Today I am travelling to Louisiana with President Obama to review the efforts currently underway to respond to the massive oil spill and to lend support to the region. The Administration's efforts have been relentless from Day 1, and I know the President is eager to return to the region to check up on the progress and meet with those most directly affected by this tragedy.
Yesterday, the President briefed the press and the American people on this disaster. You can watch the video of his press conference here:
To give you a sense of where we are today: We have about 20,000 people in the region who are working around the clock to contain and clean up this oil, approximately 1,300 vessels are responding on site, over 11 million gallons of oil-water mix have been recovered, and over 3 million feet of boom have been deployed to the Gulf region.
Earlier this week, the Federal Government gave BP the approval to attempt a "top kill" procedure – plugging the well with densely packed mud to prevent oil from escaping. It's too soon to tell whether this approach will be successful at reducing or eliminating the flow of oil, so we are exploring every reasonable strategy to try to stop this leak before the relief wells are finished.
For people living in the Gulf Coast region, for Americans across the country, and for the Obama Administration, the only thing that really matters is stopping the leak, cleaning up the mess, and restoring the Gulf Coast's environment and the livelihoods of the people who live there. We will not rest until we've done just that.
Those who are responsible will be held accountable. That includes not only the obligations BP and other responsible parties have, but also the commitment we have, as public servants, to build an effective framework for regulation that protects the American people and guards this country's natural splendor.
In case you don't have time to watch the video from yesterday's press conference, I want to reiterate a key point the President made, because while stopping the leak remains priority #1 at the White House, it's also important to recognize the need for longer-term solutions. He said:
Let me make one final point. More than anything else, this economic and environmental tragedy – and it's a tragedy – underscores the urgent need for this nation to develop clean, renewable sources of energy. Doing so will not only reduce threats to our environment, it will create a new, homegrown, American industry that can lead to countless new businesses and new jobs.
Here are two important resources to keep track of the situation:
The first is the website of the coalition of groups, led by the National Incident Commander for the BP oil spill, Admiral Thad Allen of the Coast Guard. It has a number of links to assistance for those affected by the spill and many other resources:
In order to keep the Nation aware of everything its government is doing in response to the spill, the White House has also created a web page that includes a daily report of the ongoing Administration-wide response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill:
As the President also said, we are going to make sure this leak is stopped -- but our work doesn't end there. This Administration will use everything in its power to protect the safety and livelihoods of our fellow Americans in the Gulf Coast.
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change
lol so Obama will go visit the site of an Oil spill but not our countless Soldiers toiling for his war in the respective deserts... Wow, what a fearless leader.
Has someone disrupted your space-time continuum? 'Cos in my universe, Obama didn't get elected until after the invasions of Afghanistan/Iraq.
ah that would be a good point, except for the fact that he has more than tripled our Soldiers in both IRAQ and Afghanistan, I understand the need to feel like he's actually doing something right, but lets face it... Most of us knew better, we hoped that there could be change, but the frontman of our country is still playing Bush's tune, and every presidents tune...MONEY....He may not have been in office when the war started, but we are further from the finish line now than we even know. If you get all your info from the news, I am not surprised you don't know this. How is America so blind to the fact that we are told what our Gov. wants us to think, and that is all? I know there are more thinkers in this country.... Start researching, stop being defensive. He's not your friend, you don't owe him anything, and he owes us, the American people, everything.
If you look at the facts, derived from reports from the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Total troop levels in Iraq & Afghanistan declined by the following and are projected as...
FY2009 Down 1%
FY 2010 Down 19%
FY2011 Down 43%
FY2012 Down 64%
Maybe you don't want to do your research with Beck or Limbaugh. They call themselves 'entertainers' so they won't be held to the standards of journalists. And even with a casual look on the Net, the suggestion that Obama has 'more than tripled our Soldiers in both IRAQ and Afghanistan' is pure BS.
Who would you consider to be responsible for our soldiers in their respective conflicts?
How much on the job training does a guy need before he can take responsibility for the position to which HE applied?
Didn't he make a surprise visit to Afghanistan not that long ago?
Why. Yes...he did...
He can't win...they say he is doing nothing, then when he goes they say well why couldn't he visit the troops instead.
Ah yes, you are correct, he did go to Afghanistan... Though he sent more than 60000 troops to Iraq, and has yet to visit. It only took him over a YEAR to visit one base in the green zone of Afghanistan... what was I thinking? Oh and by the way, that article is about 60% bullshit, it's not just the American news that is full of lies.... Look here is the real deal. Obama sent his vice to Afghanistan, once... and still has yet to check on the huge population of Soldiers he has left with orders to "not engage" anyone in Iraq, while Billions of our Tax dollars are still being sent to build EVEN MORE INFRASTRUCTURE in IRAQ. But what can I say.... Poor Obama, he just can't win... Yeah right.
Ya know, even I know and understand that immediately after an injury the best thing to do is apply pressure to stop the bleeding, call 911, continue to apply pressure until the ambulance arrives to take over & transport the injured to the hospital where doctors will assess the injury and determine what needs to be done First, Second, etc., and other doctors will perform whatever surgery may be needed before a long period of recovery can begin.
Do you really know what Obama stepped into when he became president or do you just enjoy criticizing people for not prioritizing to your approval?
My biggest issue with Obama - Lack of communication to the public.
Yes you're right. There really is the urgent need for us to develop clean, renewable sources of energy. And the best way to achieve that is to act persistently.
Let us do our part.
I hope someone figures out how to stop it. Just today it was revealed that the current method is not working. They also reported that it would be August before a relief well would be completed.
Just a reminder...this topic is about the oil spill...
Well to quote the president from Reuters:
"In case you're wondering who's responsible, I take responsibility," he said, leaning over his podium.
"It is my job to make sure that every thing is done to shut this down," he said.
The president rejected criticism that he and the federal government had not taken charge as BP Plc (BP.L) struggles to stop the gushing deep-sea oil well.
"There shouldn't be any confusion here. The federal government is fully engaged, and I'm fully engaged," he said.
"From the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort."
so whatever happens is his responsibility!
This is entirely the President's fault! From day one; he should have swam down there and stuck his finger in that pipe! He is completely responsible for...EVERYTHING bad that ever happened or will happen in this Country and the world. Now can we move on to the serious topic of this discussion?
The President accepted responsibility for making sure BP cleans up the mess they made. That's what he is suppose to do now.
I would think the most important thing the POTUS could do is attend some fundraisers take a vacation and get in a few rounds of golf.
Or maybe he could spend weeks criticizing a state for a law it had every right to pass in which the POTUS does not even take the time to read first.
You know get his priorities in line.
Yes it is. I heard one reporter interviewing a LA local who said as soon as the presidential motorcade passed all the cleanup workers went home.
Must have been a game on TV or something.
How many weeks has it been since we've known about the oil spill? It amazes me that we can go immediately to Haiti when they have an earthquake and spend millions over there. We have any type of catastrophe here and we dilly dally around.
Let me think about it, if there is a profit potential, then our government is right on top of it! If there is work or it's JUST "US" then we can put it on the back burner.
As far as the opening paragraph of this blog, "DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE OIL SPILL!" Do you think that we will just sit back and feel relief? I don't think so! I don't think anyone really knows what to do.
How will we get the fishing industry back into swing? Will the fish survive the poisons this company has dumped into the water? Will our children have a beach to play on in the future?
And another thought, I am certain that BP and the rest of the BIG OIL will find a way to raise the price of gas to pay for THEIR own mistakes! As always it's us American People that have to pay the price!
We need to get our priorities straight here in the country and quit listening to TV media about how wonderful our current administration is doing. We are in shambles in this country and we are going broke! Does anyone even care?
It's time to start over. In November get rid of these dead beat politicians and bring in some new ones! Tired of the Obama lies! Tired of the spending of our children s future! Tired of the BANKS running this country! All of our politicians are owned by either BIG OIL or the CENTRAL BANKS! They do what they are told and it's time to do something about it!
VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE!
Interesting, since the political party with the most oil funded influence HAS been voted out of office, what do you think they should do next?
On the oil spill; you mentioned that BP Poisoned our waters with oil. I wish that was the worst of it. The oil is releasing a dangerous chemical into the water that will eventully find it's way into our streams and rivers and poison our wells, kill fish, animals, and us. It's some kind of hydrocarbon compound that is spreading ten times faster than the actual spill. I saw an interview with the scientist who is studying the oil spill on last nights' PBS News Hour.
Um, it may have taken you weeks to notice the oil spill, but the US government knew about it the moment it happened. Big explosions that kill 11 people are hard to miss.
BP has failed with the latest attempt. I feel so sorry for all involved.
Just what is going to happen to us if this well can't be stopped until some time in august? How bad is it going to get for the Gulf States and the rest of us?
BP - British Petrolium - Um - all that oil could have been used to fill the army tanks in Afghanistan or Iraq
Has everything been done that could be done to contain this spill?
From AOL news:
May 14) -- Even as proposals pour in for cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, one veteran of a massive (and secret) crude spill in the Persian Gulf says he has a tried-and-true solution.
Now if only the people who could make it happen would return his calls.
"No one's listening," says Nick Pozzi, who was an engineer with Saudi Aramco in the Middle East when he says an accident there in 1993 generated a spill far larger than anything the United States has ever seen.
Eric Gay, AP
A shrimp boat collects oil with booms in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La., on May 5. An engineer who witnessed a crude spill in the Persian Gulf in 1993 says BP should use a fleet of empty supertankers to suck crude off the water's surface.
According to Pozzi, that mishap, kept under wraps for close to two decades and first reported by Esquire, dumped nearly 800 million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf, which would make it more than 70 times the size of the Exxon Valdez spill.
But remarkably, by employing a fleet of empty supertankers to suck crude off the water's surface, Pozzi's team was not only able to clean up the spill, but also salvage 85 percent of the oil, he says.
"We took [the oil] out of the water so it would save the environment off the Arabian Gulf, and then we put it into tanks until we could figure out how to clean it," he told AOL News.
While BP, the oil giant at the center of the recent accident, works to stanch the leak from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig, Pozzi insists the company should be following his lead.
AOL News could not independently verify Pozzi's account, but one former Aramco employee did acknowledge that there was a large spill in the region in the early '90s, and that Aramco had used tankers to clean up earlier oil slicks.
Pozzi, now retired, spent 17 years of his career in Saudi Arabia, part of it as a manager in Aramco's technical support and maintenance division.
Shortly after the April 22 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, he and a friend, Houston attorney Jon King (with whom Pozzi recently launched a business called Wow Environmental Solutions), traveled to Houma, La., headquarters for BP's response center, to offer up the lessons he'd learned working in the Persian Gulf.
Ever since, he says, the pair's been stonewalled.
When he called the manager at BP in charge of the cleanup effort, Pozzi says he was told "don't bother me."
"He said, 'Follow procedures,' " Pozzi recalls. "He said, 'I'm taking names and I'm going to sue you.' "
Next, Pozzi and King phoned the president of BP and left a message with his secretary. An hour later, though, they received a call from "from a young lady in BP headquarters" who asked how she might assist them. They told her about their plan -- but have received no further contact.
Then, early this week, the duo say they spoke with Capt. Ed Stanton, the Coast Guard commander overseeing a length of the affected coastline. Stanton asked for a written proposal. That's the last Pozzi and King heard from him.
"It sounds so simple that they turn around and say, 'That was years ago. We've got modern technology now,' " Pozzi says. "But their modern technology isn't working too well."
Last week BP lowered a concrete-and-steel containment dome into the gulf in a highly chronicled effort to cap the underwater leak, only to have to quickly abort that effort.
Meantime, Saudia Arabia is sitting on the world's largest fleet of supertankers. Pozzi suggests that the U.S. government tell the Saudis: " 'Hey, we helped you out, can you help us out? Lend us some supertankers.' For a little payback for helping them out during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait."
Moreover, he says, "there are many, many, many other countries that have oil tankers" that, for a price, could be deployed off Louisiana.
Stephen Reilly, CEO of Slickbar, a leading oil spill equipment and vessels manufacturer, says that while he's unfamiliar with supertankers being used in this way, Pozzi's proposal could well work.
"Any containment area or barge or tanker can be used for reception, and they certainly have the pumping system on board," Reilly says. "So in terms of using assets like that to pump stuff into tanks, by all means."
Pozzi speculates that the reluctance on the part of those he's contacted comes down to one word: cash. When oil tankers are taken out of service for a special project like this, they stop earning money for their owners.
BP, Pozzi says, should "step up to the plate" and offer to pay anyone willing to lend a tanker whatever they would lose in profits by dispatching one of their ships to the gulf region.
BP on Thursday said the cost of battling the spill has reached nearly $450 million.
Calls to BP and Stanton were not immediately returned. The BP press line voice mail message asks anyone offering "technical solutions" to dial another number to "most efficiently" address the suggestion.
During his years with Aramco, Pozzi says, he took a number of approaches to cleaning oil spills, from dumping flour into the sea and hauling out the resultant tar gobs to dropping hay into the slicks and burning it.
The 1993 Persian Gulf spill, Pozzi says, began when Aramco was loading a tanker and "the umbilical cord got away." Oil started spewing from the pumps. Panicked, a line of tankers waiting to be filled began hightailing away from the flammable spray. Massive ships maneuvered in tight quarters. It was chaos.
Because of a confidentiality agreement with Aramco, Pozzi won't describe exactly what happened next, except to say that "there were [then] other mishaps causing other oil to spill."
"The order of magnitude rose exponentially due to the panic level," he says.
The tankers worked for the next six months skimming oil off the water's surface and pumping it into tanks for cleaning. Cleanup efforts went on for several years after that. Still, that such an enormous slick could be successfully cleaned ought to point the way this time around, Pozzi says.
"My guys have worked on a lot of oil spills, and back in the late '80s and early '90s we figured out the best way to clean up oil through lessons learned," he says. "This is what we think they need to do. We know it works."
Or, as King puts it: "We just want them to get off their ass and use multiple solutions to clean this crap."
Seems to me, going forward, all the ocean drillers should be required to contribute to a fund which would pay for enough empty tankers or special vessels, kept within 24 hours of the oil field, to vacuum up any forseeable oil spills so that they could not reach the coast. (This would be in addition to stringent measures designed to prevent blowouts and other accidents.) No more drilling should be allowed until these measures are in place.
There should have been a contingency plan ready made since off-shore drilling first started. I agree with you. Why is there no other nations coming to our aid? We are there for every earthquake, tsunami etc...
This will eventually effect the entire globe if it is not stopped.
I'd be in favor of every corporation who makes profit from oil coming to our aid. This is not the same as a natural disaster; it is a man-made, greed-fueled disaster.
I cannot understand why every available vessel is not being used. There must be thousands and thousands of tankers globally.
I would support a seizure of BP's assets in the United States until this entire fiasco is resolved.
My criticism of the president. I am responsible to hold BP responsible is crap. Get it done! Use every resource available to GET IT DONE. We can hold BP responsible later. All military and civilian vessels available, everything and I would hope the entire globe could get behind us to help.
Or is that a one-way street?
In an effort to alter perceptions and expectations BP is lobying Congress to change the name of the Gulf of Mexico to the Black Sea. (Yes, it's a joke)
Doug its a good joke - these oil companies are shamless and so are the governments who allow them to treat the enviroment as if it is theirs to do as they like
BP and Obama huh? What about the company that actually did the work that caused the explosion?
"From the start, Halliburton's lawyers have insisted that its men on the rig were simply following specifications and instructions from BP. In other words, if the cement does turn out to have been at least partly responsible for the tragedy, BP is "bound to hold Halliburton harmless", as one of the lawyers told Congress last week. Transocean has made a similar case that as the owner of the lease on the well, BP must be ultimately responsible."-The Independent
What chicken sh*t rotten losers Haliburton and Transocean are. Stand up and take your part in this....don't "lawyer out". Haliburton did it. What else is new? Anyone breathing the last 10 years??????
What was Halliburton's role in US oil spill?
By David Usborne in New York
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