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. Doug

    what a chop...those who voted this guy into office must by now realize how unprepared he is to be president. BP is a crooked company, like many others, but our president is more harmful.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    Everything he said that "we have done" – implying the Imperial Federal government – has been devised by BP. The Feds have no clue what do and – early on – admitted as much.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bloated Boat

    I'm afraid that O and BP in September will just come out and say "All Hail Ye! We stopped the leak" and let all the damages still going on that is sight unseen go on till the next administration. There is no limit to this liability. Quibbling over who is going to pay isn't an issue anymore. Seize the assets held in the US and put them into escrow. Until there are funds in the bank, no matter what O or BP says, it's as good as a campaign promise. Keep the pressure on all of them until they pay every last cent. I like O, but at this point, unless BP comes through with massive funds in escrow, I don't believe you'll see more than pennies on the dollar.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. watdat

    whiskey tango foxtrot? really? is it really the time to do an energy sales speech? Are you kidding me???!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gabby

    I would like him to be a leader to our country. I would like him to stop spending our money. I would like him to lift the Jones Act, let the Dutch help us. I would like him to surround himself with people that are honest and pay their taxes, just like we do. He is arrogant?

    June 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mark F.

    Wonder if the government knows this??????????????????????????????

    Subject: Fwd: A Solution to the Oil Spill

    OK – watch the video. This is just too simple. Guess there's not enough politics in hay....

    HERE'S A GREAT SOLUTION TO THE OIL SPILL.

    GOD bless redneck’s! We have scientist, chemist, astronauts, Dr’s and
    biologists but it takes two farmers to think up something like this.

    >;rel=nofollow target="_blank">http://www.wimp.com/solutionoil/

    June 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Karen

    I am so saddened at people's negative reactions! Maybe people can stop saying horrible things about our president and offer to volunteer to help the people in the gulf or the wildlife who are being impacted. Maybe people can stop blaming the president for something he doesn't control, and he certainly didn't approve the oil rigs – but I don't want to start blaming "other" presidents because it serves no point. Maybe we can all remember that we are part of this country and be supportive. Talking about impeaching is just juvenile and unproductive?

    June 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Rule number one when you are the presidente it is always your fault it is called leadership. This president does not a leader he is a speache writer when will the american public stop being influneced by this guy and the press. Being in charge means acting not blah blah blah.........

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

      People blamed Bush for Katrina...so....this is bama's fault!

      June 16, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. pete

    Sweet! A $20billion escrow account for all the greedy lawyers to shark attack! Only another lawyer would come up with that! Ha!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • sl

      I have to totally agree with you on this!!!

      June 15, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Louisianian against Obama

      with how crooked Obama and his rug rats are, it will end up being a Lib slush fund...

      June 15, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rt

    They say the well is leaking 1000' below the surface of the sea...oil gushing from seabed...they will never stop this leak...we r dooooooooomed!!!!!!! Wait till a hurricane rips through the gulf...talk about tragic...wait and see we are gonna be in a military state.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kate in Atlanta

    The Obama speech gave us NOTHING to deal with disaster short term. Great long term things that need to be addressed, but where are the resources to address the oil coming onto our shores in the Gulf???? NOT ENOUGH!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simone

      That pretty much sums it up. I think we can all agree that we need reform, but reform won't magically clean up the spill we have now. I understand not crying over spilled milk, but that is a little too much.

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

    Still not a clue.......just a lot of political dancing around the subject matter. No new information, of course, just repeating what is already known. Couldn't even get the facts straight.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBrown

      I think the naysayers are the ones without a clue. Ten thousand people have explained, examined and demonstrated. Yet silly people still ask the same question.. And we wonder why so many americans are out of jobs..

      June 15, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBrown

      Obama didnt create the problem. He cannot solve it alone. BToo many americans have such a hatred for this man becuase of his color, they will not see past it. Ill continue to listne support and votee for him! Gooe work Mr President.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned

      Evidently he can't solve it with help either. Talk is cheap. What is needed is action. You know the old saying"action speaks louder than words". And who said anything about color or race.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LaJollaRich

    I haven't heard one word from Haliburton - they provided the deregulated busted pipes. Cheney and his ilk are so annoying because these Americans don't appear to care about anything except oil money.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Why can't you offer a comment without resorting to calling people names and implying that anybody who didn't vote for President Obama "probably cheated to get ahead." I know I didn't. I worked hard and haven't taken any government money – stolen from hard-working productive people to be "redistributed" to others.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DBrown

    I am so pro Obama now. I liked him before.. I love him now.. America has a man who actually leads with reasoning and not angry.. Too many halfwits want him to go all TEA Party....Anyone with half a brain knows yelling, screaming and threatening usually comes from cowards.. He willl certainly have my vote and support.. Finally I say I love america!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • jacques cousteau

      are you kidding me... go back to work Rahm Emanuel. You've got a bunch of oil to clean up

      June 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned

      Keep loving him when you are paying $25.00 a gallon for gas. Don't forget all the other products made from petroleum that you won't be able to afford either.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      Obama did not give a speech about the oil spill. He gave a speech about trying to pass cap and trade. Nice Obama now we can look forward to our electric bills tripleing. Well at least for once he did not blame Bush, republicans,independents, the tea party or who ever he could point his finger at . Shocking!!! I thought he would give it one more try to blame someone that was not in his party. It is BP's fault .

      June 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Dbrown, I feel sorry for you !! how can you fall for that blah blah this guy just keeps side steping all the issues. He is the president the most powerfull american, what has he done NOTHING AS USUAL speach after speach after speach. Think about all those poor peaple affected by this tragedy and generations to come not to mention this tragedy will be a global matter now.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sl

    How about we make the people who have caused the problem in the first place pay. Why are we even having to do off-shore drilling in the first place? THE FREAKING ENVIRONMENTALISTS who say on-shore drilling has such a dramatic effect on the environment. What do you think of the environment now with all this oil?!? Does nuclear energy seem to have such a 'dire environmental impact' now?!? Let's see the President actually do something about the cause of the problem – stop the freaking environmentalists from blocking all other safer sources of energy!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • fedup

      THANK YOU!! A voice of reason!!!

      June 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. J-J

    It was a good update I think. This president is not God and he can not make a miracle. If he talks to big people call him the antichrist. i think he is simply doing his job. What has happened in the Gulf is Biblical. It will be talked about 2000 years from now about how stupid and greedy Americans were that they allowed corporations to destroy their planet. The president is holding his cool. It is election year and he just passed healthcare. This oil spill needs to be the reason Americans never ever trust big rich corporations ever again.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lori Supports Our President

      Thank J-J... well said. I stand by our President for the same reasons you do. And I too have a terrible distaste for big Oil and their windfall profits and executive bonuses.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
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