May 2nd, 2010
02:13 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama heads to view Gulf Coast oil spill

Upon touching down in the Gulf Coast region Sunday afternoon, the president spoke briefly with Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal before the two men headed off to Venice, Louisiana.

Upon touching down in the Gulf Coast region Sunday afternoon, the president spoke briefly with Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal before the two men headed off to Venice, Louisiana.

(CNN) - President Barack Obama traveled to Louisiana on Sunday to see for himself the growing oil slick from a damaged offshore well that threatens the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Obama arrived on Air Force One at Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, then headed off by road with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for the two-hour drive to Venice, a staging ground for efforts to fight the growing slick.

Some of Obama's top officials said Sunday that the spill is a potential catastrophe and defended the administration's response so far against complaints it has reacted too slowly.

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Adm. Thad Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, warned the leaking oil from a rig explosion could continue for weeks with dire consequences.

"It potentially is catastrophic," Salazar said. "I think we have to prepare for the worst."

Full story

Updated: 2:32 p.m.

Filed under: Energy • Louisiana • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. walleye

    Well this is another RepubliKlan disaster that Obama now needs to fix. If you recall, it was Bush/Cheney who opened up the Gulf to their oil and Haliburton friends. Drill baby Drill – ya right.

    May 2, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Gulf cost resident

    When hurricane Katrina hit the gulf cost few years ago, everyone jumped to blame the Bush administration on their "slow response" to the catastrophe. Now, this Oil Spill is not as devastating as Katrina was, but we still have not seen any response from the Obama administration until today! after all, "YES WE CAN" was another political slogan. what ashame, I voted for the guy in hope for a real change.

    May 2, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Peter

    Thats right Jindal beg beg for money and help from the Pres. loser....big government bad, bad bad...when they get into trouble they come running to big govt for help and handouts....losers....Republicans and their shameful disrespect of our Govt the best in the world in my opinion should all be ashamed!!! Thank God for America!!! Thank God for President Obama!!!

    May 2, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Obama better be cautious around these "do nothing but complain" backstabbing republicans. Their motto of "Politics over People" rings loud and clear.

    May 2, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Blame BP not Obama or Palin.

    Obamas doing all they can to mitigate the damage.I do not blame him or his administration for this.That is crazy talk.I read comments of people blaming Palin.That is just as nuts.She is not in charge of anything,oversight,permits,inspections,she is in charge of 0,so how can anyone link her to this?BP is where the blame should focus,they screwed up not gov.Obamas was right to support more offshore drilling expansion.He knows America right now needs this energy source.One crisis in the middle east combined with an offshore drilling ban, would cause outrageous energy costs.Obama knows the infrastructure to get off fossil fuels, will take many many years(even decades) to get in place.Untill then being more beholden to a hostile regions events(middle east) is not the answer either.Stop the leaks,clean it up,impose stricter oversight,and keep drilling untill the renewables are in place to end it.In 40 years of offshore drilling ,after 10s of thousands of wells drilled worldwide,this type of disaster has being rare.

    May 2, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. gail

    The federal government has been on the scene of this disaster since the day of the explosion. While folks want to call it Obama's Katrina, I agree with Donna Brazile. Yes it is and President Obama and his administration are showing how Katrina should have been handled.

    May 2, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    It looks like Bobby is telling the president that LA does not need any help from the federal government. I am sure that Jindal and BP have the situation well in hand.

    May 2, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. med1moe

    Obama needas to continue to drill the oil companies for legal repayment. set the tone, if you want to drill do it safely if something happens your liable. yes plants and some animals will die, that's a given but the real truth of the matter is that oil companies will pass the price to thee pumps and the price of seafood will increase.

    May 2, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Gil

    Jindal was satisfied with the bush response to Katrina, but has found fault with Obama and the oil spill. Could it be that one president was a memeber of the Party of No and the other a Democrat? Hypocrite!

    May 2, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. kravitz

    Still breath taking to think with all those wells in the gulf, no company had a plan for anything like this. I notice the others are hiding from interviews on what their company would do to help. I guess we can say those cute British Petroleum commercials are coming home to roost. BP is beyond petrified. BP is also the reason the Lockerbie bomber was released. And today, there were no customers at the local BP station. Protesting already?

