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. Bill Milner

    Wind power? The speech was that of a cheerleader. Strictly PR. Please re-elect me.

    BP needs to be held accountable but O wants to push them to the point of going out of business.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scvlptr

    Puppet , PUNK, of the 300, PBAMA is owned and he spoke like it tonight,
    We drank the kool aid , now it tastes like OIL.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rob

    some people will hate on Obama no matter what. It has nothing to do with logic and common sense, but more to do with their emotional beliefs.

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

      That kinda sounds like religion to me.

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

      No, Rob. I think and analyze facts and arrive at the conclusion that Mr. Obama's view of America and the role of government is diametrically opposed to mine and that of many, many, many others. It has nothing to do with "feelings." You'll see in November.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. anon

    guys. what do you expect the president to do? everyone is just working themselves into a frenzy. it's kind of sad to view even the comments on this page. our political discourse is at a 3rd grade level.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jacques cousteau

    I want our President and BP to BE HONEST. How bad is this spill and what is your plan to stop the oil and fix the damage?

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

      Are you kidding me? Who sounds politically imature now? Let's face it, there are things we'd all like to do to make the world better. But you can't have your cake (corporate imperialism) and eat it too (government correcting every problem). If you get the complete truth out of any politician or corporation then it must be Slurpee Day in Hell. The american public better get wise to how things work. No magic wands. No miricle words. Vote for those who are really in touch with the public and not just adressing your pet issues. If any of us had to put up with the kind of scrutiny and "armchair" quaterbacking this President has endured in less than two years in office we would not last a day on our jobs.

      June 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brenda

    Obama doesn't know how to lead because before you idiots elected him president he was in charge of 25 people in a Senate staff office and he worked 3 days a week when the Senate was in session. A 2nd Lieutenant in the army is in charge of a platoon of 36 people, more than Obama. You can't lead when you have no experience. During the campaign he had "campaign manager". Oh, and you liberal idiots need to learn the facts. IT WAS TRANSOCEAN'S RIG. BP just paid the bills.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gail

    The President was on point and strong. He has laid out a plan for this disaster and one to prevent further disasters. It is about time he stood up for alternatvecforms of energy.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 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 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • usa-all-the-way

      I have to wonder why he is taking so much criticism... He happened to be the man in power when it happened, but it was going to happen sooner or later... We need oil and jobs. People need to learn that they should not be living on coast lines anymore. Let the fishermen go nd work on oil rigs. BP will pay for their retraining. We need real leadership from BP on this one to make sure their are enough offshore rigs to create enough jobs, but I think they can be reasoned with.

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

    puhlease!! Nuke that thing already and impeach him for siding with Wall Street and the British.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mr. America

    Another failure by our president, reading a speech written for him by his sheep. All talk, no action. Pathetic. He'll give another lame speech in a few weeks, saying they are getting closer to stopping the leak, while the gulf is destroyed beyond repair. Sad thing is, millions believe his lies.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sick of this

    If you feel the President didn't give you a clear enough plan of action, it doesn't mean that he does not have one. Everyone is always looking for a band aid solution to problems. It seems to me that any lasting actions needs a well thought out plan. I have an idea...let's stop focusing on BP because telling me over and over again that they were wrong is a waste of time. And there's no more time for finger pointing...What do you need me to do Mr. President??????????

    June 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dey

    People here in the Philippines have great respect to the American people, and glad you have Obama as President. I am sure you can fix the problem just try not to be addicted to oil because China is already investing in clean energy resources

    June 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      "Chinese Clean Energy Resources" = nuclear power at the rate of tens per year. Smart those Chinese. Too bad they also burn more dirty coal than any other country on the planet. Are you downwind of China?

      June 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tom zork

    WAKE UP! Other countries have offered boats to skim and collect the oil. Obama has to allow it. 50 days later Obama hasn't allowed them in. Obama LIES when he says he is doing everything.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • sick of this

      and what have you done?

      June 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom zork

      What have I done? uhh I pointed out the lie and suggested what anyone would do if they REALLY wanted to lessen the oil mess. That would be to accept skilled help and boats from at least some of the countries that offered it.

      June 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. crazicanuck

    I'm confused?! The federal government probably licenses the oil companies to drill but don't the states have a process to accept or reject off-shore drilling? Florida recently nixed plans to allow drilling, so what responsibilities do states that agree to allow drilling bear for their decision? If someone knows the answer, please post it. I find it ironic that the three other states currently impacted by this man-made disaster are all conservative (R) small government governors who are now demanding the federal government alone bail them out. Really!?!?! Please, if I am misinformed educate me.

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

    Leadership for this country has been abysmal – post-Reagan's administration has been nothing but monkey-see-monkey-do politics on both sides of the aisle..... copying and pasting words from predecessing presidents. All talk and no do. Another campaign stargety for the democrats. This country is going down the toilet faster than my father once thought. Our Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves....they never intended for the political parties to create such division among the American people. In times of national emergency – peace or wartime, WE as a COUNTRY need to come together to the same table and come up with doable plans and get dirty together to fix these problems we are now up against. God Bless America!

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