June 14th, 2010
05:39 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Government is fully mobilized in response to BP disaster

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/14/art.obama.gulftrippresser.jpg caption ="President Obama began a two-day tour of the Gulf Monday, his fourth visit to the region since the disastrous oil rig explosion."]
(CNN) - President Barack Obama sought to reassure Gulf Coast residents Monday that the "full resources of the federal government are being mobilized to confront" the oil disaster.

On his fourth trip to the region since an offshore well began spewing crude oil into Gulf waters in April, Obama announced a new initiative to safeguard the local seafood industry and discussed preparations for his meeting Wednesday with BP officials.

Obama spoke from a Coast Guard staging facility in Theodore, Alabama, where heacknowledged the toll the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is having on not only the environment, but also on the local people.

"There's a sense that this disaster is not only threatening our fishermen and our shrimpers and oystermen, not only affecting precious marshes and wetlands and estuaries ... there's also a fear that it could have a long-term impact on a way of life that has been passed on for generations," Obama said, adding, "I understand that fear."

"We are absolutely committed to working with (local and state officials) to do everything in our power to protect the Gulf Coast way of life so that it's there for our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren," he said.

Under the new comprehensive seafood initiative, federal authorities will increase inspections of seafood processors, strengthen surveillance programs and monitor fish caught outside restricted waters, Obama said.

"Seafood from the Gulf today is safe to eat but we need to make sure that it stays that way," he said.

Obama said he also hopes to hammer out with top BP officials Wednesday a new structure for processing claims so that they "are dealt with justly, fairly, promptly."

He said preliminary talks on the restructuring have already begun, but was cautious about how much progress can be made before Wednesday's meeting.

Obama also acknowledged that cleanup and containment of the spill won't happen overnight.

"It's going to take time for things to return to normal," he said.

"There's going to be a harmful affect on many local businesses and it's going to be painful for a lot of folks.

"But I promise you this, things are going to return to normal. This region that has known a lot of hardship will bounce back just like it's bounced back before," he said. "In the end, I'm confident we will be able to leave the Gulf Coast better than it was before."

Filed under: BP • Energy • President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Obozo's Record Deficit + Higher Taxes

    Face it OBOZO, it took you too long.

    Bush was creamed for Katrina, and you were worse.

    There seems to be a pattern, CHANGE TO WORSE.

    No matter how much you try to sell it, it stinks. People know you are full of crap and you little speeches don't work anymore.

    At the same time, OBOZO-CARE continues to unravel.

    June 14, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. ib

    Why wasn't this done 57 days ago? The reason; Obama wanted to push his green agenda and he doesn't care how much it costs the country. By the way it's not Bush's fault just thought I would tell all you stupid left wingers.

    June 14, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. An 8 year old elephant dung heap does not turn into compost in just 18 months!

    It is getting both tiresome and tedious to listen to all the Gulf grifters whining.

    You pulled the lever for oil exploration for the needed jobs, you were willing to gamble when you built that waterfront home, now that the worst has happened, of which you were warned, you do nothing but whine that it is someone else's fault and someone else's responsibilility to make you "whole" on you real estate and job losses.

    You chose to live there and none of the current consequences were unknown when you decided to live there.

    So, if you are unable to take responsibility for your own actions are do not like the consequences, do what I as a Louisiana native decided to do and MOVE.

    But if you are going to live there, then when these oil rigs blow and foul the beach, stop whining and volunteer.

    June 14, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. thor

    The headline says it all.Each time Obama opens his mouth he says something stupid.Maybe he trying to immitate the vice-president . You would think this man that was so smooth during his presidential run could find better words to articulate whats happening to the Gulf region.Instead he sounds more like Daffy Duck mouthing words that some speech writer wrote for him in some closet tucked off a back room of the White House.

    June 14, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Jakey

    Government doublespeak. Can anyone tell us what that means ' "the Government is mobilized"? Are all government workers packed up and ready to move someplace? It just sounds ridiculous. Kind of like the nonsense we hear from CEOs of big companies in their stupid speeches where they think they are sounding slick, but really sound like idiots. Throw a couple more buzzwords in there too – "Infrastructure", "Paradigm shift", etc.

    June 14, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Slider

    ""There's a sense that this disaster is not only threatening our fishermen and our shrimpers and oystermen, not only affecting precious marshes and wetlands and estuaries ... there's also a fear that it could have a long-term impact on a way of life that has been passed on for generations," Obama said, adding, "I understand that fear."

    LOL! Son, that last time there was a 'sense' of a disaster like this, Noah built himself a boat.

    While you are rightly concerned about the fishermen and oystermen, and such, I hope you are also representing the people that provide
    the oil and fuel you enjoy using to fly you to all these speaking engagements and golf games, and such.

    You represent everyone, Mr. (P)resident. Every One.

    June 14, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Good job boss Obama. The Confederates will always try to invent new creative solutions to whine about every single thing Obama does...while offering no real ideas of their own other than what their big $ lobbyists tell them to do.

    June 14, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. Steve in North Carolina

    Yeah...Fully mobilized to talk us to death. Quit worrying about who is going to pay who at this point and start taking action to clean up the spill. Waive the Jones Act and let other nations help us clean up this mess!

    June 14, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Jim El Paso Tx

    Day 50+ and the resources are being mobilized....as in NOW. FIFTY some odd days AFTER the mess and NOW he's getting his ducks in a row. What a wasted opportunity to be on top of a crisis and he blows it. Can't wait for the dog an pony show tomorrow night!

    June 14, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. phoenix86

    First the Porkulus Package.
    Then Obamacare.
    Then $1 trillion in deficits.
    Now the oil spill.

    Change you can believe in.

    June 14, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. Brad

    Obama -
    1. BANNED oil dispersing chemicals from being used.
    2. BANNED the construction of sand berms to protect the coast.
    3. BANNED the use of fire booms to burn off the oil.
    What is "fully mobilized"? Other than making the oils spill WORSE and exploiting it to trumpet his phony "green jobs" agenda??

    June 14, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. gg

    who ever allowed drilling of the coast with no plan for disaster and it wasn,t president obama,it happened during the republican control dick cheney just one more republican mess the democrates have to deal with what ever happened to republican smaller goverment and you should not be allowed to sue corperations whos lawyered up now

    June 14, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    The most important thing the federal government can do now besides making sure that cleanup is completed is to insure that this kind of a disaster never happens again. The administration has stumbled through everything very poorly so far. Can it at least get the next part correct?

    June 14, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. Bradley - Az

    Our federal government hasn't had "full resources" available since it willingly chose to make the future of Iraq and Afghanistan more important than the future of America.

    June 14, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Chris

    To gain a foothold on the addiction to oil it needs to be put into context. 70% of all oil extracted in the USA goes to transportation. We can do something about that right now. With Airlines fuel at much higher than auto demand in the US (1.8b gallons Air, vs 374m gallons car) we should embark on a super project for today. To eat in the 70% of transportation oil we need to develop alternative energy technologies for Air and car travel. We cannot do much more with air travel but we can do something with ground based transportation. We should embark immediately on national regional high speed rail from sea to shining sea, urban to rural cities. It is paid for by the one gross consumer of oil the airlines. Place a fuel tax on airlines sufficient to pay for rail projects. And do so that it only goes to rail. Over a decade the infrastructure will be large enough to lower the consumption of fossil fuels by lowering the flights and people riding the rails instead of driving. We know this because that is precisely what happened in Europe. It could mean hundreds of thousands of jobs across the US building the rail systems, and tens of thousands of jobs retentained within the rail system. GM could build rail cars. Bill Gates can help with R&D for electrical energy needs. This could very well mean a revival in the US. It is the only way to keep our quality of life without destroying our environment. All it takes is commitment from government and industry to further make this a reality.

    June 14, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Ron

    Hmmmm. 56 days later and FINALLY this administration says they are fully mobilized. Actually 56 days later and this administration proves that are fully useless. I guess there is only one happy person right now and that is Jimmy Carter now that he no longer is the WORST president every. Barrack Hussein Obama has taken over that crown. Obama is such a useless individual but what do you expect when the only thing on his resume is a Community Organizer. Useless. Totally useless............

    June 14, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |