June 15th, 2010
10:09 PM ET
5 years ago

Gibbs defends deepwater drilling moratorium

Robert Gibbs responded to questions via YouTube Tuesday following Obama's Oval Office address.
Robert Gibbs responded to questions via YouTube Tuesday following Obama's Oval Office address.

Washington (CNN) - Saying it was an essential safety measure in the wake of the disastrous Gulf oil spill, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling following the President's Oval Office address Tuesday.

"The president told us that because we don't know what caused this accident, we can't afford to continue drilling those 33 [deepwater] wells without knowing what happened. The president didn't feel comfortable with that," he said.

Gibbs was responding to a question previously submitted to the White House online.

Critics have argued that the six-month moratorium will hinder economic recovery in a region that is largely dependent on the oil industry.

"In Louisiana, that's caused some economic pain, and the president understands that," Gibbs acknowledged. "But at the same time, we can't take BP's word for it that they have safety procedures in place to make sure that what happened 57 and 58 days ago doesn't repeat itself."

Obama instituted the moratorium after reviewing a report from the Department of Interior 30 days after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, Gibbs said. The ban halted all drilling in more than 500 feet of water and prevents new permits from being issued.


Filed under: Energy • Obama administration • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. James

    MSNBC compares Obama to something less than Jimmy Carter!

    I have had it. It has only been 57 days and Obama has been in the golf for photos.

    June 15, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  2. Frank in valparaiso indiana

    Its going to take more than 6 months to get the oil companies out of this mess. Their whole business model is make more profit. They were swimming in money years ago and did nothing to make the rigs safer. They had so much money in 2004 / 2005 they could not invest it all.

    June 15, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If we continue to have companies that act like BP, then we have a high risk of another mess that we have currently. Even if we have a company that values safety, there is still a risk of a mess.

    June 15, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  4. Liz the First

    If we want to help the people of the gulf region and the planet, we should be building clean energy product factories there and wean them off their dependence on the oil industry.that would be killing two birds with one stone instead of killing millions of birds with one oil spill! how dumb do you have to be to look at what's going on in the gulf now and still think drilling off-shore is a good idea. oil is killing this planet. Mother Earth is bleeding to death in front of our eyes and there are morons out there yelling, 'stab her again!' this is insanity! the only way for humanity to survive is to get serious about cleaning up our act. if this horrendous tragedy doesn't wake us up to this harsh reality, i don't know what will!

    June 15, 2010 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. Jack in Florida

    NO oil company should be allowed to drill in deep/shallow water until they have an emergency back up plan that works! It is outrageous that they have been allowed to drill without one. This is a crime what is happening to our beautiful shorelines and MUST NEVER happen again. I am sorry for the workers involved in this moratorium, but this is also for YOUR safety as well as the safety of our environment.

    June 15, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    There are about 4000 wells in the Gulf – and 33 are temporarily on hold?

    Small.

    June 15, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  7. Jane

    Let's put some more people out of work in the gulf states–makes a whole lot of sense.

    June 15, 2010 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Artie

    Its all political posturing (saving their butts) ! What a con game!

    June 15, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  9. X

    A deepwater drilling moratorium is a no brainer. All these oil companies have flat out LIED about their safety capabilities.

    June 15, 2010 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Reality

    Of course he defends it, he's not one of the tens of thousands of oil workers who will now lose their jobs. So much for creating jobs.

    June 15, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  11. Tom in Delaware

    Just another log on the fire to continue the destruction of my beloved country.

    Obama is now an enemy of the state...remember that video last year of the high school kid being beaten to death with a railroad tie in Chicago?

    That's what's going to happen to the Democrats this November.

    June 15, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. ajax

    Senator Mary Landrieu is not going to like this.She voted to help Obama with healthcare reform and this is how he pays her back. Throw some more Louisiana people out of work !!!

    June 15, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. Augsbee

    Forget it, I was wrong earlier, our President doesn't have a backbone, this speech was about promoting his goal for an energy bill not about the people of Louisiana and the damage to our ocean, our shores, our wildlife.

    June 15, 2010 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. 8 years of the Bush Error = How many years of recession and unemployment?

    BP has already shown that they do NOT have functioning machinery to prevent these blow out, nor do they know how to stop them.

    I assume no other big oil company has the answer either or they would have shared it.

    The President is being more than prudent when he says no more deep sea drilling until you oil companies can prove you can drastically reduce the chances of this ever happening again.

    Now, the dick and shrub had not let the oil industry write the government policy on deep sea drilling, MAYBE the technology would have been in place.

    Think about that during the election to re-elect republican Jindal, a.k.a. Palin with a penis, he has the responsibility for helping to prevent this disaster but, he was too busy marching in lockstep with the "axle of evil" when they were in office.

    June 15, 2010 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Considering the horrendous track record of the MMS, this is a no brainer. The Republicans only care about pleasing their Big $ lobby Masters. Go ask Senator Lott why he "retired" to go works as one of their sleazy lobbyists. The facts don't lie.

    June 15, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  16. dan - N.M.

    Wait 'til gas reaches $5 a gallon – the people will be screaming for more drilling everywhere.

    June 15, 2010 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  17. Jeff Spangler

    Put the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Navy in charge of these highly risky activities. Only they appreciate the need for a rigorous quality assurance program to prevent, detect, correct and learn from errors. The stakes for them are even higher– nuclear accidents like TMI and Chernobyl can cause damage which is several orders of magnitude beyond oil spills and lasts for centuries instead of decades.

    June 15, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. Dave

    Plan-less WH in all areas, just talking (reading, actually)!

    June 15, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. Gil

    It would be stupid to go ahead with more drilling with the total lack of checks and balances left from the last 8 years of bush de-regulation of the oil industry. It would be like lets have more of these mistakes?

    June 15, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  20. John

    and they couldn't find a better picture right?

    June 15, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  21. sharong60

    I personally think we should ban offshore drilling altogether in view of this catastrophic oil spill! Even if this hadn't happened, a sizeable hurricane could cause the same effect. I have seen pictures of what Katrina did to a couple of oil rigs down there! I think it would be much safer to drill on land and if something exploded , it might kill nearby vegetation but wouldn't be killing off all the fish and marine life! Or better yet, lets just sell more electric cars that don't run or use very little gas!
    The republicans are only against the banning of offshore drilling because a lot of the m have stocks in oil and they would be loosing money! Greedy corrupt idiots! They could care less if we stay dependent on oil for years to come because they get a piece of the pie!
    I think President Obama is on the right track!

    June 15, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  22. George of the jungle

    well golly what do you want the man to do. The crazy repos complaine he hasent done enough. To drill or not to drill. Any problems and they will jump all over him. We need time to come up with a plan. let's see what people can come up with. After all this mess you don't think we need time to look at this mess. Better the hard ship now than no jobs fish birds or beaches later.

    June 15, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  23. CHRIS FL

    look at the gulf a good look and tell me we need to or any body needs to be there. iam watching LT.govener of la. say drill baby drill but we want our shrimp back. we have golf carts for how many years and can't come up with an electric car.we have been and continue to be held hostage by BIG OIL..LETS PLUG THE HOLE WITH HEADS OF OIL COMPANYS &HALIBURTON AND 1 EX VICE PREZ

    June 16, 2010 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  24. Anonymous

    It is apparent that BP and the other companies with deepwater wells in the Gulf all made false safety claims they knew they could never keep (including saving Gulf walruses that don't exist).

    Presumably these big oil companies felt that once the rigs were in place, there was no way the US government could shut them down for non compliance.

    The government shout place an injunction on all of them and impound their assets until they are able to demonstrate how they are/able of complying with their safety measures (including the walruses).

    June 16, 2010 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  25. Independant from IA

    essential my foot...
    check out the many hundreds of wells in the gulf and this is the only one that backfired due to human error brought on by lets hurry this up and a GET HER DONE attitude by bp. More than one safty proto call was bysteped before she blew up and caused 11 workers to die.

    Anyway thats politics for you. Shut the barn door after the cow ran away?????? I think we can do better than that.

    And lets forget this Jones crap and get the super tankers in for the clean up. Its a no brainer and should have been done day one if we had leaders with the know how to proceed. Our leadership on the hill is not up to the task i am afraid. Yes Obama droped the ball on the cleanup detail. Lack of experience I suppose.

    June 16, 2010 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
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