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Obama's Remarks To Nation On Oil Spill [Full Text]
NPR ^ | Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | President Obama

Posted on 06/15/2010 5:50:01 PM PDT by Star Traveler

Obama's Remarks To Nation On Oil Spill

June 15, 2010

Good evening. As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al Qaeda wherever it exists. And tonight, I've returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we're waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.

On April 20th, an explosion ripped through BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven workers lost their lives. Seventeen others were injured. And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water.

Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology. That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge — a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's Secretary of Energy. Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.

As a result of these efforts, we have directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. In the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90% of the oil leaking out of the well. This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that is expected to stop the leak completely.

Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.

But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes. 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.

Tonight I'd like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward: what we're doing to clean up the oil, what we're doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf, and what we're doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.

First, the cleanup. From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation's history — an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost 40 years of experience responding to disasters. We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and cleanup the oil. Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf. And I have authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast. These servicemen and women are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore, they're ready to clean beaches, train response workers, or even help with processing claims — and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.

Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming and other collection methods. Over five and a half million feet of boom has been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil. We have approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and we are working with Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines.

As the clean up continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need. Now, a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new challenges will always arise. I saw and heard evidence of that during this trip. So if something isn't working, we want to hear about it. If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them.

But we have to recognize that despite our best efforts, oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife. And sadly, no matter how effective our response is, 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.

You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water. That living is now in jeopardy. I've talked to shrimpers and fishermen who don't know how they're going to support their families this year. I've seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers — even in areas where the beaches are not yet affected. I've talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists might start coming back. The sadness and anger they feel is not just about the money they've lost. It's about a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost.

I refuse to let that happen. Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is 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. And this fund will not be controlled by BP. 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.

Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short-term, it's also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region. The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that has already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats. And the region still hasn't recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. That's why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.

I make that commitment tonight. Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy who's also a former governor of Mississippi and a son of the Gulf, 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.

The third part of our response plan is the steps we're taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again. A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe — that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken.

That was obviously not the case on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why. The American people deserve to know why. The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion — these families deserve to know why. And so I have established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place. Already, I have issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling. I know this 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. And while I urge the commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them to do that work thoroughly and impartially.

One place we have already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service. Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility — a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves. At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight. Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.

When Ken Salazar became my Secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency. But it's now clear that the problems there ran much deeper, and the pace of reform was just too slow. And so Secretary Salazar and I are bringing in new leadership at the agency — Michael Bromwich, who was a tough federal prosecutor and Inspector General. His charge over the next few months is to build an organization that acts as the oil industry's watchdog — not its partner.

So one of the lessons we've learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world's oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. And that's part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean — because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.

For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we have talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked — not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.

We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny.

This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year and a half, we have already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry. As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that will someday lead to entire new industries.

Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of good, middle-class jobs — but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation — workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.

You know, when I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill — a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America's businesses.

Now, there are costs associated with this transition. And some believe we can't afford those costs right now. I say we can't afford not to change how we produce and use energy — because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.

So I am happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party — as long they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels. 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 fear 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. You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon. And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom. Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny — our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if we're unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don't yet know precisely how to get there. We know we'll get there.

It is a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now.

Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region's fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe. It's called “The Blessing of the Fleet,” and today it's a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea — some for weeks at a time.

The ceremony goes on in good times and in bad. It took place after Katrina, and it took place a few weeks ago — at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced.

And still, they came and they prayed. For as a priest and former fisherman once said of the tradition, "The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with us always," a blessing that's granted "...even in the midst of the storm."

The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face. This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again. What sees us through — what has always seen us through — 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. We pray for the people of the Gulf. And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bp; deepwaterhorizon; gulfoilgusher; obama; obamunism; ovalofficespeech
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To: taillightchaser

I get the sense that the people are wide awake and the media are beginning to turn on obama.


151 posted on 06/16/2010 5:38:29 AM PDT by thethirddegree
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To: stephenjohnbanker
RE :”” That gives Obama three passed reforms to use in 2012 re-election campaign , Obama-care, Banking reform (they assume that will pass) and Energy.”All three designed to : 1) Destroy the American economy, and with it, the middle class”

I bet you a buck that that will NOT be his 2012 campaign theme: "Destroy the American economy and the middle class." I bet the theme will go more like “Look at the big problems I fixed”

That is my crystal ball talking :)

Did you notice the economic recovery stimulus bill is on the list??

152 posted on 06/16/2010 5:44:02 AM PDT by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the federal spending=tax delayed")
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To: Ancient Drive

My nausea meds are not strong enough for an 8:00p.m. dose of the liar-in-chief so I went to bed and continued reading “The Real George Washington”. I will call my Congressmen again today about crap and trade.


153 posted on 06/16/2010 5:44:02 AM PDT by thethirddegree
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To: sickoflibs
I don't see how we get out of this.

Our founding fathers foresaw how we could rid ourselves of a tyrannical, runaway government. To quote a passage from the Declaration of Independence:

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

They understood the people are the government, not SCOTUS, not Congress and not the White House. The three branches operate only at the consent of the governed. The people will have the final say as to how they are governed.
154 posted on 06/16/2010 5:47:05 AM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it! www.FairTaxNation.com)
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To: Man50D
Chris Matthews is doing a special on that theme tonight 7pm EST called “Tea Parties : Rise of the new Right “where he will tell his small audience that we (those not liberal) want to overthrow the Obama government which we consider illegitimate . I presume this is to work up the liberal base to vote in November.
155 posted on 06/16/2010 5:55:51 AM PDT by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the federal spending=tax delayed")
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To: All

Newsflash: Do folks know that you cannot get to the northcom.mil site now? Let me know what the martial law provisions and exercises they plan are when and if you get there. They’re the ones who perform these actions.

“OIL SPILL - UN trucks preparations for martial law in Florida?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwbtJHK4cd8

“Alert! Epidemic Hazard declared - Corexits Reign of Terror”

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2535590/posts


Let’s review, shall we?

1) Theft of the US treasury, to hand it over to the IMF, WTO, G20, etc
2) Takeover of auto industry, to hand it over to Chinese crap BYD car makers, segway pod cars, etc
3) Takeover of health care, to kill off the elderly, dissenters, undesirables, etc, and to know instantly who has any bullet wounds
4) Giving away of NASA technologies to moslem countries and leave space to the Russians
5) Crushing US small businesses to give them away to moslem and S Asian entities
6) Drying up California and seizing land for federal ‘monuments’ to give away American agriculture to Latin America and Asian companies
7) Somehow having a ‘convenient’ oil/energy-related accident that then shuts down exploration and drilling, along with shipping oil rig and other, KEY technologies to Soros & cabal in Brazil. Or is is Saudi Arabia? So, America will have its $10/gallon gas and the ‘rates will skyrocket’
8) Pulling Soros plants and high-placed moslem plants in the US government and DoD organizations, so that our enemies always know our next steps...or those of our allies

Now, we wait for:

1) our KEY technology dismantling efforts,
2) the seizing of communications under the ‘SMART-grid’ for ‘our and our children’s safety’ and
3) the attempt to seize weaponry of US citizens.
4) how to ‘deal’ with Israel once a few things like healthcare are ‘taken care of.’

The present administration is a Clear and Present Danger to the sovereignty and survival of the United States of America.

The ‘British’ are already here.


156 posted on 06/16/2010 5:57:52 AM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spirito Sancto.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
Just saw a young black woman who was on a Frank Luntz panel say that Obambi inherited the oil spill!!!!

How in the name of common sense could he "inherit" an oil spill that just happened.

Abused women. That's what Barack's followers are like. Abused women (people) that take the beating 'cause they still love their man and believe anything he says.

157 posted on 06/16/2010 5:59:40 AM PDT by madison10
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To: sickoflibs

” .” I bet the theme will go more like “Look at the big problems I fixed” “

Rass has Obama at -20. People don’t believe what he says anymore.


158 posted on 06/16/2010 6:00:28 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops....and vote out the RINOS!)
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To: madison10

No, she is a moron......like the “Obama Money” gal.


159 posted on 06/16/2010 6:01:20 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops....and vote out the RINOS!)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

Well, that, too. LOL


160 posted on 06/16/2010 6:02:36 AM PDT by madison10
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To: madison10

;-)


161 posted on 06/16/2010 6:04:09 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops....and vote out the RINOS!)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

I know people dont believe what he says now. All this he is doing is setting up weapons against Republicans for his 2012 re-election. Health reform will be turned around into a weapon to use after republicans win big this year and Obama starts blaming them for everything. At least that is his plan.

