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. T

    The speech was a big yawner. I could have done with less" feel good, religious" talk and more "this is what we're going to do to make BP pay" talk.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. andres

    Deepwater Horizon?!?

    Day 56 and we get a speach...repeat of the speach we have been getting for the last three weeks...but in the Oval Office !! Oooh, now we'll see some action....the OVAL OFFICE...now we're getting somewhere. (note boneheads...that is sarcasm.)

    June 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tamera Rahim

      Andres there is action being taken, there has been since the moment it happened. If you want magic, that can not be done. No one can make it just go away, but all that can be done is being done by the government, and more and more by BP as they realize that we are not going to just sit and watch them fiddle with a gusher in our gulf. Things take time to implement no matter how much we all hate to wait, there are laws that govern even a clean up effort and they do have to be followed.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. brenda

    People certainly weren't this kind to Bush for his Katrina response (not saying he didn't deserve a lot of crap)...despite the fact he got things rolling in about 7-10 days after the worst storm to hit our country in centuries. This is the worst ecologic disaster ever, and after 50+ days, Obama gives us a speech to PASS A BILL to TAX ALL OF US FOR OUR HEAT. No plan to slow the damage (that he can work on, even if he can't cap the well), didn't meet with the BP or TransOcean executives (operators of the rig) until TODAY?? He has had time to play golf, but not meet with the companies trying to respond to the disaster. This guy makes Jimmy Carter look competent.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Mad Ape

    FROM Tom Buyea FL News Service

    It has been estimated by experts that the pressure which blows the oil into the Gulf waters is estimated to be between 20,000 and 70,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). Impossible to control.

    What US Scientists Are Forbidden To Tell The Public About The Gulf

    What you are about to read, is what the scientists in the United States are not allowed to tell you in great fear of the Obama administration.

    They are under the threat of severe repercussions to the max.. Scientists confirming these findings cannot be named due to the above, but what they believe, they want to be known by all.

    Take a U. S. map, lay it flat and measure inland just the minimum 50 miles of total destruction all around the Gulf of Mexico as to what you will read below.

    The carnage to the United States is so staggering, it will take your breathe away.

    Should what the scientists who are trying to warn everyone about be even close to being true... all of Florida will be completely destroyed as will everyone and everything on it.

    You decide!! Everyone has the right to read what I have just written in this article, as well as to what is written below by the scientists who the Obama administration and BP are trying to shut up.

    Please share with as many as you can.

    –Dr. James P. Wickstrom

    Summary of What is Happening

    The estimated super high pressure release of oil from under the earth's crust is between 80,000 to 100,000 barrels per day.

    The flow of oil and toxic gases is bringing up with it... rocks and sand which causes the flow to create a sandblasting effect on the remaining well head device currently somewhat restricting the flow, as well as the drilled hole itself.

    As the well head becomes worn it enlarges the passageway allowing an ever-increasing flow. Even if some device could be placed onto the existing wellhead, it would not be able to shut off the flow, because what remains of the existing wellhead would not be able to contain the pressure.

    The well head piping is originally about 2 inches thick. It is now likely to be less than 1 inch thick, and thinning by each passing moment. The oil has now reached the Gulf Stream and is entering the Oceanic current which is at least four times stronger than the current in the Gulf, which will carry it throughout the world within 18 months.

    The oil along with the gasses, including benzene and many other toxins, is deleting the oxygen in the water. This is killing all life in the ocean. Along with the oil along the shores, there will be many dead fish, etc. that will have to be gathered and disposed of.

    Summary of Expectations

    At some point the drilled hole in the earth will enlarge itself beneath the wellhead to weaken the area the wellhead rests upon. The intense pressure will then push the wellhead off the hole allowing a direct unrestricted flow of oil, etc.

    The hole will continue to increase in size allowing more and more oil to rise into the Gulf. After several billion barrels of oil have been released, the pressure within the massive cavity five miles beneath the ocean floor will begin to normalize.

    This will allow the water, under the intense pressure at 1 mile deep, to be forced into the hole and the cavity where the oil was. The temperature at that depth is near 400 degrees, possibly more.

    The water will be vaporized and turned into steam, creating an enormous amount of force, lifting the Gulf floor. It is difficult to know how much water will go down to the core and therefore, its not possible to fully calculate the rise of the floor.

