Thursday, May 27, 2010


The White House Blog

"Whatever is Necessary to Protect and Restore the Gulf Coast"
Posted by Katelyn Sabochik on May 27, 2010 at 04:47 PM EDT

Earlier today, the President took questions from the press at the White House on the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. During his opening remarks, the President updated the American people on the “top kill” procedure that was approved yesterday. This procedure attempts to plug the well with densely packed mud to reduce or stop the flow of oil. It’s still too soon to tell if the procedure will work.

The President also clarified the role the Federal Government has played in the response since Day 1:

The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort. As far as I’m concerned, BP is responsible for this horrific disaster, and we will hold them fully accountable on behalf of the United States as well as the people and communities victimized by this tragedy. We will demand that they pay every dime they owe for the damage they’ve done and the painful losses that they’ve caused. And we will continue to take full advantage of the unique technology and expertise they have to help stop this leak.
But make no mistake: BP is operating at our direction. Every key decision and action they take must be approved by us in advance. I’ve designated Admiral Thad Allen – who has nearly four decades of experience responding to such disasters – as the National Incident Commander, and if he orders BP to do something to respond to this disaster, they are legally bound to do it. So, for example, when they said they would drill one relief well to stem this leak we demanded a backup and ordered them to drill two. And they are in the process of drilling two.
The President emphasized that the government would do everything in it’s power to stop the leak and clean up the mess and was employing the best and brightest minds from around the country to solve this problem. In addition to cleaning up the oil, the Administration is also focused on restoring the livelihoods of families who rely on the Gulf to make a living

We’re also doing whatever it takes to help the men and women whose livelihoods have been disrupted and even destroyed by this spill -– everyone from fishermen to restaurant and hotel owners. So far the Small Business Administration has approved loans and allowed many small businesses to defer existing loan payments. At our insistence, BP is paying economic injury claims, and we’ll make sure that when all is said and done, the victims of this disaster will get the relief that they are owed. We’re not going to abandon our fellow citizens. We’ll help them recover and we will help them rebuild.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks and takes questions from the press in the East Room of the White House, May 27, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

To ensure that a spill of this magnitude never happens again, President Obama outlined immediate steps the Department of the Interior will take to reform the Minerals Management Service, which is responsible for issuing drilling leases and regulating oil facilities:

Additionally, after reading the report’s recommendations with Secretary Salazar and other members of my administration, we’re going to be ordering the following actions: First, we will suspend the planned exploration of two locations off the coast of Alaska. Second, we will cancel the pending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and the proposed lease sale off the coast of Virginia. Third, we will continue the existing moratorium and suspend the issuance of new permits to drill new deepwater wells for six months. And four, we will suspend action on 33 deepwater exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.
The President also made the broader point that this tragedy should serve as a “wake-up call” for Americans that our dependence on oil is not sustainable. Focusing our resources on renewable energy will not only protect our environment, but “it will it will create a new, homegrown, American industry that can lead to countless new businesses and new jobs.”

President Obama is scheduled to make his second trip to the Gulf Coast region tomorrow.

I know this disaster, if stopped right now...would have taken too long. While I along with most people think this is true, I am still heartened to think and see that we have, at last, a real leader and responsible President. This is similar to driving a large Ship...unfortunately. The Captain cannot just jump in front of the ship and immediately stop it, but has to be gently calculating to maneuver and slow it to a stop...the only thing we have to now have, is Patience. Our Coast Guard, our Scientists, Global Scientists and a real President is on the job, so at this point, continue to support the industries in the area, as you have done in the past...especially the tourist industry... and let the professionals do their jobs. It will end; and Mother Earth will heal herself as she always does...and this loss will help us to understand and put better controls in place and thereby stop that spill in twenty years time which may have been 10 times larger than this...yes I am an optimist...that is why Mother Nature tells me I'm her favorite...along with the rest of you all.


  1. Dude, I got an Honest Scrap award and am passing it on to you in honor of your publication.
    There are strings attached which you should undoubtedly feel free to ignore, but it seemed like a good opportunity for a plug.


  2. Tricia, OMG, Thank you!...I think. I cautiously accept this award on the grounds that the strings attached don't hang

  3. You'll find the strings clearly posted over at Menopausal Stoners. You can only hang yourself with them.

  4. Tee, I think Obama's biggest error was dismal PR, not substance. He gave the impression that he was aloof and not involved, when that is clearly not the case.

  5. The President has shown some decent (not great, not bad) leadership of late. That fund-raiser out in California, however, during the height of this crisis - that, I'd be remiss if I didn't say it, was a colossal mistake - one that could eventually come back to haunt him.

  6. Have we ever had a president since Roosevelt who was so beset by demons? How on earth does Obama prioritize the crises arising now?

    Let's see: we'll table the N. Korean nuke-rattling until next Tuesday, but somebody needs to fit me into a fund-raiser in CA, lest we lose seats and can't get anything done after November, but this financial regulation thing has to be nailed before then, because...OMG, I haven't even made it to Nashville yet! Has anybody had a chance to look at Spain's bottom line today? That bad? Oh, that's the Dow!

    Obama's biggest failing right now is that he can't clone himself.

  7. TomCat, I have to agree with you, he needs some work in that area

    Will, you are right, he has made mistakes, thankfully it has not cost far...goes with the job eh?

  8. Nance, you got that right, he needs a clone ...or three!

  9. I don't fault Obama for not getting the leak stopped by now. I'm sure he's doing what he can on that score. The fact is that neither he nor the federal government are in that business or have that engineering knowhow.

    I do fault Obama for not ordering BP to get some tankers down there to suck up as much of the leaked oil as possible. It's not a surefire, perfect fix, but it's better than just letting all the released oil keep building up in the Gulf of Mexico and along the shore.

    BTW, congratulations on the book!

  10. I'm an optimist too and what you say about Mother Earth healing herself gives me hope for my children and grandchildrens futures! The righties are foaming at the mouth over this disaster and President Obama's Response to it. I guess they think he should dive to the depths of the Gulf and plug the hole himself! They NEVER look at the history of the GOP and their horrific acts of incompetence, and NEVER will they give our president any praise for a job well done. I'm looking forward to November when the country slaughters the GOP and I'm also looking forward to Obamas second term as POTUS!!
    Great post Tee, Have a Happy Memorial Day weekend!

  11. S.W. I like the SuperTanker idea, it would at least be good PR...
    Book! Thank you!