Some here post that they are counting on the government being overthrown, I thought impeachment was a longshot.


162 posted on 06/16/2010 6:10:48 AM PDT by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the federal spending=tax delayed")
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To: The Theophilus

Welcome to FR. You might want to read a bit before questioning the opinions so baldly. We have no basis in reading your prior opinions to understand whence it comes.


163 posted on 06/16/2010 6:15:13 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (Ey, Paolo! uh-Clem just broke the Presideng...)
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To: The Theophilus

Very good comment and response. Just what I was suggesting would be appropriate.


164 posted on 06/16/2010 6:32:45 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (Ey, Paolo! uh-Clem just broke the Presideng...)
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To: Star Traveler; CORedneck; Quix; TaraP
This is "standard" Evangelical fare and nothing unusual... so I wouldn't look at this as "off-the-wall" or anything like that.

I don't doubt for a moment that this is standard among Evangelicals, I would go as far to say that it is a defining characteristic of Evangelicalism, a teaching that distinguishes Evangelicalism from orthodoxy.

...the U.S. has put pressure on Israel to "divide the land" which goes totally against what God says about that...

It is statements like that which I would like to see some sort of Scriptural support. You do realize that the Land Promise was already fulfilled (Josh 11:23;21:41-45) and again we see it fulfilled in Solomon's days. (1 Kings 4:20-21). In fact, the Scriptures sum up this whole process in Nehemiah: He fulfilled His promise (Neh 9:21-25), then they didn't fulfill their end of the promise (vv 26-29), which resulted in this "Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the land" (v30). God's mercy is shown in that though forever dispersed, they were/are not consumed nor forsaken (v31).

So according to Scripture, It has been God's regular M.O. to send in nations to chasten the disobedient and "stiff necked" Jews, routinely hauling them off into captivity and then after an exile restoring them, in part, to the land. IOW, God regularly has "divided them up" and has used as His instruments other nations. In 33AD this back and forth ended with Jesus Christ and Pentacost with 70AD physically preventing any sort of restoration to the curse of the Law (Gal 3:10-14) and bondage (4:21-31). So I see this theory Evangelicals have as actually contrary to what Scriptures demonstrate and teach, and surely antithetical to the Gospel.

Maybe I am missing something. Perhaps one of y'all can correct this perception.

165 posted on 06/16/2010 7:28:23 AM PDT by The Theophilus
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To: The Theophilus; CORedneck; Quix; TaraP
You were saying ...

Maybe I am missing something. Perhaps one of y'all can correct this perception.

No problem... and as I said before I would run down some stuff for you... but right now (and last night) I've been running down some BP stuff and I'm still doing that ... :-)

I've got several articles lined up for that and more material coming, so I'm going to finish up with that first ...

And..., I know that the Bible prophecies don't change from week to week or from year to year or even over a millennia... so I've got time to follow up on that one. The BP stuff is changing just about every day, though ... hoo-boy!

IN ADDITION, what I might do for this particular topic is "open up a new thread" just on that topic alone ... and then we can have a wide-ranging discussion on it. In fact, I think that's exactly what I'll do, but that will be a bit later (and I'm talking about a day or two here). And I'll ping you and some others and then we can all have some fun ... yeeeooow! :-)

166 posted on 06/16/2010 7:54:14 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: All
I don't know if this particular text provided by the White House at their official page and website is any different from the one provided up above, but I'm including it here, too -- as reference.

This is the official copy from the White House, itself ...



Remarks by the President to the Nation on the BP Oil Spill

Oval Office

8:01 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening.  As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges.  At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American.  Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al Qaeda wherever it exists.  And tonight, I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens.

On April 20th, an explosion ripped through BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana.  Eleven workers lost their lives.  Seventeen others were injured.  And soon, nearly a mile beneath the surface of the ocean, oil began spewing into the water.

Because there has never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of human technology.  That’s why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s Secretary of Energy.  Scientists at our national labs and experts from academia and other oil companies have also provided ideas and advice.

As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology.  And in the coming weeks and days, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil leaking out of the well.  This is until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that’s expected to stop the leak completely. 

Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced.  And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it’s not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days.  The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years. 

But make no mistake:  We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes.  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. 

