May 4th, 2010
11:33 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Those affected by spill should be employed in cleanup


Idle fishing boats sat at the docks Monday in Pass Christian, Mississippi. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would like to see the people most affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico employed in the cleanup operation.

The president said the spill "is going to affect the lives and livelihoods of people" and the United States is committed to thwarting as much of the economic damage as possible.

Filed under: Energy • President Obama
soundoff (39 Responses)

    YEP and who's gonna watch to see if these paid employees do anything or are you just gonna send them a check OBAMA. After all most of this coast line is around New Orleans and yo people reside there don't they.

    May 4, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That sound like a great idea. If your incompetence is going to cost these people their livelihoods, you should employ them, at a commesurate rate to help in the cleanup. Besides, who would work harder and faster (besides an undocumented immigrant) at cleaning up the mess than someone who has a vested interest in doing so?

    I'd be very interested in seeing this idea implemented. I'd also like to know how many DOCUMENTED citizens took them (BP), the EPA, up on their offer of employment. I don't imagine it would be a very glamorous job; the hours might be long and it has the potential for being back breaking work. Hmmmm... you think Americans are up for this type of labor? Remains to be seen.

    May 4, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Hammerer

    If Bush could have stopped Katrina surely Obama can stop a little oil leak!

    May 4, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. ricbab

    Boy am I glad Nelson is my senator – he tyells it like it is !

    May 4, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Larry

    It's GREAT to have a guy in the White House with a brain. First time in my lifetime I've ever seen it. I thought all presidents were just politicians.

    Hey BP, got your wallet ready? You're going to be paying for all this.

    I don't think a new $10 billion cap is enough!

    May 4, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Oh sure, no problem, teach a bunch of fisherman, waitresses, and the like, how to clean up an oil spill, overnight, Right. That shouldn't be any problem whatsoever.

    May 4, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Steve (the real one)

    I actually agree with the President on this issue! Because it makes sense, it probably won't happen!

    May 4, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Pam

    I agree! Anyone who can help should be paid for their work, and then the bill presented to BP!

    May 4, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Steph

    AND BP needs to pay every single one of them a living wage with FULL benefits while they work to clean up this horrible mess. Let's see how responsible this large oil giant actually is.

    May 4, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. EqualPolitics4Everyone

    Yes, I def. agree with our president on this. (I rarely do agree with him) I believe his # 1 focus should be on jobs rather than giving out handouts (welfare, unemployment, healthcare for people who don't want to work, etc). This will aid people in getting jobs and working to provide for themselves.

    May 4, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. geecee

    This certainly makes sense to me. But then again, President Obama always makes sense to me. He's willing to reconsider his decisions, he is thoughtful and deliberative when making any serious decision. This is the man we needed at a crucial moment in America's History. He is a great leader and an inspiration to all Americans. Let's give him more time to correct the crucial issues that have gone dreadfully wrong over the past years and get us back on the correct track. Thanks so much for your efforts, Mr. President.

    May 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. ckcgye

    I actually agree with Obama on this one, but I wonder if the affected people will be willing to do this type of work.

    May 4, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. DIANA

    Way to go Mr. President and shame on BP for trying to get anybody who works to sign a paper saying they won't sue of BP hires them. Glad they were shut down on that idea.

    May 4, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Really?

    Hey Obama, U critcize Bush for not getting to the Katrina victims (2 days after) even though the then Gov. of LA, a Democrat, refused to declare a state of emergency as Katrina approached. Yet it took you,Obama-hope-&-change 10 days to activate the measures implemented by the NOAA that instructs the Federal Govt on how to handle an oil spill. Wow!

    Then u criticize Bush for his TAX CUT TO THE RICH, yet now you are talking about extended it! You have ruin this economy by spending like crazy and have quadruple the deficit in 1 yr than Bush did 8 yrs!!! Where is the gain. Where is the recovery? Instead the economy is stagnant and getting worse. Spin all u want. Employer (the rich) r not hiring!!!

    Now you realize that the Bush tax cut acutally worked to spawn economic growth. We all know the economy tanked b/c you & Dodd filibuster the regulations of Fannie & Freddie in 2006 that Bush wanted. Because u Obama said, we had to give loans to people that cannot afford it!


    May 4, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Mark from Louisiana

    Why can't they make the hundreds of thousands of folks in the New Orleans area who have cradle to grave government entitlements get out there and help cleanup? It's the least they can do in exchange for free housing, free medical, free food, etc.

    May 4, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. larry buchas

    I say send the "Drill, baby, drill" supporters instead. Let them see first hand what their idiotic slogan brought to our coast line.

    May 4, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Smith in Oregon

    Undoubtedly a good idea however the huge Dead Zone that enormous crude Oil spill has created could last for a decade or longer. And BP is going to pull the plug on any PR clean-up in a relatively short period of time.

    This scheme of employing laid-off commercial fisherman could help them survive thru this ruined season although many commercial business's and indirect jobs from the very large commercial fishing hub would still be lost. And this problem could remain for 10 years or longer.

    May 4, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. ROSS


    Exactly who is Obamas people? It is people like you who trys to keep this country from moving forward with your small thinking and small ideas. That was an idiotic thing to say. As far as the article, It's a no brainer, ofcourse they should be given first choice of employment opportunity. As far as those who think they are not able to do the work, BLUE COLLAR PEOPLE are the ones who keep this great country moving forward. Heres a secret, most people do not work in big companies or on wall street. By the way, a job does not define a persons worth or defines their ability.

    May 4, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Lori in St Pete

    ckcgye, I lived in Louisiana and worked with the wife of a fisherman from Chalmette in St. Bernard Parrish. Their work ethic is unbelievable, and they're extremely proud people. Given the chance to stand by and collect $$$ for doing nothing, or getting out there and cleaning up their backyards and workspace, they'd rather go hungry than not pitch in.

    May 4, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Bisqueen23

    Dear Rick McDaniel:

    Yes you the rude, obnoxious individual above, those fishermen, waitresses, and the like are hardworking, intelligent individuals who work in their professions of choice. These are people who are extremely skilled at working along our coastline. These are intelligent, wonderful people who certainly have done nothing to you other than supply you with abundant seafood, oil and gas to drive your SUV, and a joy for life that you will NEVER understand. What exactly do you Mr. McDaniel produce to make the lives of others better? I am sure that you, Mr. Rick McDaniel, are certainly an attorney or a stock broker or a neurosurgeon or whatever else in this world you deem intelligent. Obviously, you are not Southern. My mother would wash your mouth out with the oily water in our Gulf of Mexico for your mischaracterizing, misrepresentation, and flat out lies about the people of the State of Louisiana.

    Do us in Louisiana all a favor Mr. McDaniel, the next time you want to come somewhere to practice whatever illicit activies that you don't want your neighbors to know about, go to Thailand. Just stay away from Louisiana. With friends like you, ... you get the point.

    You, Mr. McDaniel, are rude, ill mannered, and ill informed.

    May 4, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. richard in Montana

    During all of this discussion on the spill where in the hell was the Bush/Cheney energy policy-well, leaking oil of course! It may take this spill to wake up the folks in the Gulf states that have been pandering to the big oil companies all of these years and discover that they ARE NOT your friends. Looking for work, ask the folks in Alaska how they fared after Exxon-Valdez-most couldn't get the work needed to save their livelihoods!

    May 4, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  22. Stacie

    You, Really?, are an idiot! The federal government's response to this CORPORATION caused disaster has been amazing. BP is responsible for cleaning up the mess it caused. The government was there immediately. Unless Fox is showing a big oil flood in towns and neighborhoods, people dying, etc...that the "liberal" media is ignoring, I see very little comparison. Please spend a little time in reality. Your anger isn't good for you.

    Oh, I bet you also want the federal government out of your life, but you're quick to criticize it for not acting fast enough. You can't have it both ways.

    May 4, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    larry buchas May 4th, 2010 12:43 pm ET
    I say send the "Drill, baby, drill" supporters instead. Let them see first hand what their idiotic slogan brought to our coast line.
    1. Exactly how many wells did the "drill baby drill" supporters drill?
    2. Were there no wells in the gulf prior to McCain and Palin running?
    3. Did a slogan cause the rig to fail?
    4. Does the President's support of expanded off shore drilling make him guilty as well?

    just t askin'

    May 4, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Lori in St Pete

    Really, Really? Sorry dude, but the internet will always impede your attempt to rewrite history. Governor Blanco declared a state of emergency and requested federal assistance TWO DAYS prior to Hurricane Katrina making landfall. The WH didn't even return her calls, and waited until two days AFTER the storm to even acknowlege they were devastated by the storm.

    That your drug-addled leader is even comparing the Katrina/industrial crime scenarios would be laughable if the situation wasn't so tragic. If even BP doesn't know how to stop the flow, how do you expect federal agencies to do anything – ESPECIALLY after they were defanged and declawed by dead-eye dick and energy executives during those secret energy meetings? NOBODY is at fault for anything, except BP and the corporations that successfully lobbied against the safeguards that would have prevented this catastrophe.

    May 4, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Had enough of GOP neanderthals

    This is a good idea to help the people who will now lose their livelihoods thanks to BP's negligence. And BP should be forced to pay for all clean-up costs. The oil companies make billions selling oil and they should have to pay for cleaning up their messes, not the taxpayers who they are already profiting off of. The GOP desperately wants to make this oil spill President Obama's "katrina" which is TOTALLY laughable. There is no comparison at all. The Bush administration knew the hurricane was coming and could have prepared better. It did not help that Bush had appointed an incompetent horse breeder as head of FEMA. There is no way to know exactly when an oil spill will happen and the head of the EPA is a very competent and intelligent woman with experience in the field. The GOP just looks silly trying to push the idea of a comparison.

    May 4, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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