Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, issued the following statement after the president's Oval Office address Tuesday night:
“The ongoing oil spill is nothing short of a catastrophe. It is a source of pain and suffering for Gulf Coast natives and wildlife alike, and it will have long-term consequences for the Gulf Coast environment and economy. Tonight, President Obama made it clear that his Administration is doing everything necessary to address the ongoing disaster in the Gulf, and that they will continue to do so. That message is in keeping with the President’s efforts to date and the message that he delivered to Gulf Coast business owners and workers earlier this week and in previous trips to the Gulf.
“The President’s commitment to the people of the Gulf Coast is unwavering. He is dedicated to ensuring that they are fully compensated for the short-term economic losses resulting from the spill, that they are empowered to return to their businesses and way of life as soon as possible, and that they suffer no long-term harm as a result of BP’s failings.
“In addition, the President is taking steps to prevent a catastrophe like this one from occurring ever again. The bold measures outlined in his address, from rooting out corruption and reinvigorating enforcement of the energy sector to jumpstarting the clean energy sector with a comprehensive energy and climate bill, are the basic ingredients of a sustainable future.
“The President has made it clear that America’s energy future should not be a partisan issue. In that spirit, I urge Republicans to join with Democrats in Congress to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation and take all necessary steps to assure that we have all of the tools that we will need to end the BP oil spill crisis, compensate spill victims, stave off major spills in the future, and chart a course toward energy security and sustainability.”