News / USA

Obama Says He Will Not Rest Until Oil Spill is Contained

Multimedia

Audio
Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama is angrily blasting oil industry officials who he says are failing to accept blame for the massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico.  The president says all parties need to take responsibility, including the government.

President Obama says he is angry and frustrated by oil executives' response to the catastrophic spill, after a BP oil rig blew up last month off the Louisiana coast.

In the White House Rose Garden, the president told reporters the finger-pointing needs to stop.

"I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter," said Obama.  "You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else.  The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly was not."

Mr. Obama said some of the blame extends into his own administration.  He said he will force government regulators to make it tougher for oil companies to get drilling permits.

"For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill," he added.  "It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies.  That cannot and will not happen anymore."

As the president spoke, robots at the bottom of the Gulf tried to move a tube into the pipe that has pumped millions of liters of oil into the water.  BP said it hoped to know within hours whether the tube had successfully diverted the oil to a tanker at the surface.

Mr. Obama admitted that there is uncertainty about exactly how much oil is being spilled.  He said government efforts have been geared toward the possibility of a "catastrophic event."

The president said the system "failed and failed badly," and everyone involved bears the responsibility for fixing it.

"The oil companies share it; the manufacturers of this equipment share it; the agencies in the federal government in charge of oversight share that responsibility," he added.  "I will not tolerate more finger pointing or irresponsibility."

Mr. Obama called on Congress to quickly pass legislation to spend more money to clean up the spill, and to provide unemployment assistance and job training to people affected by the crisis.

After the spill, the president asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reform the government agency that oversees oil drilling.  Salazar said this week the part of the agency which permits oil and gas drilling and collects royalties will be separated from the part which inspects the safety of oil rigs.

Mr. Obama said he has enacted other reforms, including re-examining the environmental procedures for oil and gas exploration and development.

A map of some of the world's worst oil spills:

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid