May 31st, 2010
07:02 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to meet Tuesday with heads of oil spill commission

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Presdent Obama will hold meetings on Tuesday about the Gulf oil spill."]Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will meet Tuesday at the White House with former Sen. Bob Graham of Florida and former Environmental Protection Agency administrator William Reilly, the co-chairs of a new presidential commission investigating how to prevent another oil spill like the devastating leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

White House aides said Obama will make public comments after he meets with Graham and Reilly, new co-chairs of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, which Obama created earlier this month by executive order.

Administration officials have said that five other people will soon be selected to serve on the seven-person commission. The other panel members are likely to come from outside government because of allegations that government officials at the federal, state, and local level have been too cozy with people in the oil industry they are supposed to oversee.

The commission has six months to issue a report to Obama with recommendations on how to prevent future spills resulting from offshore drilling.

Before the recent spill, Obama had expressed support for a potential expansion of off-shore drilling as part of a comprehensive energy reform plan. Now, he is facing criticism from fellow Democrats in coastal states such as Florida who want him to scrap plans for more drilling.

Graham hails from Florida, which is believed to be threatened by the current spill. He served two terms as governor followed by 18 years in the U.S. Senate. Since retiring from the Senate in January 2005, Graham has served on several federal panels, including chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

Reilly served as EPA chief in the administration of President George H.W. Bush from 1989-1993 and is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the World Wildlife Fund. His impeccable credentials in the environmental community could be important amid fears within conservation circles that the Gulf spill will cause unprecedented damage to wildlife and fisheries.

Administration officials have previously said the oil spill commission will be modeled on federal panels created following the Three Mile Island
nuclear plant crisis in 1979 and the Challenger space shuttle tragedy in 1986.

Filed under: BP • President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. 60s survivor

    as it. should be mr president. roll the sleeves up and get to work. if this thing could be fixed with rhetoric and whining and finger pointing it would have been fixed immediately.

    May 31, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. Willy Brown

    What's he going to do, throw a fit?

    May 31, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Slick William

    As Maxine Waters (BRD-California) so clearly stated, "This is one Liberal that would love to see the Nationalization of the Oil Industry in America."

    Never let a crisis or an agenda go to waste...

    May 31, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Hammerer

    obama is in charge and the oil spill is his responsibility. Ok what is the next move? Time to stop campaigning and take action. Quit calling on BP to do anything and take charge like a leader.

    May 31, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. kelly

    This is nothing more than trying to look like you're fully engaged to the problem.When you don't know what to do you create a commission.Next you meet with the commission and discuss the problem.Then you go out to the press and let them take some pictures and maybe ask a few questions.Next have them go out and tell everybody how great a job you're doing and how lucky it is to have someone of you're statue leading us through this terrible tradegy.Works every time.Obama is the master.

    May 31, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. David

    Umm, how about requiring the pre-drilling of a relief well. . .

    May 31, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. Jim

    The Gulf oil leak is probably the worst environmental disaster in United States history. Like the much smaller Three Mile Island crisis, the Gulf crisis may permantly change how the petroleum industry operates. I thank God we have a President who is committed to the American people's interests – rather than the "Big Oil president" Bush and Haliburton vice president Cheney!

    May 31, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. ehwilson429

    meet about what?

    his lack of knowledge of the oil business?
    or his total lack of any knowledge about any business?

    May 31, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. walleye

    I hope he tars and feathers them.

    May 31, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. domincanmamaforuhbama

    Truly the most arrogant, incompetent president this nation has ever had.

    May 31, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Stymie

    Yea, the Job Summit was such a success, might as well have another meeting. uhbumba is clueless.

    May 31, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  12. DJ

    ROugh em' up Barry!!

    May 31, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. DJ

    Rough em' up Barry!

    May 31, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    The most amazing thing about this current situation that has developed is that there was no fail-safe measure against this, one of the worst possible environmental disasters imaginable. For instance, why would the original design not have included drilling a relief well to have available before operations began? This is the wealthiest industry on the planet. Why would they take such a gamble on a single device that obviously has the ability for massive failure?

    May 31, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is another example of the US needing to put more money into research for solar, wind, tidal (among other renwealable powers and advancements in fission and fusion power.If we can develop it and control it, that will put us on top. Why aren't we doing this? It is called GOP imagination failure.

    May 31, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |