May 3rd, 2010
12:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Oil spill could sap appetite for Obama's offshore drilling plans


The Obama administration is assisting efforts to combat the massive oil spill threatening the Gulf Coast. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

(CNN) - A month after announcing plans to expand offshore drilling, President Obama visited ground zero of the Gulf Coast oil disaster and warned that residents could be facing a "potentially unprecedented environmental disaster."

"The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states and it could extend for a long time. It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home," Obama said Sunday in Venice, Louisiana.

The president reiterated that oil company BP is responsible for the leak and will foot the cost of the cleanup. He pledged to "spare no effort to respond to this crisis for as long as it continues."

Obama's remarks were a stark contrast from his late March proposal to open swaths of U.S. coastal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling.

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Filed under: Energy • Louisiana • Obama administration • President Obama
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Tracy

    Nat says: Let's see – Obama "supports" off shore drilling to appease the cash-wads who donated millions to his campaign, then an "accident" creates a huge oil spill in the Gulf so Obama can turn against off-shore drilling and appease his lib-left-enviro base. Conspiracy-theories anyone?!

    OK- I can play the same game. The price of oil has not been increasing as fast as in past years as the summer traveling season is fast approaching. A lot of that has to do with greater conservation by the American people who bought hybrids. The oil companies know their form of energy is on the way out so they engineer an oil rig explosion to have an excuse to drastically increase the cost of gas and make billions in profits like they did three years ago. Conspiracy theories anyone????

    See, it sounds just as stupid when I say it that way. It was an accident that never should have happened that BP knew could happen but lied about its possibility. But, we are all responsible for this disaster because we continue to be so dependent on oil for everything in our lives. It's time to get off the oil tit and look to clean sources of energy.

    May 3, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. normajean

    The well that exploded and burned causing such terrible damage in the Gulf of Mexico was not build during the present administration.This is for the ever present idiots who try to blame our current president for everything that happens. PERIOD

    May 3, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Bill from GA

    Anybody seen that smarty-pants woman lately in the ad telling how safe and efficient off-shore drilling is? Wonder how this mess would be with 5 wells attached to the blown-up rig?

    We need to seriously discourage oil use. That means tax the hell out of it at every level, from drilling, purchase and licensing of gas hogs, and useage of gasolene. Europe has high fuel taxes and their countries function quite well.

    And now we have the anti-big-government Repugs (Hannity, Limbaugh, for instance) complaining that the government was too slow to act. Gov is only too big until you need it.

    Aside from the complaining, we REALLY need to stop the leaks!

    May 3, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. re: Born

    Spill, Baby, Spill!

    May 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Jaye

    Dear Honcho,
    Apparantly you havent actually READ the constitution

    May 3, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. SocialismBad

    Stupid libtards... There is no "stopping off shore oil drilling"! Care to venture a guess on how many THOUSANDS of oil rigs there are in the Gulf already??!! I guess we're all just supposed buy horses and burn wood to heat our homes? You're ridiculous "clean renewable energy" is a pipe dream that doesn't exist and won't exist for the foreseeable future. Try living in the real world for once...

    May 3, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. charlie from the North

    One of the things that impressed be most about Obama was his capacity to change his mind as the facts change. Unlike GW Bush who would insist on new facts until they matched what he wanted. This a change I can believe in.

    May 3, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. If We Can Defeat Him On Health Care It Will Be His Waterloo

    So Palin still want to "Drill, Baby, Drill"

    How's it feel to see those gulf coast red states turning black?

    May 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Nadeem

    The cost of Oil, if we were to charge the Oil companies for the military we use to secure thier supply the cost would be 20 times what it is at the pump. We are subsidizing big Oil with the blood of our children.

    May 3, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. LaChatte

    Terrific! It's just too bad it takes such a huge disaster to send the Pandering President a message that perhaps even he will understand.

    May 3, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Tim

    What if it's discovered this was an act of eco-terrorism perpetrated to get the proposed expansion of offshore drilling overturned? Never let a crisis go to waste...

    May 3, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Albert R. Killackey, How’s that ‘Drill Baby Drill” workin out fo-ya, huh?

    By the time the gushing oil leak is stopped, hurricane season will have begun and America’s appetite for oil dependency, along with the environmental and economic catastrophes it brings, global warming, the wealth it gives to the Middle East, and wars it causes, will have sapped all America of its tolerance for anyone dumb enough to chant “Drill-baby-Drill.” This spill will push America into the Green Revolution, millions of new jobs and a clean air future.

    May 3, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Charlie

    Any way that we produce power, use energy,etc is dangerous and has risks. Nuclear has risks. Coal has risk. Hydro has risk. The transmission of electricity has risk. There is no such thing as safe Energy. We could go back to the caves and live, but wait, we use fire and fire is dangerous as well. The fact that there was an accident does not remove the need. It only shows the need to develop technology to respond to the accident.

    May 3, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. rdepontb

    Boy, CNN, that is one insightful headline.

    I would expect that 99 percent of us are re-assessing any previously held views on what it means to have a "save" offshore drilling program. Circumstances certainly dictate all of us to turn our attention to ensuring that modern and correct technologies are utilized in these complex programs.

    Any loss of appetite would be towards a fall sense of security based on reported safety records to date. It turns out those records have not been very well kept; regardless of that, former records have now been destroyed by this spill.

    Your headline is quite misleading; this "teasing" direction in story headlines is not very well appreciated, I can tell you. And not very encouraging as to your own record of honesty. Please a little more objective journalism in that practice.

    May 3, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Tim

    Mr. President, Stay on cource, your administration prove that they can take any chalange and may God bless that BP can come out with something can stop the oil spill, This is good leason for GOPERS, where are those out spoken 6 GOPERS senators hiding now ?..............

    May 3, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Larry

    The solution to this is not halting future drilling plans–it empowering the regulatory agencies that police these clowns.

    That's what President Obama has been trying to do since he's been in office.

    Our regulatory agencies lost all their clout under the Bush administration. It was "anything goes", as long as Bush's rich buddies contribued to Republican campaigns.

    May 3, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Bob in PA

    The way his Administration is salivating over this, I'm wondering if there wasn't a bomb planted on that rig and they or some of their friends are behind it. I mean, the boot on BPs neck sounds more like "we've got you now and you're not getting up until you give us what we want"

    May 3, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. runswithbeer

    What this offshore catastrophe does is show the need for strict environmental and safety regulations for all offshore drilling. The standard should be applied worldwide. America should not be buying Energy from anyone who does not meet the same standards that will be enforced here. Time to turn off that AC and Carpool folks. We killing Americans to fuel our Pickemup trucks and SUV's.

    May 3, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Keep drilling. Accidents happen. If you want to live in a risk-free world, then move to Care-a-Lot and hang out with the Care Bears.

    May 3, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Squigman

    If memory serves me, the chant of drill baby drill, came from the republican party, and was basically forced on the Obama Administration. The republicans, are the party, and specifically McCain/Palin, are the never ending barking dogs that were appeased by passing the drill baby drill measure.

    May 3, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Brian -PA

    Like Katrina this is a disaster, though more from a wildlife perspective and less of a human factor. Katrina was much worse as it caused much more than the 11 deaths from a rig explosion. So I'm not sure you can compare the two accurately. That is like comparing the Olympic bombing in Atlanta to Sept 11 in New York. Similar but no where near the size. That being said I think it is to early to know if the appropriate level of government involvement has been quick to respond. The facts are not all in. So far I think things look encouraging as far as the speed of the response, but the truth will be told when all the facts are in. Until then it is just and typical opposing rhetoric with little to no basis of facts.

    May 3, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes, I'll say it again even though CNN moderators don't want to hear it:

    Mr. President:

    Let the oil continue to spill. Step the hell aside like all these "Anti-big government" folks have been begging you to do, and let FREE ENTERPRISE (in this case BP) feel free to CLEAN UP THEIR OWN MESS! Why are you even in the picture? What does this have to do with you Mr. President? The fact that you feel compelled to help because you see the economy of these Gulf states tanking out? Curb your compassionate enthusiasm sir, and let the STATES HELP THEMSELVES ( you know, State Sovereignty (sp) and all that blather!).
    Give them a taste of what all of these clueless RethugliKKKlans have been asking for. Pull a Pontius Pilate and let the States affected by this catastrophe deal with BP. I'm sure they will obtain ADMIRABLE results wihtout your help. NOT!

    And absolutely, hold back on the exploratory drilling, for now.

    May 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Ralph

    I hope BP goes broke fixing this eco-disaster. Sell your stocks now!

    May 3, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Allen Hussein

    Funny how we have heard nothing but the sound of crickets chirping from Caribou Barbie and the Spill Baby Spill crowd!

    May 3, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Joe

    The president's timing was awful on this, but he can redeem himself and show some leadership by getting behind the push to switch American to Natural Gas, and off foreign and domestic oil, and away from coal.

    May 3, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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