June 5th, 2010
10:20 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama says he’s keeping heat on BP

(CNN) – President Obama is defending his administration's reaction to the Gulf Coast oil spill and says he is keeping the heat on BP to compensate victims of the disaster.

“From the beginning, we’ve mobilized on every front to contain and clean up this spill. I’ve authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops to aid in the response,” Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address, taped during his trip to the Gulf Coast region Friday. “More than 20,000 people are currently working around the clock to protect waters and coastlines. We’ve convened hundreds of top scientists and engineers from around the world. “

“We’ve also ordered BP to pay economic injury claims, and we will make sure they pay every single dime owed to the people along the Gulf Coast,” Obama added. “The Small Business Administration has stepped in to help businesses by approving loans and allowing deferrals of existing loan payments. And this week, the federal government sent BP a preliminary bill for $69 million to pay back American taxpayers for some of the costs of the response so far.”

Obama returned to Louisiana Friday - the president's second trip to the Gulf region in two weeks as the administration continued its efforts to contain the BP oil spill and stay on top of what has now become a major political issue.

Among other things, Obama visited Louisiana's Grand Isle and meet with local business leaders directly impacted by the spill. Shortly after arriving, he huddled with U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen - the federal government's response manager - and both state and local elected officials.

Included in the list of officials meeting the president: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Alabama Gov. Bob Reilly, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Obama's latest visit came as BP finally started to siphon oil from the ruptured undersea well. BP is currently preparing to shut four vents on top of a containment cap from which oil has been escaping into the ocean. Closing the vents would greatly reduce the amount of oozing crude.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    At least you are not taxing us to the hilt or trying to cramp another wasteful bill down our throats!

    June 5, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Dave

    Just wait Willie. The taxing will come sooner or later.

    June 5, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Mr. President,
    Until that platform erupted in flame, killing those BP workers, Republicans would have DEMANDED that you keep your hands off of that (and any and all other) oil company, it's business, it's business practices and operational procedures...

    NOW, after THEIR REPEATED catastrophic failures, all of a sudden, the results and that the Country is left to deal with are your FAULT??? I'll admit, that as the President, you are responsible for making sure that BP cleans up this nightmare, but you had no hand in the cause of or handling of this disaster.

    The only advice I could give you, that might actually get these folks to do THEIR JOB would be to:
    1) Take all family members of all of the company executives into "protective custody."
    2) Arrest all BP company executives
    3) Attach/freeze all assets of said BP executives (as bond while they are released to work on this problem)
    4) Release the families when the oil leak has been effectively and efficiently stopped.
    5) Return BP executive assets after each of the states impacted presents you with documentation stating that they are satisfied that the cleanup has been effective and completed.

    Lastly, you need to present, promote, get passed and sign into LAW a bill / bills that will insure massive fiscal and CRIMINAL consequences for future failures of this magnitude.

    This could have been prevented, this was not a surprise to educated industry insiders. It should have been a criminal offense to have created the circumstances that lead to this.

    June 5, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Brenda

    This IS Obama's Katrina/Iran hostage crisis.

    Obama and his administration are imcompetent--and they failed miserably taking care of this disaster.

    Obama should not have waited over a week--before even publicly acknowledging an explosion occurred.

    Specialists/ideas from around the world should have been brought in for solutions-–before this crisis reached its current level.

    I want to cry-every time I see/read anything about this.

    June 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Mostly photo-op damage control, but is making an attempt to finally do something useful.

    June 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Augsbee

    If Obama had taken action from the beginning instead of leaving it in BP's hands he wouldn't now have to defend his administration's reaction to the oil spill.

    June 5, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Keith in Austin

    Obama is a bumbling idiot in a Brooks Brothers suit! Like everything else, he is clueless regarding this national disaster and blames everyone else. LEAD for a change Barry!!!

    June 5, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. phoenix86

    Oh boy, BP is in trouble. Obama's gonna "keep the heat on BP". If you don't cooperate with Obama, you tend to face dire consequences, just ask Russia, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, China, Bolivai, Mexico, General Motors, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mak etc/

    Poor BP.....

    June 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Kathey

    I think that until all the Obama bashers have walked a mile in his shoes maybe everyone should take a deep breath and show some support. I also blame the media for all if not most of the negativity surrounding everything, and I mean everything the White House does, or does Not do. The President has my full support and I am a registered Repub., and not proud of it.

    June 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Ancient Texan

    Mostly a damage control photo-op, but is at least making an attempt to do something useful. Now, forget the drilling ban and cap and tax. We the people and the fragile economy cannot stand $10 a gallon gas.

    June 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. joynnbob

    It has taken so long for him to respond because he and his advisors have had to figure out how to weave this disaster into their overall plan for the screwing of the American people.

    As Rahmses said, never let a good crisis go to waste.

    June 5, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Marie MD

    @willy stick to the subject at hand.
    The BP CEO should not "get his life back" until every drop of oil, every fisherman can go back to work in the Gulf and all wildlife is magically brought back to life oil free.
    Since that it's not likely to happen soon, or not anytime soon, he should be having nightmares about this all his life.

    June 5, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. daniel

    Wow, such a substantive post, no trace of the usual Obama-hating rant, having so much to do with what the president said! Oh, wait, just more phlegm globbers from the folks who salivate and jump up and down like crazed baboons in anticipation of seeing the president's private parts cook.

    June 5, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. CS

    The only thing wasteful done is listening to you talk smack about the good work that he has done.

    June 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. James

    Even more photo ops. When does the campaigning end and being a true leader as President ever begin?

    June 5, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Len (Colorado)

    Let us not forget......The Bush/Cheney administration okayed Deep Water drilling. Let us not forget.....Cheney's secret meeting with the Big Oil Companies, to this day we donot know what was said. The commission should interview Cheney ahd Bush. Let us not forget....reported by the Assoiciated press last week, regulators were taking bribes from 2003 to 2008. (What administration was that?)

    How is it we let Bush and Cheney off the hook because of executive priviledge but President Obama is critized for everything....could be because he is........

    June 5, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. ib

    Just another photo op for this so called great president. Also another way to promote his green agenda; if it doesn't fit his agenda Obama will do nothing about it. Disgusting.

    June 5, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Josephs

    Really repulsive – now the president of the country is trying to shore up his image by looking like a news reporter?? They really believe the public is pretty ignorant.

    June 5, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Remember the Alamo

    Willy Brown – OH BUT HE WILL> He doesn't know what else to do. If there were easy answers her I would guess someone would have come up with it. BUT TO THINK OBAMA IS GOING TO PUT HEAT ON IS LIKE HAVING A MILD COLD WAVE STRIKE. Then againhe can not be blamed for this. This off shore drilling has been going on for years. They only expanded the distance off shore they could drill a few years ago. WHAT'S SAD IS IT IS A PROVEN FACT THROUGH THE MIC-CONTINENT STATES THROUGH ALASKA WE HAVE MORE OIL THAN THE WHOLE MIDDLE EAST. They will not let them drill there though for environment reasons. BUT YET THE'LL ALLOW OCEAN DRILLING> MAKES SENSE< RIGHT??? Vote all incumbents out of office starting in November.

    June 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Mike

    Weeks ago BP said they would pay all clean up costs and damages. That was well before nobama became involved in the crisis. I find this administration to be offensive and cannot wait until 2012 to throw this bum out of the White House.

    June 5, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Anonymous

    It seems most of the noise about not enough being done is coming froming the right. This is interesting since deregulation happened un the Bush admistration and with a Republican Congress.
    Add Haliburton's ( AKA Cheney's company of cronies) to the mix of this problem and its a clear cut case of those those in glass houses.
    Now consider the report that came out last Sunday about the nuber of fishing industry people that NEVER file a tax retun and sympathy for the residents is difficult or their complaining hard to take seriously

    June 5, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Greg

    Yes Len of Colorado...Agreed, let's not forget that the Bush/Cheney administration okayed deep water drilling.

    But let's also not forget that this president must take responsibility for what happens during his administration. The well blew during his administration, not Bush's.

    A real leader of any kind knows that the responsibility of what happens during his tenure of leadership falls upon his shoulders and his shoulders only.

    Too much blaming and not enough action is simply a demonstration of weak leadership, or worse, childish antics.

    June 5, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We need Michael Steele or atleast some of the GOP to go to Louisiana and help cleanup the oil because they can't seem to find anything to do. But again they will probably say NO.

    June 5, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Joseph- Americans are ignorant. They don;t read, they don't have memories and know nothing about what our government is doing. It is that, and not Obama that is the problem

    Branda- Maybe you need to READ the news more often. Obama commented on the spill immediately. He did not have facts or know the enormotiy of this accident for a few days.
    This did not show up on radar a week in advance and happen on land.
    The pipe is a mile under the water and the real correction is almost 3 miles under the ocean

    Joseph- read Brenda's post- ignorance at its best

    June 5, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. it no longer is bed wetting liberals, GOPers you have out done libs

    Phoenix86, Keith in Austin and the rest of you bed wetters, you are the new bed wetters

    crying like babies, spoiled brats even though your man was who allowed the cookie jar to be left open and all the money grabbers – big oil, wall streets etc grabbed at once and the cookie jar is broken

    cry babies, cry

    BP needs to be held accountable, they screwed up

    Obama is saying this and you poor babies are left looking for anything to comment about

    Good news, the recession is starting to lessen – but you will try your best to paint it a negative way

    how about you try to come up with ideas rather than negativeness from the cheap seats

    epecially you phoenix86, you are the biggest cry baby of them all

    June 5, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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