Tonight I’d like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward:  what we’re doing to clean up the oil, what we’re doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf, and what we’re doing to make sure that a catastrophe like this never happens again. 

First, the cleanup.  From the very beginning of this crisis, the federal government has been in charge of the largest environmental cleanup effort in our nation’s history -- an effort led by Admiral Thad Allen, who has almost 40 years of experience responding to disasters.  We now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil.  Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf.  And I’ve authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast.  These servicemen and women are ready to help stop the oil from coming ashore, they’re ready to help clean the beaches, train response workers, or even help with processing claims -- and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible. 

Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming and other collection methods.  Over five and a half million feet of boom has been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil.  We’ve approved the construction of new barrier islands in Louisiana to try to stop the oil before it reaches the shore, and we’re working with Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines. 

As the cleanup continues, we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance our coastal states may need.  Now, a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new challenges will always arise.  I saw and heard evidence of that during this trip.  So if something isn’t working, we want to hear about it.  If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them. 

But we have to recognize that despite our best efforts, oil has already caused damage to our coastline and its wildlife.  And sadly, no matter how effective our response is, 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. 

You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have made their living from the water.  That living is now in jeopardy.  I’ve talked to shrimpers and fishermen who don’t know how they’re going to support their families this year.  I’ve seen empty docks and restaurants with fewer customers -– even in areas where the beaches are not yet affected.  I’ve talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists might start coming back.  The sadness and the anger they feel is not just about the money they’ve lost.  It’s about a wrenching anxiety that their way of life may be lost. 

I refuse to let that happen.  Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is 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.  And this fund will not be controlled by BP.  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. 

Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short term, it’s also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region.  The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that’s already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats.  And the region still hasn’t recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  That’s why we must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment. 

I make that commitment tonight.  Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, who is also a former governor of Mississippi and a son of the Gulf Coast, 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.  

The third part of our response plan is the steps we’re taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again.  A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe –- that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken.

That obviously was not the case in the Deepwater Horizon rig, and I want to know why.  The American people deserve to know why.  The families I met with last week who lost their loved ones in the explosion -- these families deserve to know why.  And so I’ve established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place.  Already, I’ve issued a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.  I know this 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.  And while I urge the Commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, I expect them to do that work thoroughly and impartially.       

One place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service.  Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility -- a philosophy that says corporations should be allowed to play by their own rules and police themselves.  At this agency, industry insiders were put in charge of industry oversight.  Oil companies showered regulators with gifts and favors, and were essentially allowed to conduct their own safety inspections and write their own regulations.  

When Ken Salazar became my Secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency.  But it’s now clear that the problem there ran much deeper, and the pace of reform was just too slow.  And so Secretary Salazar and I are bringing in new leadership at the agency -- Michael Bromwich, who was a tough federal prosecutor and Inspector General.  And his charge over the next few months is to build an organization that acts as the oil industry’s watchdog -- not its partner. 

So one of the lessons we’ve learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling.  But a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk.  After all, oil is a finite resource.  We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.  And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean -- because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water. 

For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered.  For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels.  And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires.  Time and again, the path forward has been blocked -- not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.  

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight.  Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America.  Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil.  And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.

We cannot consign our children to this future.  The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.  Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny.

This is not some distant vision for America.  The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year and a half, we’ve already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry.  As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels.  Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient.  Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries. 

Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us.  As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs -– but only if we accelerate that transition.  Only if we seize the moment.  And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors.  

When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence.  Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill –- a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses. 

Now, there are costs associated with this transition.  And there are some who believe that we can’t afford those costs right now.  I say we can’t afford not to change how we produce and use energy -– because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater. 

So I’m happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party -– as long they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels.  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.  You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II.  The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.  And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom.  Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny -– our determination to fight for the America we want for our children.  Even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like.  Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there.  We know we’ll get there.   

It’s a faith in the future that sustains us as a people.  It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now.        

Each year, at the beginning of shrimping season, the region’s fishermen take part in a tradition that was brought to America long ago by fishing immigrants from Europe.  It’s called “The Blessing of the Fleet,” and today it’s a celebration where clergy from different religions gather to say a prayer for the safety and success of the men and women who will soon head out to sea -– some for weeks at a time. 

The ceremony goes on in good times and in bad.  It took place after Katrina, and it took place a few weeks ago –- at the beginning of the most difficult season these fishermen have ever faced. 

