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. Trev

    The speech was not good. I was expecting a much tougher response. Yes, he says BP is going to pay by setting up a fund, but what this really means is that their insurance company will pay for setting up the fund. At BP it will be business as usual.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brenda

    Bush wasn't responsible for Katrina, the IDIOT people of New Orleans were...including that buffoon mayor. Bush warned them 96 hours earlier to get out and the idiot mayor said "No thank you, we aren't going to mandate people leave, its voluntary and I'm not going to spend any money or use my buses to get poor people out". Its not BUSH's fault, its the retarded people of N. Orleans. Come ON, it was a Category 4-5 hurricaine. How stupid are these people, they could have WALKED out in 96 hours. PLus, N.O. is BELOW sea level. Only a nimrod would stay.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tony FL

    Most of Obama Bashers are off the topic, for their own selfish reason. The Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 was a Republican piece of legislation signed by then-President Clinton. It came up for renewal under Dubya again in 2005. Let’s not jest. This “act” created an undue risk subsidy, a relief from common sense and controllership, which has disturbing similarities to the repeal of Glass Steagall, paving way to unchecked and over-leveraged risk taking in the industry. As a result, toxic brew spilled over the entire economy. The entire idea, the political platform of deregulation is what had brought us here. The belief that by bending (or breaking and removing) rules to match big business interests, there would be some magical, intrinsic, new value added to the economy at large. If there were any “lessons learned”, any valuable takeways from all this drama, it was that the “trickle down” voodoo economics of Reagan were finally dispelled once and for all, and I am hoping the Kenesian “theorists” are next up on the chopping block. For all of you rednecks, it’s where Obama is from. Just kidding, of course, our President was born in the state of Hawaii. I do see quite a few of foil wrap heads around here…you people are like our own little domestic Al Qaeda, total ragheads, ignorant to boot and all that, but it’s nice to see you at least have a drive. You come here and you post your daily dumb s-t which is hilarious at best.
    Obama is left to deal with a string of SYSTEMIC crises – from Wall Street to the Gulf disaster, the government has been consistently declawed and disbarred by Republicans from staying in charge. Do any of you fools actually believe McCain would have plugged the hole with Sarah Palin's new implants? Lol. Get real. Obama has been dealt a horrible hand, thanks in part to his predecessors who could care less about the economic and governance fundamentals, and more about pleasing their corporate masters. Now the same hypocrits are trying to make him a fall guy. Obama is doing what anyone in his shoes would. How ironic though this country has become such a mess, for the fault of the very few...

    June 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • keeping it real

      Thank you!.. i couldn't have said it any better.. but you forgot one point and i will keep it simple

      why is it when a private company profits shoot through the roof, every one says " government get out of the way"
      but when the greed causes a social issue.. every blames the government for not acting

      June 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Why can't you make your points without calling people "rednecks." Is it me – or – do more of the people who support Obama's (in)actions use name-calling than those who aren't. You sound like a three-year-old.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      "When a company's profits shoot through the roof?" Do you have an understanding of profits versus profits margins. The dollar amount of profits usually has little relationship to profit margin. A well-run grocery store chain probably has a better profit margin than a major oil company. But then, ignorance is bliss.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Because companies are the engines of jobs, of economic recovery! The government is the most inefficient waster of money and resources in the planet. We are drilling for oil at a mile depth because drilling close to the coast and in-land is off-limits! Remember, the hundreds of burning oil wells that were capped in the first Iraq war. Environmental regulation causing more harm than good. Same can be said for this country not building nuclear power plants either. The government won't approve, even though the majority of electricity in countries like France is nuclear.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. john

    If you recall your Katrina history, Bush was accused of causing the hurricane, steering it, blowing up levees, etc. It's far more likely Obama is maximizing this oil damage for his political gain. He knows he has to pass bills before so many Democrats get voted out in November. Why else does he refuse the help from other countries and their specialized boats for cleanup?

    June 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • DagnyTag

      John, in a word: Union

      June 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    Could the GREEDY oil companies ever dare to "cry wolf" about any real oil shortages again after the world has witnessed the unbelievable amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. This is just one of the MANY oil rigs, yet we now have UNLIMITED and seemingly infinite amount of oil ruining our oceans and beaches . I was personally shocked that the rich oil companies didn't have the nerve to increase prices.Lets get rid of our dependence of oil. I cant wait to see us rely on wind & sun and watch all the oil companies dry up.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rich in NJ

    1. Obama takes the time to note that the region has been attacked by a past oil spill, and multiple hurricanes over the decades.

    2. Billy Nungesser indicated a hurricane(s) could hit the gulf, lift up the oil and dump the oil on the coastal area.

    3. Many pundits have visited many sites struck by previous hurricanes and even tornadoes and floods.

    Question: Why should we waste one red cent rebuilding an area we know will ultimately be destroyed again and again by natural and possibly by man-made disasters? What's more...why do we constantly allow people to build homes and open business in such places with full knowledge that at some point in time they will face challenges with potentially life altering consequences and then when they are hit by such a disaster we quickly help them rebuild knowing it will eventually happen again? Stop the insanity!
    Remember Sam Kinison's joke about going to Africa and taking the people who live in a dessert to 'where the food is' we need that same logic applied to places like this in our Country. Such as the Gulf of Mexico, California Wildfire territory, The Florida Keys, Wayne & Bound Brook & Sea Bright, NJ, any hurricane, or repeat tornado victims. And lets not forget anyone who lives on a fault line or in the shadow of a volcano. Enough already. Relocate people and businesses to where the safety is!