    The tsunami wave this will create will be anywhere from 20 to 80 feet high, possibly more. Then the floor will fall into the now vacant chamber. This is how nature will seal the hole.

    Depending on the height of the tsunami, the ocean debris, oil, and existing structures that will be washed away on shore and inland, will leave the area from 50 to 200 miles inland devoid of life. Even if the debris is cleaned up, the contaminants that will be in the ground and water supply will prohibit re-population of these areas for an unknown number of years.

    (End of scientists information release.)

    June 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. andres

    "Obama: We'll fight spill with everything we've got"
    So, let me get this straight....he's going to fight the spill with a teleprompter?!?
    Somehow I don't think that's gonna work!?!

    June 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Mad Ape

      now that's funny

      June 15, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Patricia

    Tired of reading..."If President Obama would have done this" "If President Obama would have done that"...Well, guess what, "If my aunt had a d......she would be my uncle.
    The President is doing a great job in my opinion & he is going to kick ass with BP's money

    June 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      "With BP's money?" Where do you think BP gets its money? Look in the mirror, honey.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Mad Ape

      he can kick all he wants but this will bankrupt BP because there is no way to stop this oil until mother nature does for us in about 18 months.

      no amount of money or human effort will stop this...this is an apocalyptic event

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

    I noticed that the media staff didn't apply the, "light skin creating", make-up on President Obama. He finally looks like a regular expresso after the tan he got from visiting the Gulf Coast, unless the White House media staff applied the dark brown make-up on him for his televised speech. He's like a chameleon, in the summer he turns dark brown and during the winter he turns light brown, or should we say, Sen. Harry Reid's, "light skinned", brown.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Mad Ape

      Ahh I see the racists have set in. Obama may be a Wall Street Stooge but it has nothing to do about race. Sell you crap to the David Duke Society.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    This is a dreadful situation, but its a mistake, his actions and Sabre rattling are having much worse implications than the cost of the clean up bill, the guys a joke, i liked him in the beginning, but what is this rubbish?, blaming 'British Petroleum' as he keeps referring to them as, does he not understand that its a private company, 40% British owned and 39% American? , that also employs hundreds of thousands of people in the US and makes a very big piece of your governments tax revenue?, what does he think people are going to say when he bankrupts them, with hundreds of thousands more out of work and your and our economies in shatters?, is he going to launch another stimulus bill to build a green energy sector running into the trillions of dollars?, he's caused a major unnecessary rift with your staunchest ally and is trying to break the back of the UK's biggest company. His treachery will not go forgotten while our sons are dying in the deserts of Afghanistan in Obama's war, shame on him!. – from a very disillusioned, once upon a time extremely pro American Brit..

    June 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Mad Ape

      they took short cuts
      they jeopardized employee safety
      they caused the largest man-made disaster in recorded history
      they desreve to be bankrupted

      June 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Then so does Haliburton and Transocean who were actually running / set up the rig....and by the way Transocean is an American company that recently moved its corporate accounts to Switzerland to avois paying US tax revenue....go figure on that citizen joe!

      June 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      What planet do you live on? BP will pay for this disaster. BPy took shortcuts that cost the lives of men who were only doing a job & making a living for their family. BP took shortcuts that cost the livelyhood of fishermen, the gulf, the wildlife, etc. Blame BP if you don't get your dividend check this month. Yes they are owned in part by the US & guess what, they have bought up natural gas leases in the US & making money from them too, so offshore dirlling isn't their only venture. I doubt they will go bankrupt, if they do...so be it...after we collect what we need for compensation, clean-up, etc. Oh, btw, it is not Obama's war...he is ending the war. cheerio's

      June 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Again you have no idea what your talking about, please do some detailed research on who was handling the platform at the time of the drill, who assembled the platform and where these companies are incorporated, you will find BP mearly awarded the contract, much like the US government awarded the contract to BP – So who is to blame?. I quote the a well know NY newspaper------

      The rig's array of international hands and private subcontractors involved with its manufacture and production may also be partly to blame for the explosion.

      The Deepwater Horizon was built in South Korea and operated by a Swiss company (Transocean) NOTE: Not Swiss, they are American and moved their bank accounts to Switzerland in 2008 to avoid paying US Tax revenue) working for a British oil company (BP).

      And under international law, rigs can be treated as ships, with less governmental oversight. The Deepwater Horizon was registered as a ship in the Marshall Islands, the Los Angeles Times reports.