And still, they came and they prayed.  For as a priest and former fisherman once said of the tradition, “The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers.  The blessing is that He is with us always,” a blessing that’s granted “even in the midst of the storm.” 

The oil spill is not the last crisis America will face.  This nation has known hard times before and we will surely know them again.  What sees us through -– what has always seen us through –- 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.  We pray for the people of the Gulf.  And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day.  Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

END
8:18 P.M. EDT

167 posted on 06/16/2010 9:13:11 AM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: MamaDearest

Politics all of the time!!


168 posted on 06/16/2010 9:51:35 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: sickoflibs

“I watched the speech and MSNBC afterward and Olbermann and Matthews were ripping Obama for throwing around high minded general goals for energy independence without proposing anything specific. They both badly wanted the man they dreamed of, the liberal Ronald Reagan that convinces 75% of the country to support their specific goals, cap and trade in this case. They were brutal with him, had the tone of Krauthammer ripping Obama.

I notice that whenever democrats bring up this renewable energy independence crap elected Republicans never respond with “We were already lied to about that and wasted billions on that polluting inefficient ethanol hoax”. My only guess is that Republicans never bring this up because it was passed under Bush and promoted by Bush as a large step to energy independence.

This is a shame because ethanol was 10s of billions of dollars down a rat-hole and even environmentalists disown it as bad and yet elected Republicans wont mention it as an example of the false dream of an alternative non-carbon fuel. Ethanol was the “Big Lie”.”

We have Cowards in the house who will not say anything about these preposterous lies.


169 posted on 06/16/2010 9:52:57 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
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To: Cheetahcat
RE :”We have Cowards in the house who will not say anything about these preposterous lies.

This is what happens when you (Republicans) are in power and pass bills to follow opinion polls (having to make deals with democrats to pass something) that backfire because they never going to work. They have to make believe ethanol never happened. Like I said, envirmentalists are disowning it.

170 posted on 06/16/2010 10:20:50 AM PDT by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the federal spending=tax delayed")
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To: glock rocks

As I told grandsons the other day, I do not find it necessary to sit and watch someone lie to my face.

That said, about the time I finished working and went to the desktop to catch up on the world, the power went off.

Can’t use dirty coal, the natural gas from the Gulf has been cut-off, and the wind wasn’t blowing.

Welcome to obamaland, best get used to it.


171 posted on 06/16/2010 10:31:54 AM PDT by SouthTexas (Congress is out of order!)
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To: sickoflibs
That gives Obama three passed reforms to use in 2012 re-election campaign , Obama-care, Banking reform (they assume that will pass)

Right. The last I heard, Dodd's banking bill is still being hammered out in conference, has yet to see a final vote. And we seriously need to repeal socialized medicine; we haven't forgotten. So, there is nothing lasting from this regime. The sooner it is over, the better.

172 posted on 06/16/2010 11:08:21 AM PDT by La Enchiladita
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To: redhead

;^)


173 posted on 06/16/2010 12:11:21 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (06/15/2010 Obama's Shame-Wow address...)
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To: sickoflibs

Thanks for your comments. I agree.

When ethanol was first introduced, I thought it would provide an increased market for farmer’s goods, and help reduce the need for foreign oil. I hadn’t realized there were so many down sides with it.

Good call.


174 posted on 06/16/2010 12:15:00 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (06/15/2010 Obama's Shame-Wow address...)
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To: All
This was the statement that President Obama gave after meeting with the BP officials at the White House, after his Tuesday evening speech to the nation. This was on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.



Statement by the President After Meeting with BP Executives

State Dining Room


2:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I just concluded a constructive meeting with BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, and I raised two issues at the meeting.  First was the containment of the oil that is still spewing into the Gulf.  As I mentioned last night, my administration has directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology, and in the coming days and weeks, these efforts should capture up to 90 percent of the oil that is leaking out of the well. 

Now, that’s not good enough.  So we will continue to press BP and draw on our best minds and resources to capture the rest of the oil until the company finishes drilling a relief well later in the summer that is expected to stop the leak completely. 

The second topic revolved around the issue of claims.  As I traveled across the Gulf I heard growing frustration over the pace at which claims had been paid.  And I also heard concerns about whether BP will make resources available to cover legitimate claims resulting from this disaster.  So this discussion today was essential.

