News / USA

Obama Warns Oil Spill Will Substantially Impact Economy

President Barack Obama Obama has met with Cabinet and other officials dealing with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The president says it is clear there will be substantial ongoing economic effects from the spill.

The president spoke after meeting with Cabinet and other officials directly involved in the response to the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

If containment efforts are successful, he said, it will take at least two more months for relief wells to be completed.  Even after that, the president said Americans should be prepared for a substantial and ongoing economic impact.

"This will be contained.  It may take some time and it is going to  take a whole lot of effort," he said   "There is going to be damage done to the Gulf coast, and there is going to be economic damage that we have got to make sure BP is responsible for and compensates people for," said the president.

Among those taking part in the meeting was U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is in command of the overall government response.

While BP is managing to siphon an increasing amount of oil using a containment cap on the damaged well, Admiral Allen said the spill has broken into numerous separate patches on the surface.

This he says presents cleanup crews with an enormous task as they deal with what he calls an "enemy that changes," and an impact on wetland areas as part of long-term environmental effects that will be felt for years.

"I think we need to be realistic and honest and transparent with the American people," said Allen.  "When the relief well is finished and it is capped, sometime in August, oil will have flowed to the surface in some manner because we probably will not get 100-percent containment, we want as much as we can get, so there will still be oil on the surface the day the well is capped," he added.

Admiral Allen said oil being captured from the damaged undersea well each day is approaching 15,000 barrels, though experts have still not established an exact rate of flow.  He says it is "critical" to increase the capacity of skimming operations to remove oil on the surface.

Admiral Allen said the government needs to continue keeping a close eye on BP operations in the course of what he says will be a long campaign against the spill.

"We ought to be ruthless in our oversight of BP and try and understand what oil is not being contained, is leaking out around that rubber seal, once we know what that flow rate is," he said.  "And we need to understand completely that if we have severe weather in the form of a hurricane, there may be times when we are going to have to disconnect that operation and re-establish it and during that time we are going to have oil coming to the surface again," said Admiral Allen.

President Obama repeated what he said while visiting the Gulf last week, saying he does not want to see BP "nickel and diming"  people and businesses applying for compensation.

He expressed confidence in the ability of the Gulf Coast and its people to recover in the long-run.

"We are confident that not only are we going to be able to get past this immediate crisis, but we are going to be focusing our attention on making sure the coast fully recovers and that eventually it comes back even stronger than it was before this crisis," said President Obama.

The Gulf oil disaster is the subject of several House and Senate hearings this week.  Among other things, lawmakers are working to increase the liability limit in U.S. law, currently set at $75 million.

At one of those hearings, held in Louisiana on Monday, Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Ed Markey said legislation he is introducing would require oil companies to fund development of improved safety and cleanup tools to deal with similar future disasters.

Related video by Robert Raffaele:

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More