    May 2, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. jon

    President Bush flied over and visited New Orleans within a couple of days when Katrina hit. Obama and democRats all slamed Bush non-stop until today. When all is said and done to assess the impacts of this incident, the damages to our environment, ecology, economy, tourism, and our ways of life from this massive oil spill are much greater than Katrina. Where have Obama and his democRat coronies been hiding during these passing days or weeks after the exposion? It is purely hypocrit for Obama and democRats and liberal elites with no bound. American people will hold Obama responsible just as they did to President Bush!

    May 2, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Roselakota (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

    Why not put a large plastic "tent" or "tipi" over the pipe which is anchored to the seabed. At the top of the tent or tipi there would be an small opening with a long tube going to the top of the surface which could pump up the captured oil. This should be able to contain a lot of the oil- it wouldn't get it all but certainly would help to contain the spread to a smaller area.

    May 2, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. osprey

    we have scene the enemy and it is this glorious planet puts up with humanity and its destructive ways is beyond me.....

    May 2, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. NC

    I for one am glad we have the Federal Government when we have disasters of this magnitude. It is ignorant and foolish to compare this to Katrina. This was man made and Katrina was a natural disaster. I pray for the families of the 11 people that lost their lives. Thousands lost their lives during and after Katrina because they were not helped. How very heartless it is to compare the loss of thousands of lives to sea life and animals.

    May 2, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. bill

    Why isn't anybody blaming Jindal? He's the governor who needs to tell the feds what he needs. I don't recall him having any better information than Obama had. We were ALL lead to believe this was a disaster and not an unstoppable catastrophe.

    May 2, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. DJ

    Bring in a SUB and cap the hole!!!

    May 2, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. BeverlyNC

    This disaster is the fault of the lying BP oil company who pretended their rig was not leaking when it was gushing oil into the Gulf. The Coast Guard discovered their lies and President Obama immediately took action.

    If you want to blame someone, although it does nothing to save our destroyed environment, it is the fault of BP and of the Republican Party who also deregulated the oil industry such that they could "choose" whether or not to use safety valves on their oil rigs. Every other country in the world requires the safety equipment, but not the Republicans of their oil buddies here.

    How's that "Drill Baby Drill" arrogance working out now for you greedy Republicans???

    Is there anything in America you didn't destroy and leave for President Obama to clean up???

    May 2, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. harold

    Earlier news gave the information that European oil rigs were required to have additional safety device which works well in preventing this type of disaster from happening.. However NO news since about this device and why American Law did NOT require the same device as European Countries have on their oil rigs.. So what gives?.. Why NO more info about this device and WHY american oil rigs do not have the same device as European oil rigs have?.. Any media input to clear this all up.. Or does it really matter to anyone? Thanks Oil Industry for dropping your adds on TV about the "deeper you go"... bit....

    May 2, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. stormerF

    Another waste of Tax Payers money,What is Obie going to do,say my,my,what at mess? at a million dollar trip to be paid fpr by the tax payers.

    May 2, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. jj

    Now he won't be reelected coz he had a pic with Obama!

    May 2, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. Patty Patriot

    Isn't anyone investigating who/what/why of this explosion? Why would anyone think a community organizer would have any idea how to contain/cleanup this mess? Gut feeling is someone caused this explosion.

    May 2, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Mickey, NY

    Wow...look at Jindal with his hands out like a beggar begging from the very administration that he has been undermining for the last 15 months...PATHETIC!

    May 2, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    Hey, where's the "drill, baby, drill" crowd? In hiding?

    May 2, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Annie, Atlanta

    Patty Patriot – it's a good thing we don't base news reports on your gut feeling. You need to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.

    And why is this Obama's mess to clean up. Capitalism is king, right. Let the capitalists of the world, who get to write the laws and regulate themselves, clean it up. Why would you want government interfering? Or is it only ok sometimes, like Jindahl with his hand out now? I'm just curious because this seems a little inconsistent. Thanks.

    May 2, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. jo geisler

    why with a short-age of oil in the usa are foreign nations in our water drilling ? jo.

    May 2, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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