Currently, under federal law, there is a $75 million cap on how much oil companies could under certain circumstances be required to pay for economic damages resulting from a spill such as this.  That amount obviously would be insufficient.  That’s why I'm pleased to announce that BP has agreed to set aside $20 billion to pay claims for damages resulting from this spill.

This $20 billion will provide substantial assurance that the claims people and businesses have will be honored.  It’s also important to emphasize this is not a cap.  The people of the Gulf have my commitment that BP will meet its obligations to them.  BP has publicly pledged to make good on the claims that it owes to the people in the Gulf, and so the agreement we reached sets up a financial and legal framework to do it. 

Another important element is that this $20 billion fund will not be controlled by either BP or by the government.  It will be put in a escrow account, administered by an impartial, independent third party.  So if you or your business has suffered an economic loss as a result of this spill, you’ll be eligible to file a claim for part of this $20 billion.  This fund does not supersede either individuals’ rights or states’ rights to present claims in court.  BP will also continue to be liable for the environmental disaster it has caused, and we’re going to continue to work to make sure that they address it.

Additionally, BP voluntarily agreed to establish a $100 million fund to compensate unemployed oil rig workers affected by the closure of the deepwater rigs. 

We’ve mutually agreed that Ken Feinberg will run the independent claims process we’re putting in place.  And there will be a three-person panel to adjudicate claims that are turned down.  Every effort will be made to expedite these claims.  Ken has long experience in such matters, including running the fund that compensated the victims of 9/11.  And I’m confident he will ensure that claims are administered as quickly, as fairly, and as transparently as possible.

BP’s liabilities for this spill are significant -- and they acknowledge that fact.  We will continue to hold BP and all other responsible parties accountable.  And I’m absolutely confident BP will be able to meet its obligations to the Gulf Coast and to the American people.  BP is a strong and viable company and it is in all of our interests that it remain so.  So what this is about is accountability.  At the end of the day, that’s what every American wants and expects.

The structure we’re establishing today is an important step towards making the people of the Gulf Coast whole again, but it’s not going to turn things around overnight.  And I want all Americans to know that I will continue to fight each and every day until the oil is contained, until businesses recover, and until the Gulf Coast bounces back from this tragedy, as I know it will.

One last point.  During a private conversation with Chairman Svanberg I emphasized to him that for the families that I met with down in the Gulf, for the small business owners, for the fishermen, for the shrimpers, this is not just a matter of dollars and cents; that a lot of these folks don’t have a cushion.  They were coming off Rita and Katrina; coming off the worst economy that this country has seen since the Great Depression, and this season was going to be the season where they were going to be bouncing back.  Not only that, but this happened, from their perspective, at the worst possible time, because they’re making their entire income for the year in the three or four months during which folks can take their boats out, people are coming down for tourism. 

And so I emphasized to the chairman that when he’s talking to shareholders, when he is in meetings in his boardroom, to keep in mind those individuals; that they are desperate; that some of them, if they don’t get relief quickly, may lose businesses that have been in their families for two or three generations.  And the chairman assured me that he would keep them in mind.

That’s going to be the standard by which I measure BP’s responsiveness.  I think today was a good start, and it should provide some assurance to some of the small business owners and individuals down in the Gulf who I was visiting with that BP is going to meet its responsibilities.  But I indicated to the chairman that, throughout this process, as we work to make sure that the Gulf is made whole once again, that the standard I’m going to be applying is whether or not those individuals I met with, their family members, those communities that are vulnerable, whether they are uppermost in the minds of all concerned.  That’s who we’re doing this work for.

All right.  Thank you very much, everybody. 

END
2:33 P.M. EDT

175 posted on 06/16/2010 5:39:14 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

Bookmark


176 posted on 06/16/2010 8:06:58 PM PDT by Publius6961 ("We don't want to hear words; we want action and results.")
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To: palmer
Where is that idiot cogitator anyway? I hope he is happy.

I hope you won't think me an idiot when I indicate that a speech that mentions neither nuclear nor climate change isn't very relevant to either our energy or global future. Obama could have been bold; he was timidity personified. Opportunity lost.

177 posted on 06/17/2010 9:38:59 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

I was going to say lovable idiot but left off the lovable.


178 posted on 06/18/2010 2:45:50 AM PDT by palmer (Cooperating with Obama = helping him extend the depression and implement socialism.)
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