    June 15, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Viewer #21

      Rich, is that a name or a description?
      I was born and raised in NJ and I couldn't wait to leave.
      Are you suggesting that everyone should move where you are? How would you like it if the government found out that all the densely located massive landfills surrounded by the most densely populated state in the country was a recipe for some type of biochemical disaster or destined to create some type of viral outbreak. Would you like it if you and your entire community were forced by the government relocate to another area? Doubtful.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela Rainsong in Florida

      ?!? The gulf coast isn't only Louisianna... The gulf coast is quite vast... The area I'm in (Tampa Bay) has mercifully been spared by major hurricane damage due to the currents. And where do you suggest we all go? Do you want us in your state, competing for your jobs?

      June 15, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Hey Rich in NJ,with coastal warming, I hope you get the next hurricane then I can post a response about why worry about your ah state.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Leave to a Jersey boy to hit the nail on the head. Well said!

      June 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich in NJ

      Viewer #21 – yes I also can't wait to leave NJ. 8 more years til retirement and then straight outta this craphole of a state. But as to your comment, you're comparing apples & oranges. Nature owns the gulf region. It will take what it wants regardless and people seemingly intelligent people, choose to give it a go. And we move in lockstep as the worlds worst enablers by bailing them out every time. This is no 9/11. No Pearl Harbor. We all saw Katrina and Rita and lets not forget Hurricane Andrew back in the 90's coming, as well as others. nature takes what it wants! My aunt who resides in Pensacola lost everything she owned...twice. I told her to get the hell out of there, but no...she insisted remained and got taken again. Sorry, but thats the very definition of stupidity and I told her as much. Make your bed and lay in it...don't ask for help to re-make it after you tossed it off during the night yourself.
      Pam...I never said Louisiana...I said Gulf and I meant the whole damn thing! Plenty of good safe places to live in this country...please relocate.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich in NJ

      Steve I live on a peninsula on the Jersey Shore. Water is 3 blocks north of me and 5 blocks south of me. We have signs on every major block indicating where the coastal evacuation route is. In all my years here I've never had to evacuate, but I am prepared to do so. I purchased a small vacation place in Pennsylvania for my family to go to in the event of an emergency. I work for the fire department and my neighbor is the captain of a boat here at the shore. Guess what, he's also my neighbor in PA. See...we're prepared. We used our brains. Imagine that...two guys from Jersey with a plan.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John

    Come on Mr President, The American people will be paying for this for decades. You stepped in 2 months to late and who knows how many BILLIONS short! I kind of wonder how much MR former Vice Pres Dick C had his pocket book padded?

    June 15, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bobby

    The President has said that the gulf coast will be restored better than it was before this disaster. Does he know what has happened?. I don't think he will live three hundred years to see that done !

    June 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • gd

      yes and the arrogance and ignorance to make that kind of statement speaks volumes

      June 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike in Texas

    Follow trustingly without having a vision of the ultimate outcome. And trust in the 'hand' that leads us.
    He talked of trusting those who lead us down a path that does not have a clear destination. Why must we be lulled into trusting those pulling the levers behind a curtain?
    He talked religion and undermines its foundation. What hand is he speaking of?
    Again he perverts our understanding by playing upon our personal association with words. We are quick to interpret what people say based upon our perception and life experience with words.
    With this president we need to understand that the words we hear from him are defined by his intentions, shady associations, history, and track record.
    Native Americans call this type of eloquent and deceptive speaker a man with a forked tongue. He speaks to our understanding to pull us in and at the same time speaks to his intentions.
    The pied piper has lulled many with his mesmerizing tune. But many more are snapping out of the trance and seeing through the deception.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sameeker

    If Bu$h were still president, the taxpayers would be paying the entire bill to protect BP. Also, halliburton would have allready been awarded a no bid contract to fix it.

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

      Evidently you don't know how much money BP gave to Obama's campaign.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      If you only knew how ignorant you sound when you say things like this... The taxpayers will pay every cent of this – in higher prices and lowered investment returns. Did you know that 40% of BP stock is held by Americans? I'll bet many of them are retirees who will see their investments hit yet again. You really should take a quick course in economics before you sit down and start commenting about things you understand so poorly.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brenda

    Tony in FL wants to blame Bush for Obama's failure for 2 years to do anything but TAX people. Really? Weren't the Democrats in charge of both houses of congress since 1996...including the last two years of Bush. When are the democrats going to take responsibility for anything. Maybe we should bring Carter back, at least he didn't patronize us with lies. This country is in a mess because Obama tripled Bush's federal deficit each year for 2 years and he is making us BANKRUPT like Greece.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Hopper

      Obama has "tripled the deficit" (will have to look up the figures on that one) because he is caught in Bush politics... paying for two wars Bush started, implimenting bailouts that Bush designed, and honoring billions in bonds the Bush admin sold and dated for this year. Tell me, you-who-blame-Obama for the increases... what NEW measures has Obama put in place that spent all this money? What is he responsible for that was not created by the Bush admin? (Don't say universal medicine... it has not been implimented or paid for int he money you discussed.)

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

      William you are a fool. Bush didn't pass a 787 Billion bill, Obama, Pelosi, and Reed did. it did nothing to help our economy. Who raised all non-discretionary spending by 30% across the board, OBAMA. Not Bush. Bush had a max 400 billion deficit. Obama 1.3 TRILLION. FOR TWO YEARS. Don't you dare blame this deficity on Bush. Plus, Pelosi and Reed (democrats) were the majority in congress since 1996...it was a democrat budget even then.... Stop smoking "medical marijuana" and start reading a book.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Pamela Rainsong in Florida

    Instead of sitting around doing nothing, you could... I don't know... VOLUNTEER! GET UP AND COME HELP US! DO SOMETHING BESIDES COMPLAIN AND POINT FINGERS! There are lots of organizations that are looking for volunteers and donations. Do something to help! Don't say stupid stuff like... I can't wait until November... What then? You think the GOP is going to waltz in and clean up the mess?

    June 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich in NJ

      Help why? You people choose to live in an unstable environment and then ask for handouts and hand-ups every time nature does what it does best; tear stuff up. Get a clue, move to a safer environment. Let nature reclaim the lands and in time it'll clean itself up and/or adapt to the new ripple man has tossed its unfortunate way. If you care at all about the land and the animals for which it provides get the hell off of it!

      June 15, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela Rainsong in Florida

      I live in Tampa Bay Florida... Safety Harbor, in fact... it's one of the safest places to live in Florida.... You know what? Florida doesn't want drilling... and we're going to hit by this too. Since you obviously hate people... donate and volunteer to help the innocent wildlife... go pick up dead sea turtles and dolphins... Rich in NJ. Yeah... just sit at your computer and do nothing. Just like you apparently do. A big part of the problem Rich or Rick or whatever your name is.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich in NJ

      I work for a major NJ fire department so I donate plenty. As for hating people? Wrong on many levels. I do things and have done things for people you can't even begin to imagine and with great personal risk to myself I might add. So don't even begin to think along those lines. Being on the front lines of disaster is how I've come to know what I know. People place themselves in danger all the time and I do what I gotta do to get them out of the jams they find themselves in. Whether its the guy who tried to pass on the right on the turnpike and found himself pinned beneath his own 4×4, or the lady who thought barbecuing indoors because it was raining outside was safe til her house caught on fire. it makes no difference to me I help. but then I go one step further. Once the situation is stabilized I reach out to those I've helped and I try to educate them on where they went wrong with the hopes that they'll never do it again. In my 18 years on the job, I think I've done more to save lives through education than in any other form of contribution I've provided. So as I said....move to where the safety is! As for the animals...they are subjects of the environment. And the PEOPLE responsible for them being in this condition should pay to fix them as they are truly innocent in all of this whereas the people are not. If it makes you feel better I will send out a $25 donation to a relief effort of your choosing and I will even email you a receipt for proof if you provide me with your email address.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CARROL!

    Fellow brothers Americans ,
    The time is not to fight inside yourselves with yourselves. Division leads to failure and Unity brings VICTORY. Don't fight people (right now) but fight the OIL SPILL IN LA.Don't be distracted by politicians or parties. Let push technics to find means to solve the issue; like during the WW2, America saved the world with the new tech ( A-bomb). America can all if we put aside politics and parties. God bless AMERICA and inspires its scientists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. D

    Barry, I haven't seen you so happy in a while. You LOVE that this whole thing happened. Admit it, Barry.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MAG

    President Obama, my family and I support you on this clean energy initiative, and have been more than ready since your election to this office to explore renewable sources that don't result in hard-working people and innocent animal life dying. It is really no surprise to us that some hatemongers are so hypocritical and impatient after only a short time, yet silent and passive after 8 long, painful years of the prior Administration's "lies" and "filth"...Nonetheless, we educated folk who are ready to continue this positive and productive path, and are waiting for the next steps. Thank you for your amazing service and realize that this "silent majority" has come out to speak out in support and faith of your leadership.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      We thank you too for the great speeches. Not quite sure what you are exactly doing on just about anything, but it does sound very nice. I do regret that you broke your promise to put all bills on the white house web site for 5 days before signing, or to have the congressional health care negotiations on CSPAN, or to end earmarks, or to keep unemployment from rising above 8%, or to close Guantanamo, or to hire former lobbyists, or to disclose the names of all attendees at closed White House meetings, or to start a new era of bipartisan cooperation, or to bring fiscal discipline to Washington, etc, etc.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
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