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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid