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. tom

    WAKE UP! Other countries have offered boats to skim the oil. But Obama has to allow it. 50 days later Obama hasn't allowed them in. Obama LIES when he says he is doing everything. If your news organization isn't reporting this, don't you wonder why?

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

      The real question that we are maybe not privy to is at what cost to the US – Don't think that other countries want to help us out of the kindness of their hearts...YOU wake up!!!

      June 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • LUIS

      I'm sure Obama is doing everything he can to solve this matter and has good reason not to allow these boats in. I believe he is better prepared than you when making these decisions, because I don't remember the last time you, tom, won a presidential election.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rnc111

    The speech is 50 days too late. We can drill on land and near shore because it is safer. To tax on the oil companies will only be passed onto the consumers. Conversation with BP CEO is long overdue.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tellus Sol Divinorumus

    There's a REASON why they are saying that eventually they can contain ONLY 90% of this leaking oil from the well ... thus allowing 10% to continue to leak.

    You see, if they said they were now collecting 100% of that oil coming from that busted well, people would begin to wonder "if the well has been stopped, then why is oil still floating up and washing up on shore?"

    So, I'll tell you why they will leave 10% leaking into the gulf .. it's to cover up the fact that BP has fractured the gulf floor .. and they can't ever stop THAT!

    Now, wait until the pressures equalize after a while ... wait until gulf waters start flowing down through those cracks into that oil volcano they awoken ... wait until KABOOM! That water will vaporize and build up such huge pressures that ... that ... well, I'll leave the rest up to you all to dream about tonight in your worst nightmares.

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

      Please see my post below in response to the poster called RogerMexico. Please replace his name with yours, and then read again. Once you have finished, please slap yourself. Thank you.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CptAmerica

    @ RogerMexico,

    You, Sir, are an idiot. Congratulations on successfully making Paris Hilton seem intelligent. /golfclap

    That is all.

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

      No, he is Harvard educated, and did not use his father's legacy and a cheat sit-in....

      June 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Billy

    I'm very disappointed in Obama's speech and response to the oil disaster. What Obama doesn't seem to get is he needs to put someone in charge to coordinate the response. He talks like this is a war...well, who's the 'General' in charge of this war? This 'General' would lead the disaster reponse team that would coordinate a cleanup plan for the entire gulf, keep everyone updated on their progress, respond to governors, mayors, etc. The 'General' is the action person that makes sure it gets done.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Matteo

    Here Here CptAmerica

    June 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    All I can say is that Obama has my vote in 2012 and the people that put him there have to beat down this rampant idiocy from the right. After the speech I tuned to Fox News and caught the end of Palin... oh Lord. Imagine if they had been elected: 30% unemployment, wars with Iran and North Korea, people using god knows what for currency, and the Gulf just as bad or worse as it is now.

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

      Bill, he's got mine in 2012 along with my husband, mother, grandmother, and just about every family member and friend.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • usa-all-the-way

      AAAWWWWW... that may all be true (and probably worse) but we would have had one cute VP 🙂

      June 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Of course there's Ron Paul who has spent a huge amount of time in Congress (exposing the greed in Congress) and the lack of fiscal responsibility of the Federal Reserve to which he believes should be eliminated. That's the guy to vote for.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • brenda

      Yes, I look at his budget deficit, the great job he is doing with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the "new chapter of diplomacy" with N. Korea,getting us out of Iraq/Afganistan, and all his other messiah like accomplishments and I will certainly vote for him too in 2012.....really? Stop smoking the medical marijuana...everything he promised has NOT HAPPENED. His foreign diplomacy to "fix Bush's failures" HAS MADE THINGS WORSE!!

      June 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patricia

    Pickens Plan

    June 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CARROL!

    Please ,AMERICAN BROTHERS, do not fight among us. Time is not for blame but solution.Are you really sure than President Obama does do any thing?
    If someone have idea that can help stop this issue,please, share it with BP technicians or scientists. We need your idea than politician campains.Think, the natural resources of American people are going away or spilled for no interest.Do you like to discuss for nonsense things when your properties had caught fire! Look first for solution, and save what you can ,OK!

    June 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Well this non-natural disaster which happened on his watch will certainly provide jobs (contingent) for a good number of people. That's something positive. Then there's the environment of course, but that comes second.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pamela Rainsong in Florida

    Florida for Clean Energy !

    June 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    Obama wasn't concerned until his poll numbers started to drop.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    What a JOKE that was! People down here have lost their lives and livelihood. They don't want to hear a pseudo-religious pep-talk or, albeit seriously needed, a 21st century energy plan phasing out the nasty oil poisoning our world. They want action, not talk. We certainly didn't need a recap of all the things we already knew. We need a Leader, not a Cheerleader.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Fisherman care about ONE thing. Money. I'm not sympathetic to them, they are ruthlessly destructive to the environment.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Drew, where do you think tuna comes from – cans?

      June 15, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. usa-all-the-way

    Just to be clear - there will be no vote in 2012-
    And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

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

      Hey mister end of the world man..... cheer up! Go watch 2012, it all works out in the end, we make big Noah's Arks.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. PeopleWakeUp!

    @Brenda and John: You know what they say about people who resort to personal attacks. You guys are absolutely right.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. usa-all-the-way

    Hey Matteo,
    Thanks for the pep talk 🙂 I think I'll go camping with the kids 🙂
    Have a great week, it is possitive people like you that will help make the future a better place.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matteo

      Glad I could help! Yep, a few more of me and there would be no more war =)

      June 15, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • brenda

      Yes, there would be no more war...but then everyone would come to America and steal everything we have, sell your kids into slavery...or kill them because they are Christians, and generally abuse and oppress the crap out of us...That is why we need a strong military. You probably believe we brought 9/11 on ourselves due to our vicious imperialistic policies (which, by the way, enabled the taliban to defeat the russian invaders). Thanks for the help U.S.......Now we blow up your buildings and kill 3000 innocents. Nice

      June 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
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