      Basing it in the tiny South Pacific nation protected the Deepwater Horizon from stricter safety laws.

      The Marshall Islands licensed the rig to Transocean, which allowed an oil drilling expert more power than the rig's sea captain the day it blew up, the Times reports.

      Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/06/15/2010-06-15_bp_deepwater_horizon_engineer_called_rig_a_nightmare_days_before_gulf_oil_spill_.html#ixzz0qyk63k5u

      June 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. andres

    You know what no one is talking about that is REALLY important?

    Are the Lakers going to send this to 7?!?

    June 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. electriccompanyemployee

    just watched another mouth moving and nothing is his fault--he has everyone else to blame if things don't work because they are in charge--and the kicker--we need to move to cap and trade--open up your pocketbooks because its going to cost you--wake up america--we cant afford to go green-–

    June 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. brenda

    Does everyone on this blog know that Obama will tax us for this disaster, hire a bunch of no good lazy Union government employees (yes, I supervise a bunch and they are lazy as can be, wanting compensation for staying until 4:01 pm) who do the bare minimum to not get fired. Then, when they screw up like MME did supervising this thing, say "the buck stops here" then promptly say he is "fixing the mistakes of the previous admin" blaming EVERYONE but himself. His 2012 campaign slogan will probably be "still trying to fix Bush's mistakes of the last 8 years" and blame all his failures on Bush. WHAT A LOSER.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • buke56

      no dear he will tax bp

      June 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. shri

    Is it true that BP chartering execs were partying in Greece during the Posidonia summit last week or so while the world was anxiously looking at the Gulf spill. Is it also true that BP themselves threw a party during Posidonia.

    I would really like to find out

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

    I agree with the President on many fronts but we need action now, sorry Mr. president
    we have to clean up the gulf and send BP the bill, or penalize them OH They do have us all over a barrell dont they?

    Posted by Star
    "SUPER TANKER RETRIEVAL is CRITICAL. GET BP’s OIL OUT OF OUR WATER. Putting BP be in charge of the disaster is equivalent to putting Al Qaeda in charge of Home Land Security. BP has ruined our Gulf food chain, ecosystem and beaches with oil, chemicals, GREED. BP’s sub-sea containment failed. BP lied about the amount of oil being spilled & consequently, their retrieval efforts have fallen far short. SUPER TANKER RETRIEVAL is CRITICAL. There are miles & millions of gallons of oil slick with no ships or skimmers to retrieve it.
    In the 1990’s there was a comparable unpublished disaster in Saudi Arabia. Shell & the major oil companies organized a flotilla of super tankers surrounding the spill area. They pulled up oil and water until the oil was all retrieved. They retrieved 10 million gallons of oil and water per tanker per trip and effectively cleaned up the oil and saved the environment. BP’s oil did not have to reach Louisiana’s shore , it did not have to kill the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem, IT DOES NOT HAVE TO REACH FLORIDA & THE EAST COAST. Our government has failed with unforgivable procrastination for RETRIEVAL EFFORTS TO REMOVE THIS OILUS government officials are allowing the oil to continue to flow while oil company profiteers keep on keeping on. DEMAND SUPER TANKER RETRIEVAL CLEAN UP NOW. GET THE OIL OUT OF OUR WATER. Shell Oil CEO CALLED FOR Super Tanker Retrieval weeks ago on NBC news – if the government & BP had made the call then the tankers would be here by now.
    Please contact the President, the Department of Interior, Department of Justice, Governor, Senators and Representatives. SUPER TANKER RETRIEVAL NOW – GET BP's OIL OUT OF OUR WATER"

    June 15, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Serg

    Well America, we got what we voted for, a slogan, that is all. You voted for change but where is it. You hated Bush ok understandable, but now our president finds it easy to blame him and the replublican party. If this is change hell ill keep the same old BS, at least they had talent in selling me BS>

    June 15, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tamera Rahim

      There has been a lot of changes, and if not for the remaining portions of the Bush era we would have a great deal more. I hope the President gets more support from the house and senate to make the changes that we the people want to see in the future rather than fighting him at every step. By the way it is the fault of the Bush era.

      June 16, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Scvlptr

    I remember when I owned propertyt that if the weeds got to high the city or county would cut them because of noxious weeds. Why cant we deploy tankers from at least US companies and suck up that oil? WE can send BP the bill , just like the local governments did to me!

    June 15, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
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