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. ken grogan

    presidential address started ok, then we get into a political speach on "clean energy" we need to hear about the oil spill and the money lost from the spill. im not impressed at all, mr. president

    June 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pete

    Just another lecture from our 'Dear Leader'...I've had enough of his lecturing. He is not a problem solver. He needs to be a 'one and done' president. This from a guy that voted for him.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alan

    I want to thank Obama for pointing out how silly it is to be drilling for oil under the Gulf when there is enough wind power blowing across it to easily power all of the Southeastern US.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. md

    after 50 some days, he only spoke for 17 minutes about this?!?!? ... oh my ... THIS is just sad!!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • madelyn

      would one hour suffice? perhaps not...then people like you would say he spoke too long! pleeeease!!!!

      June 15, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • rt

      I agree this speech should have been 2 hrs long...just a ploy to let us think we should change our ways and rely on the gov to control us....wafj

      June 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. shockazulu

    Blah Blah Blah Green Blah Energy Blah Blah Blah Hope Blah Blah Blah And They Prayed Blah Blah Blah Zzzzzzzzzz Change Blah Blah Blah 90% Blah Blah Blah Siege Blah Blah Blah Going Back To Bed Now.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. W thompson

    i wish this idiot would just shut up. he said nothing of any importance. why did you morons put him in pffice

    June 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skipfrmdc

      Same reason you would vote for Pallin. We believe he has not had a chance to do anything without constant detraction from the right. First drill. Then... oooopps... maybe we shouldn't have drilled. He's the POTUS now. You righties wanted support for your oil war in Iraq. Where is your "respect for the office" now?

      June 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ken grogan

    impeach him, yes. nothing but a political steach

    June 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Regina

    i think my nephew who is 9 could have gotten a point across better than this regarding this tragedy.. not his best moment at all.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ramirez

    What was that?? A feel good speech is not what we needed. What a joke! Shrimping season prayers and moon landings? Obama just lost my vote.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Marie

    Are you kidding me? He is talking about cap and trade? Lets just worry about the clean up and BP not going bankrupt. Right now people are not wanting their electric bills to quote from Obama "sky rocket". This speech was a waste of time! Just one more agenda for Obama.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. oldguy78

    More mindless blather without any concrete solutions.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim

    The reason we are "running out of places to drill for oil on land and in shallow water" is because Congress and environmentalists have blocked it – not because there are fewer areas in which to drill. Also, the "green energy initiatives" of the Chinese are because they have built hundreds of nuclear power plants to the zero we have built since TMI. This guy doesn't have a clue.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. William

    The President is leading... He is telling where we need to go energy-wise. But we have to follow. I agree BP has to pay for the damage created by the oli spill including the economic damage. He does speeches to let people know what is going on. People complain when they are not informed.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • md

      are you kidding?? ...

      June 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      The only one who is "uninformed" is Mister Obama. He needs to stop acting like a politician and start acting like a general or a CEO.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • gladstone

      united against obama !! get a life

      June 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Imbecile

    Nice speech.

    Now what?

    June 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • GuestColin

      Now, we form a committee!!

      June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Regina

    @W. Thompson, people who vote and exercise their american right are nor moron's. You are no more intelligent than someone who voted him in. I am in disgust with him also but to attack another american for using their voting power is wrong

    June 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
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