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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.