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. The Mad Ape


    June 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skipfrmdc

      Universal Health care will pay for phsychiatric help.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Mad Ape

      Yum yes – it is obvious that you need it. Fluoridated water has a way of dumbing you down.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. anon

    That was a good speech. We have an opportunity to transform our energy sources and consumption. I hope, like others have said, that people can put politics aside for the good of our nation.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ScottsdaleHokie

    So he finally figured out whose a$$ to kick. We the taxpayer with higher taxes for energy and magical green jobs. Gee doesn’t it always seem to work out that way? No matter what the problem, it’s our a$$es that get kicked by this monster. I’m sure that it’s just a coincidence that the answer to this tough problem is also higher taxes and more government.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Adam

    Reducing our dependency on fossil fuels is a great idea... I wonder why nobody has thought of this before. Saying it is one thing but the fact is were going to use oil till there isn't a drop left.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sgt Robert Gallegos

    I liked the speech for the most part but the President has no right to try to use this disaster to push the agenda of "cap and trade, cap and tax". Yes our energy addiction needs to be addressed but there is a better way as a nation that we can fix this problem Mr. President. The first step is personal responsibility by all of us in this nation to look at the way we live and what we can do to help. Our two problems are figuring out a way to power our cities and the fuel we use for transportation, and neither of these problems need cap and trade.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scvlptr

    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 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Margaret

    A feeble, tentative response. Tough language aside, he acted as if he didn't have faith in what he said.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. teresa

    A FLAT speech.It is expected. Obama alone cant do it.... its everyone's job!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Mad Ape


    June 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adam in New Orleans

    We really need a cogent explanation for why we are trading oil to sustain petrodollars. This is strrategically critical to sustaining the Dollar as the global reserve currency and the only viable explanation for why we need to continue to drill. If the Dollar goes, there will be a depression. Think global guys!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lewis

    I enjoy how the CNN panel tries to spin this positively and this Billy gentleman in New Orleans, which actually is accountable to his people, keeps disagreeing with them. Another CNN performance for the American people. I'm surprise Anderson has not mentioned yet that he invited BP's CEO to come to the program as he does every night.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fedup

    more words ... words that mean absolutely nothing ... did not need another pep talk ... need ACTION ... need the leak stopped, assistance for those who are on the verge of loosing everything that they have worked for because of the shortcuts that were taken on that rig by the responsible management companies and justice for those who lost loved ones in that explosion. DO something already! no more speeches ... action!

    June 15, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Mad Ape

      The leak can not be stopped as no human technology exists to stop it.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.) From Tom Buyea FL News Service

      June 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bala

    come to think of it this is the best Obama speech.
    Atleast this time he did not say two opposing things at the same time...you know people with opposing views both hearing what they wanted to hear... ( troop surge..troop withdrawal.....etc )

    June 15, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Moosecrap


    June 15, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      God not this again. He actually has to DO something to be impeached.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skipfrmdc

      Your pile just got higher.

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

    You're doing a heck of job, Brownie.

    I love how the same people who tore Bush apart over Katrina and his "slow response"are now defending every move Obama makes.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skipfrmdc

      Funny how people cannot put things into context. No way is this as bad as Katrina. As a FEMA official I can assure you we are still addressing Katrina more than 5 years later. Nobody cared when something could have been done about that and none of you cared when that rig was a benefit instead of a liability. Loss of life and environmental impact not withstanding your blame is misplaced. You can't "cap" a cat 5 hurricane, only lessen the impact. Give the Prez a chance and some support instead of pointing out all that went wrong and could go wrong. There is plenty of blame to go around. Accept your share and DO SOMETHING instead of bashing OB on every point. If your not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
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