...
    19. People are comparing this to Bush's indifference to Katrina... mmmmm.... nice try... you've got moxie but I'm sorry. No.

    June 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Thomas Baird

    100% Horizon oil well leak Containment folks thats what needs to happen. Two months later and the oilis still leaking out of the BP oil well into the gulf.So why hasnt the oil leak been conatined yet? Pehaps BP cant pumptheoil up fast enough from the oil gusher sothey let what they cantpump up and contain continue to leak into the gulf. Or perhaps they dont have enough oiltankers to pump the oil into to haul it away for storage etc so they let oil continue to leak into the gulf.Either reason the oil is still leaking into the gulf.So the question is why hasnt containing the oil leak been top priority by BP and our Government ?It seemsthey are more into the clean up and not containment and stopping all other oil rigs in the gulf from operation until they pass a safety check that causes more problems.First week of May, I sent in my ideas and plan on containing the oil that is leaking out into the gulf from the BP horizon oil well leak and they have decided to ignore it and not do what I recomend and here it is june 15 th and they are letting the oil leak continue into the gulf.

    June 17, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Thomas Baird

    100% Horizon oil well leak Containment folks thats what needs to happen. Two months later and the oilis still leaking out of the BP oil well into the gulf.So why hasnt the oil leak been conatined yet? Pehaps BP cant pump the oil up fast enough from the oil gusher sothey let what they cant pump up and contain continue to leak into the gulf. Or perhaps they dont have enough oil tankers to pump the oil into to haul it away for storage etc, so they let oil continue to leak into the gulf.Either reason the oil is still leaking into the gulf.So the question is why hasnt containing the oil leak been top priority by BP and our Government ?It seems they are more into the clean up and not containment and stopping all other oil rigs in the gulf from operation until they pass a safety check that causes more problems.First week of May, I sent in my ideas and plan on containing the oil that is leaking out into the gulf from the BP horizon oil well leak and they have decided to ignore it and not do what I recomend and here it is june 16 th and they are letting the oil leak continue into the gulf.Why? Just tell us the truth.

    June 17, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Thomas Baird

    I recently heard that about 2 million gallons of oil from the BP oil well gusher are still leaking into the gulf a day besides what they are captureing from there leaking top hast cap.Why are they not trying to capture all of it but to just let it to continue to leak into the gulf?Could it be they cant pump it up fast enough or they dont have enough oil tankers to pump the oil into, so they let it continue to leak into the gulf?
    Then one does the math on how much oil can one oil tanker hold?How much oil can BP pump up from the well and store?

    "Supertankers" are generally defined as those greater than 250,000 tonnes deadweight (meaning the maximum weight they can carry when fully loaded). Today's supertankers, on average, can carry about 2 million barrels or 84 million gallons of crude oil and petroleum product. The largest supertanker in the world is the Norwegian-owned Knock Nevis which is 647,955 tonnes deadweight and can hold 4.1 million barrels of petroleum.

    As of 2004, the U.S. consumes about 20 million barrels of oil a day, according to the CIA. For some perspective, China is second at just 6 million barrels a day.
    Supertanker capacity varies, but Wikipedia says most carry about 2 million barrels. The largest tanker in the world is a ship we’ve talked about before — the Jahre Viking (now called the Knock Nevis). It carries 4 million per day.
    So, it takes 10 “normal-sized” supertankers to supply the U.S. with oil for a single day. Yikes.
    How many gallons of oil in one barrel?
    There are 55 gallons in a drum and 42 gallons (1 U.S. gallon = 3.78541178 liters) in a barrel (i.e., 1 barrel = 158.9872948 liters).
    Originally there were 40 gallons to a barrel. However, that was changed in the mid-19th century to give a little extra so consumers wouldn't feel "cheated."
    A little over 23 gallons of gasoline can be refined from a barrel of oil. Other products (jet fuel, lubricants, etc.) make up the rest.
    The easy way to remember the number of gallons in a barrel of oil: There are 7 letters in gallons and 6 letters in barrel. 7X6=42 gallons.
    42 US gallons.

    Perhaps we should construct a huge pipeline from the horizon BP oil well gusher site to our main land here in the united states for the oil to flow to and we can then find a place to store it and use it here in our homeland .If we have the storage capacity for all that oil about 2 million gallons a day thats leaking into the gulf thats 7 days a week non stop. gulf oil just gushing out of the well could be ours and used for our oil needs?We still need oil here in the united states.

    June 17, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Danny

    It is a shame That we only give lip service to issues now days especially of this magnitude. Speeches are wonderful; and sometimes they can inspire people to action. This is what is needed now action not more speeches but people and efforts and this is going on more from people than the government who helped cause this problem with lack of regulations and enforcements. What is going on right now is a total disregard for anything that we hold dear. These oil and gas companies along with mining, are destroying our beautiful lands and waters and poisoning everything in sight with total blessing from governments all over the world in the name of profits. And if the people of the world do not demand more we will be ultimately pushed aside and our environment will become unlivable and our children and families will have all manner of disease which will tax our health and insurance systems to collapse. We are in a fight for our very lives and few seem to see or want to know that it is even going on.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sunil

    JESUS H CHRIST ! ! ! Thank god almighty that this wasn't an asteroid coming to hit the earth. We would all have to kiss our behinds goodbye. We have the most clueless and inept government in the world.........

    July 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Drilling and milling

    He great stuff. Keep it going. Looking forward to the next.

    February 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
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