Obama Oil Spill Press Conference: Quotes, Remarks
President Obama Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Press Conference: Quotes, Remarks
Facing increasing criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, President Obama held a news conference to address the White House's response to the month old oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."This has been the highest priority since the spill occurred."
"As far as I am concerned BP is responsible for this." But the president went on to say "Make no mistake BP is operating at our direction...The United States government has always been in charge making sure the response has been appropriate."
President Obama admitted that the government did not do enough to verify exactly how oil was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, relying instead on BP estimates.
Obama outlined what the government is currently doing and what it also intends to do; "We have about 20 thousand people in this region, today more than a 100 thousand feet of boom is being deployed to Louisiana.
Obama said for too long the oil industry and federal regulators have said cozy and at times "corrupt" relationship. The President also announced aggressive new standards for offshore oil drilling: a moratorium on exploratory offshore oil drilling off the coast of Alaska and Virginia,a moratorium on deep water well drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the suspension of drilling on 33 oil wells in the Gulf.
"This oil spill is an unprecedented disaster. We are relying on every resource every idea, every expert, to stop it. Every day I see this leak continue I am angry and frustrated as well. What I care about is containment of this disaster."
When asked the question is it true everything that can be done is being done? Obama replied that the federal response team is evaluating every idea for its effectiveness but he said it "is entirely possible that in an operation of this size mistakes may be made."
Obama said it is not matter of the Federal government taking over the clean up efforts because federal officials already has the authority to tell BP what to do.
"We have the authority we need we just have to make sure we are exercising it effectively" Obama said.
President also Obama confirmed that Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum was stepping down - this is the regulatory agency that oversees offshore oil drilling.
Obama made the the urgent call for investing in clean renewable energy
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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States