News / USA

Obama On Third Visit to Gulf, Inspects Oil Leak Progress, Blasts BP

Multimedia

President Obama is making a third visit to the U.S. Gulf coast to inspect progress in stopping the deep-sea oil leak and fighting oil washing ashore on beaches in four states. It was the president's second visit to the area in a week, and came amid ongoing efforts by BP to cap the leaking well in the Gulf.

Facing criticism that he has failed to demonstrate sufficient empathy for people in the Gulf suffering from the impact of the oil leak, the president this time included visits with local residents, business leaders and fishermen in addition to meetings with local and state officials.

President Obama has said he is furious about the situation, the strongest term he has used since the April 20th explosion that killed 11 workers and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform.

In remarks to reporters after arriving in Louisiana, and shortly before he was driven to the town of Grand Isle, the president referred to media advertising BP is using to manage its image, saying BP should not be nickel and diming Gulf coast residents when it comes to compensation claims. "They have got moral and legal obligations here in the Gulf for the damage that has been done and what I don't want to hear is when they are spending that kind of money on their shareholders, and spending that kind of money on TV advertising that they are nickle and diming fishermen or small businesses here in the Gulf who are having a hard time," he said.

Nora Combel, a woman in Grand Isle, said, "I think he is down here to help us. I really do."

BP has succeeded in installing a large containment cap on the leaking well 1.5 kilometers below the water's surface to siphon oil to a collection ship at the surface.

But the company said it would not be possible to estimate how much oil and gas would be captured, and that the system's efficiency, continued operation, and ability to contain oil and gas could not be assured.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been sharply criticized over his handling of cleanup efforts, and statements he has made, and there have been calls for his resignation.  

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who was among Gulf state governors with the president on this visit, is among those sharply questioning BP leadership. "If I was on that board [of directors of BP]  I would wonder about trusting a multi-billion company to somebody who is making those kind of statements.  But at the end of the day it doesn't matter to me who they have running the company as long as they do a better job than what they are doing today," he said.

The federal government has sent a $69 million bill to BP and what it called other responsible parties for costs so far of responding to the oil disaster and cleanup operations.

As the president toured areas of the Gulf on Friday, oil which had previously come ashore in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, devastating wildlife populations, was beginning to wash up on beaches in the Florida panhandle.

Another casualty of the oil disaster has been President Obama's plan to visit to Indonesia and Australia later this month.  

After postponing it last March as he struggled with the U.S. Congress over health care legislation, the president postponed a second time after he and his advisers decided he should remain in the U.S. to deal with the Gulf oil situation.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid