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)

    Well, here he goes again. Spend, Spend, Spend. Please do something that is not going to make me work another job. It is bad enough that I have to pay for drug users, illegals, and dead beats. What ever happen to freedom and liberty. We have become the former USSR. This country was formed so a person could go as far as they wish and be left alone. The only action he takes is if he can spend more of our money and strip more of our freedoms away. I can't wait till November.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela Rainsong in Florida

      Hey... come on down and pick up some dead sea turtles and play in the water. Spend Spend Spend? What the hell does that mean?

      June 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. james gordon

    Never in my life , do i ever want to hear christians say "pray for those in authority" , they only mean pray for a republican who is making bad decisions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pamela Rainsong in Florida

    Hey people... I live in Safety Harbor, FL on the near Tampa bay – which is fed by the gulf. I think the president is doing everything thing he can... it's going to take time... I'm sweating it too... but he can't wave a magic wand and fix things over night. Half you people yell about not wanting Big Government.. yet you're looking for hope and answers and a quick fix from the president. Let's not forget the core of the matter... Deep Water Drilling and Drilling Period is NOT SAFE... Oil spills and leaks happen all the time.. they just aren't of this magnitude and don't get attention. We don't have enough oil in this country to satisfy your lust for oil FACE IT! We need to get beyond the dark ages of fossil fuels.. dirty oil and coal. Dear GOP... Why are you so intimidated by Clean Renewable Energy? Is it because your beds will grow cold at night and because you've been bought and paid for by Big Oil? Now's the time! There is no better time... If not now... When? When can we get serious about a clean energy grid?

    June 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gd

    who are you people? I question whether the people defending Obama on this blog are real contributors to this country. I you work hard to achieve you will always have high expectations of our leaders. And not for one second will I be satisfied with their response. It is our duty to question and push our leaders, otherwise they will be self-serving, as they have been and continue to be.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tellus Sol Divinorumus

    If this atrocity, this act of deliberate terrorism, had been committed by Bin Loony and Al-Qaed, we'd be carpet bombing BP HQ and more today. Just goes to show you what you can get away with in this world when you have the right connections.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob Jones

    Who was the "set designer" for this speech? Although the background photos of himself and his family make him more approachable, how much of our tax payer dollars went to this?!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    From Chuck Green, in the liberal Denver Post: "Largest budget ever, largest deficit ever, largest number of broken promises ever, most self-serving speeches ever, largest number of agenda-setting failures ever, fastest dive in popularity ever." Obama is going from never having managed anything to managing a crisis of this magnitude. Another nice speech. We need another blue ribbon commission.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patricia

    I think the speech was well delivered. I think that the President layed out the plan to get this disaster under control. This is a disaster. Katrina was a disaster. Of course it will take time to get the area repaired. The most important thing is $$$$ which BP has & he has a clear plan to make BP pay for claims, lost wages, clean-up, etc., I think it is a smart move by the President to make BP set aside funds now, (in case they want to file bankruptcy in a few months) by the President getting the $$$ now, we know that the money will be available to work through these problems. Although, I think BP should set aside 40 billion. I know that money can't bring back the lost rig workers, but $$$ can solve many problems. It can restore the area, and eventually get people back to work. I also agree with the President's statement that this "is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now .

    June 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Patricia, I have three words for you: RULE OF LAW. Think about it.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      As long as you gave George W Bush as much leeway over Katrina that you are giving Obama over this then you are right. If you cursed Bush for Katrina then you are an unprincipled dolt.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      @ Jim...I have 4 words

      This is a Disaster

      June 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Zach Miller

    Wake up! It can't be done. If they could they would to save their company from bankrupcy! Find out why....


    June 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Larry Simpson

    lies and more lies.Even if the government would approve new enegy programs ( which they won't) it would be 100 years at least before we were weined off oil. Obama is a pathetic liar who is leading our country to the brink of destruction and fancy speeches won't save us.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vivian Fulk

      There is NOT 100 years of oil left.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ramona

    How can so many people bash President Obama?!?!? He was not working for BP, he was not out in the Gulf of Mexico drilling for oil? He has not claimed to be an Engineer working for an oil company, claiming to be drilling in water? Why so many harsh words for someone who had NOTHING to do with this problem?

    So many of you wouldn't appreciate it if was able to reach right down and plug up the leak either! I have never seen so many judgemental people in my life! Start offering solutions and not so many criticisms. BP should pay for this.....President Obama can only remind you that he didn't create this problem!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tellus Sol Divinorumus

    Pretty funny when Obamy said BP will pay for this. Has anyone ever stopped to think where BP got it's money from? That's right, YOU! YOU are paying for this.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vivian Fulk

      BP made enouh profit in the last 21 days to pay for this entire clean up.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You're so right. People just don't understand that companies pay $0 in taxes. It's their customers and shareholders who pay increased taxes, levies and fines through higher prices or lower stock returns. But, you'll never hear a liberal say that because it sounds so much better to say, "Let's place special taxes on those SOB's" than to say everybody dig a little deeper in your own pockets to pay. Most people – sadly – just don't get beyond the shiny cellophane and fancy rhetoric.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PeopleWakeUp!

    Let me understand this: GW drags his butt on shoring up the levies and helping folks during the Katrina disaster causing a loss of over 1800 lives. 1800+ dead people, dead human being, dead Americans. BO immediately deals with a corporation-made accident that kills 11 and threatens the livelihood (not lives) of Gulf residents and Gulf wildlife. An incident caused by lax regulation, lax oversight and 3 greedy corporations. And, Obama needs to be impeached??!! PEOPLE PLEASE WAKE UP!!! Until we realize that big corporations and the power that many want to give them is really what's threatening America, then we will always be able to be duped. The reality is that the President is doing everything that he can, but until the oil stops spilling into the Gulf and people stop seeing tarballs on beaches, and oil-soaked pelicans, Americans will continue to be concerned. The President should be blamed for those things that he has control of but this is not one of those things.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramona

      Well said! Bravo!

      June 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DagnyTag

      "immediately deals with".....wow, that cool-aid must be delicious. You've obviously overdosed on it. "Immediately"....riiiiiiight. What a blind tool you are. Count Baracula has you addicted like the parasite that you are for his hopey changey blood$ sucking re-distribution. Moron.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Nonsense. If Obama was doing everything he can, he would have accepted other countries offers to help by sending boats to clean up 40 days ago. He has refused to allow those boats to operate in US waters... up to now. That is pathetic. That is far, far worse than anything Bush did or didn't do.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      The President should not be blamed for things he has no control on, like managing a national catastrophe. Managing national catastrophes should be the job of someone else.

      For the things he has control on, like the complete lack of an effective plan after 50+ days of this national catastrophe, he should continue to blame Bush.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You need to wake up. I could say that Bill Clinton didn't have the guts to approve taking out bin Laden which lead to 3,000 deaths on 9/11. I could say that, but I won't. Both parties have been playing with themselves while the whole country sinks ever faster. On second thought, go back to sleep. You'll feel better in the morning when you wake up; until you realize the America we all love is gone.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia


      June 15, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brenda

    Shouldn't Obama's government have a concrete plan after 50+ days on a better way to contain the leaking oil and try to prevent it reaching more coastline?? Oh, I forgot Obama can't plan a birthday part unless it is for his wife in NY City on the taxpayers dime (whoops, teh secret service planned that one). How many years will he blame Bush? After all isn't he in charge of the MME unit? or is he going to blame Bush FOREVER. This is a guy who keeps saying the "buck stops here" then blames someone else the next sentence. Before being President he was in charge of less people than a second lieutenant leading a platoon....and it shows.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Viewer #21

    Some of you are saying: "he's spending too much". Others are saying: "the government isn't doing enough". I'm assuming that you people are not on the same "side" right? Those are rather conflicting statements. Doing something requires spending money in this case; this isn't simply legislative action, this is physical action. The clean up effort and the efforts to make sure that this does not happen again by learning from the mistakes that were made means materials and and man power and most importantly time. Any misconceptions about this are based in ignorance.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
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